Introducing the Sea Breeze's sister the Madras. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Swap OJ for grapefruit juice and a Sea Breeze becomes a Madras.
Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

When I returned to the CIA in the fall of 1999, two years after the publication of Making of a Chef wherein I described the humiliating service experience on my first day at St. Andrew’s restaurant, and Chef Czack lofted an overly generous tip onto my table with a look of withering disdain for my shoddy performance, he himself hosted me at the Danny Kaye Theater for an interview. I had been provided a pink beverage, strangely, as one almost always is given water. Chef Czack held out his hand to the drink. “Can you tell us what this is?” he asked me. I looked blankly at it, took a sip, looked out at the audience as a deer into headlights. I had not been expecting a sucker punch and confessed ignorance.

A Sea Breeze,” said Chef Czack, allowing me to relive the humiliation. Or so I recall.

All in good fun, and at least I didn’t say Madras.

Here, in the last of a series of pink drinks, is an actual Madras, an eminently refreshing elixir that also describes how the altering of a single ingredient (juice only, not even the spirit) alters the name of the drink, as it should. Top off vodka-cranberry with orange juice instead of grapefruit juice and what might have been a Sea Breeze becomes a Madras. (Why this should not be so when you switch vodka for gin in a classic martini is clear: because the name for a vodka-vermouth cocktail, Kangaroo, sounds silly; thus we are left with bartenders asking me if I have a preference of vodka when I order a martini, more or less forcing me to be obnoxious.)

But it is warm summertime now, and I will try to keep cool with a Madras.

The Madras

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • slice of lime, for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except the lime slice in a tall glass, then fill it with ice.
  2. Squeeze in the lime and drop it in as garnish.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.