What is the history of Cape Codder?

Answered by Vince Keith

The history of the Cape Codder, also known as the cranberry and drink, is quite fascinating. This iconic cocktail was actually invented by Ocean Spray, a well-known cranberry producer, in the 1940s. Ocean Spray wanted to find a creative way to encourage more people to purchase their cranberry products, and thus, the Cape Codder was born.

Originally, the drink was named the Red Devil, and it quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike, especially in the bars of Cape Cod during the summer months. The refreshing combination of tart cranberry and smooth vodka became a signature drink of the region.

Having spent some time on Cape Cod myself, I can attest to the prevalence of the Cape Codder in the area. It is a drink that perfectly embodies the spirit and flavors of this coastal region. The Cape Codder is often associated with beach parties, barbecues, and lazy summer afternoons spent by the ocean.

Interestingly, the cranberry has a long history on Cape Cod even before the invention of the Cape Codder cocktail. The region has been known for its cranberry bogs since the 1800s when settlers discovered the wild cranberry vines growing abundantly in the area. Over time, cranberry farming became an important industry on Cape Cod, and the fruit became synonymous with the region.

The popularity of the Cape Codder cocktail helped to further promote and elevate the status of cranberries in American culture. Ocean Spray, as a leading cranberry producer, capitalized on this trend and marketed their cranberry products heavily, using the Cape Codder as a flagship cocktail.

Today, the Cape Codder remains a classic and beloved drink. Its simplicity and refreshing taste have made it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. The recipe typically calls for a mix of cranberry juice, vodka, and a squeeze of lime, served over ice in a highball glass. Some variations may include the addition of a sweetener like simple syrup or a splash of for a fizzy twist.

The Cape Codder has also inspired the creation of other cranberry-based and variations, showcasing the versatility and appeal of this vibrant fruit. It has become a staple in bars and restaurants around the world, often appearing on cocktail menus as a nod to its origins.

The history of the Cape Codder is rooted in the ingenuity and marketing efforts of Ocean Spray in the 1940s. This cranberry and vodka drink quickly became popular in the bars of Cape Cod, eventually gaining recognition as a signature cocktail of the region. Its association with the cranberry industry and the coastal charm of Cape Cod has made it a beloved and timeless drink enjoyed by many.