Sea Breeze Mocktail, Nonalcoholic Beverage Flavors

Sea Breeze Mocktail

Here in Southern California, we know that summer has arrived when thousands of sunbathers dot the long stretches of golden coastline. Holiday weekends have everyone flocking to the beach, where laid-back locals and sun dazzled tourists lounge side-by-side on the warm sand. Perhaps the most popular beach holiday of all is the Fourth of July. What better beverage to sip by the surf than a refreshing Sea Breeze mocktail?

Sea Breeze mocktails, two people drinking nonalcoholic cocktails at the beach
Slip into sober refreshment this summer with a Sea Breeze mocktail.

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Who invented the Sea Breeze?

The origin of the Sea Breeze cocktail is somewhat murky, but the flavor of today’s version is crystal clear. Ruby red cranberry and grapefruit juices mingle with vodka and perhaps a squeeze of lime in thia refreshing drink. Interestingly, the original Sea Breeze had neither cranberry juice nor vodka, but was a spritely mix of lemon, grenadine, apricot brandy, bitters, and dry gin. While vodka provides a cleaner alcohol taste, we are partial to the complexity that gin’s fresh botanicals bring to the cocktail flavor.

The vodka-cranberry Sea Breeze version has an intriguing story. A pesticide scare in 1959 decimated the U.S. cranberry market. In an effort to recover, the cranberry grower’s cooperative known as Ocean Spray began publishing recipe booklets to encourage the use of cranberries in food and beverages. Ocean Spray shared the recipe for a spirited cranberry cocktail that included grapefruit juice and vodka. They gave it the refreshing name “Sea Breeze”, perhaps unaware that a different cocktail by the same name already existed. By the 1980s the Ocean Spray version of the Sea Breeze was the cocktail of choice among fashionable and upwardly mobile urban professionals.

How to make a Sea Breeze mocktail

Today, the Sea Breeze is being reinvented yet again as the low and no alcohol beverage trend renews interest in nonalcoholic cocktails. The following Sea Breeze mocktail recipe brings together elements of both the original and Ocean Spray versions to create a delicious alcohol-free cocktail with just the right amount of complexity. We love how the nonalcoholic gin and hops infused sparkling water deliver natural gin flavor – without any spirits.

Making a nonalcoholic Sea Breeze cocktail, mocktail mixology
Some mixologists garnish their nonalcoholic Sea Breeze cocktails with a fresh rosemary sprig; this mimics natural gin flavor notes like pine and juniper.

There’s one more reason why we love this Sea Breeze mocktail recipe: it can go places where spirited beverages cannot. Drinking alcohol is illegal on most California beaches, which makes mocktails a safe choice for oceanside sipping. This summer ignite your taste buds and stay sober with an alcohol-free Sea Breeze!

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Sea Breeze Mocktail


  • 1.5 oz. nonalcoholic gin or hops infused sparkling water
  • 1.5 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 3 oz. cranberry juice
  • Ice
  • 1 slice lime to garnish


  1. Fill both a cocktail shaker and a tall Collins glass with ice.
  2. Add the non-alcoholic gin, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice to the cocktail shaker; shake well. (If using sparkling hops water, add only the cranberry and grapefruit juices at this step.)
  3. Strain the Sea Breeze into the glass. If using sparkling hops water, top and stir gently.
  4. Garnish with a slice of lime.


1 serving

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