The Madras Drink – Making The Madras Cocktail

In the vast world of cocktails, where each drink tells a story of its origin, ingredients, and the culture it represents, the Madras drink stands out with its vibrant hues and tantalizing taste. Named intriguingly after the Indian city of Madras (now Chennai), this cocktail doesn’t trace its roots to India but rather draws inspiration from the colorful Madras fabric.

A delightful blend of vodka, cranberry juice, and orange juice, the Madras drink is a testament to the magic that happens when simplicity meets flavor. Whether you’re lounging by the beach or hosting a summer soirée, this drink promises a refreshing escape with every sip. Dive into the world of Madras and discover the allure of this classic cocktail.

What is Madras Drink?

The Madras drink is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for decades. Its bright, fruity flavors characterize it and is often served in highball glasses over ice. The drink’s simplicity, combined with its delightful taste, has cemented its place in the annals of cocktail history.


Madras Drink

  • Vodka: The primary spirit that gives the Madras its kick. Typically, one would use 1.5 ounces for a single serving.
  • Cranberry Juice: Adds a tart and vibrant red hue to the drink. About 3 ounces are used.
  • Orange Juice: Complements the cranberry with its sweet and citrusy flavor. 3 ounces should suffice.


  • Highball Glass: The traditional glass is used for serving the Madras drink, allowing for the perfect proportion of ingredients and ice.
  • Stirrer or Spoon: Mix the ingredients thoroughly, ensuring a uniform taste throughout the drink.
  • Jigger or Measuring Cup: To measure the vodka, cranberry juice, and orange juice accurately.
  • Ice Cube Tray: To produce ice cubes that will chill the drink.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: If you’re using fresh oranges, these will be needed to slice them for garnish.
  • Cocktail Shaker (Optional): Some prefer to shake the ingredients together before pouring them into the glass.

How to make madras drink 

Choose the Right Glass
  • Preferably use a highball glass for serving.
  • Fill the highball glass with ice cubes to keep the drink chilled.
  • Pour the vodka over the ice.
  • Add the cranberry juice, ensuring it mixes well with the vodka.
  • Top off with orange juice, filling the glass.
  • Stir the ingredients gently to combine the flavors.
  • Place an orange slice on the rim of the glass or drop a cherry into the drink for added aesthetics and flavor.
  • Serve the Madras drink immediately for the best taste and refreshing experience.
Variations (Optional)
  • For a bubbly twist, replace vodka with champagne to make a “Madras Mimosa.”
  • For a tropical touch, substitute orange juice with pineapple juice.
  • For those who like a bit of heat, add a dash of hot sauce or a slice of jalapeño.


Madras Drink

While the traditional Madras drink is a favorite for many, there are several variations to explore:

  • Madras Mimosa: Replace vodka with champagne for a bubbly twist.
  • Spicy Madras: Add a dash of hot sauce or a slice of jalapeño for a kick.
  • Tropical Madras: Use pineapple juice instead of orange juice for a tropical flair.

The best time to serve a Madras cocktail

This Madras cocktail is fun and celebratory. It’s great as a:

  1. Bridal shower drink or bachelorette party drink
  2. Girls night drink
  3. Summer drink
  4. Gender reveal party drink (a fantastic pink drink!)
  5. Happy hour drink
  6. Dinner party drink
  7. Brunch drink (Mother’s Day, etc)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is it called the Madras drink if it doesn’t originate from Madras (Chennai), India?
The name “Madras” for the drink is believed to have been inspired by the Madras fabric, which is known for its bright and colorful patterns. The vibrant colors of the drink resemble the hues of the fabric. While the drink doesn’t have a direct connection to the city of Madras, the name adds an exotic touch to this delightful cocktail.

Q2. Can I use other fruit juices in place of cranberry or orange juice?
Absolutely! While the traditional Madras drink uses cranberry and orange juice, you can experiment with other fruit juices to create your own variations. For instance, pineapple juice can give it a tropical twist, and grapefruit juice can add a slightly bitter note. Feel free to get creative and customize the drink to your taste preferences.

Q3. Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Madras drink?
Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of the Madras drink by simply omitting the vodka. Combine cranberry and orange juice in equal proportions over ice, and garnish as usual. This version retains the fruity flavors of the original and is perfect for those who prefer a refreshing mocktail.


The Madras drink, with its radiant colors and invigorating flavors, is more than just a cocktail; it’s an experience. Its simplicity in preparation, combined with the symphony of flavors it offers, makes it a favorite for many. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or someone trying their hand at making cocktails at home, the Madras drink is a delightful addition to your repertoire.

With the right equipment and ingredients in hand, you’re just moments away from savoring this classic concoction. So, the next time you’re looking for a drink that’s both refreshing and flavorful, remember the Madras – a cocktail that promises a delightful journey with every sip. Cheers!

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