This Malibu Bay Breeze is a fruity and coconut-y rum cocktail you can enjoy year round. Ever had a drink that tastes like a two-week Caribbean vacation? This is it. I’ve included one simple tropical addition to make it a little more tart – plus a simple tip on how you can make a lower sugar version. Only four ingredients needed!
Sometimes a flavor is evocative of a time or place. Even though I’ve never actually ordered a Malibu bay breeze on any of my trips to the beach, one sip of this bright tropical coconut rum cocktail and I can almost feel the sand between my toes and warm salt air.
And that’s what I find most exciting about this easy cocktail. No matter where you happen to be at the moment, you can introduce an unmistakable beach holiday vibe with a little rum and a couple of refreshing juices as mixers.
What is a Malibu Bay Breeze
- A Malibu bay breeze is a mixture of pineapple juice, cranberry juice and Malibu rum.
- It has a fruity, sweet tropical flavor with mild vanilla undertones.
- While it is generally a fairly sweet cocktail, I’m adding a bit of lime juice to this mix for a touch more clean tropical freshness.
- While the rum and pineapple juice are mixed together well, the cranberry juice is added at the very end. As the red from the cranberry mixes with the yellow from the pineapple, the finished drink has a striking color gradation (like an inverted tequila sunrise).
What’s the Difference Between a Bay Breeze and a Malibu Bay Breeze Cocktail
A bay breeze is a combination of cranberry juice, pineapple juice and vodka. While the juices remain the same, a Malibu bay breeze calls for Malibu coconut rum instead of vodka.
What is Malibu Rum
Malibu is a sweet coconut flavored liquor made with Caribbean rum. Aside from the trademark coconut sweetness, the flavor profile also features notes of vanilla and crème brûlée.
With an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 21%, Malibu has a lower proof (42) than many unflavored rum spirits.
Malibu Bay Breeze Drink Ingredients
- Malibu Rum: You only need about 2 ounces of this iconic coconut flavored rum per cocktail.
- Fresh Lime Juice: Lime juice actually isn’t in most Malibu Bay Breeze recipes. I find that using about a teaspoon of lime juice ups the tropical flavor – and balances out some of the sweeter notes.
- Pineapple Juice: This imparts the lion’s share of tropical sweetness to this refreshing cocktail. If you like a bit of pulp, you can make your own juice from fresh pineapple in a blender or food processor. Or just grab a can from the fridge.
- Cranberry Juice: I prefer using pure, unsweetened cranberry juice in this tasty cocktail. It’s much more tart and bracing than sweet. But that’s personal thing. If you prefer a sweeter drink, feel free to use the old school Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail. They both work well in this cocktail recipe.
- Lime Twist and/or Pineapple Wedge: These are actually optional, but they add a little visual flair and whimsey to the finished drink.
- Ice: Now, any ice works here. However the larger and more solid the cubes, the slower the ice will melt and eventually water down your drink. Making larger cubes in silicone ice molds is a fairly simple solution. Or if you’re in to that 100% clear, perfect cocktail ice mixologists use, it’s doable at home with a little time and patience.
How to Make a Malibu Bay Breeze
- Fill a highball glass with ice cubes. (Since there’s a striking color gradation with the cranberry juice added at the end, I wouldn’t recommend using a cocktail shaker for this).
- Then pour your rum, lime juice and pineapple juice in. Gently stir with a straw or tall cocktail spoon.
- Slowly pour the cranberry juice on top. The cranberry juice on top of the pineapple juice and rum should create the effect of a sunset.
- Serve immediately with a pineapple garnish or lime wedge or twist.
It’s so easy to tweak this cocktail to your own taste preferences. Switch things up to make your own perfect drink. Just keep in mind that once you switch liquor and juices, you’re probably making a cocktail that already has a name. Because if you order a Malibu bay breeze with vodka and grapefruit juice at your local bar, the bartender will tell you, “Ummm, that’s a greyhound.”
- Make a mocktail: Steering clear of booze, but still want to partake? Simply mix everything – but leave the rum out of the equation. Maybe add a little coconut water for the island vibes.
- Make it with less sugar: Like I mentioned before, I like using pure cranberry juice for the tart factor. The added benefit is that there are less calories in low-sugar juices. Think of it as a Malibu bay breeze lite.
- Use different garnishes: Popular options would be a maraschino cherry, orange slice, lemon twist or coconut meat. Or add fresh cranberries like in this Kentucky buck cocktail.
- Use vodka and make a sea breeze cocktail: Completely different drink here – but the same vibe. A sea breeze is vodka, grapefruit juice and cranberry juice. A Hawaiian sea breeze is vodka, cranberry and pineapple juice. Same tropical island ballpark, but separate drinks.
A Great Tropical Cocktail Year Round
Even though a Malibu bay breeze instantly evokes warm summer weather, it’s a cocktail you can enjoy year round. Because there’s no better time to sip something that reminds you of the warmth of the beach than a cold January day when it’s completely dark by 4:30pm.
And this drink can be a fun way to step out of the box. I’m a cape codder girl (vodka cranberry). It’s fun to switch things up from time to time at happy hour!
Did you like this recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
This Malibu Bay Breeze is a fruity and coconut-y rum cocktail that tastes like a sun soaked beach vacation. Only four ingredients needed!
- Ice cubes
- 2 ounces Malibu coconut rum
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 ounces pineapple juice
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 1 pineapple wedge for garnish
- 1 lime twist for garnish (optional)
- Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
- Pour the rum, lime juice, and pineapple, and gently stir with a straw or a tall spoon.
- Slowly pour the cranberry juice on top and serve with a lime twist and/or pineapple garnish.
Since there’s a dramatic color gradation in this cocktail, I wouldn’t suggest pre-mixing this drink entirely. If you have guests coming over, you could always mix the Malibu rum, lime juice and pineapple juice in a pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator. But the cranberry juice should be added to each highball glass immediately prior to serving.
- Serving Size: 1 drink
- Calories: 189
- Sugar: 13.7g
- Sodium: 20mg
- Fat: 0.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 14.5g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: rum cocktail