This Citrusy Summer Cocktail Will Warm Up Your Winter

Why Maryland’s Orange Crush ranks among America’s greatest regional cocktails.

Ocean City, Maryland, is known for an abundance of all-you-can-eat crab houses, a 2.5-mile-long boardwalk, and even the occasional shark sighting. But while this venerable summer resort town’s culinary claim to fame is serving piles of steamed blue crabs dusted with Old Bay to hungry vacationers, it’s also the hallowed birthplace of one of America’s greatest regional cocktails, the Orange Crush.

The Harborside Bar & Grill in West Ocean City invented this boozy blast of citrus and sunshine back in 1995, and while countless variations are mixed up by bartenders in Maryland and beyond, it’s generally agreed that the Harborside’s original is still the best. That classic blend of fresh-squeezed orange juice, vodka, triple sec and lemon lime soda has transformed the Harborside from locals-only watering hole into a legitimate drinks destination.

“Everybody says that they just taste better here,” longtime Harbrorside bartender Phil Lewis told drinks website Punch. The Orange Crush superfans in the TV commercial below definitely seem to agree. 

So as many of us gamely brave winter’s arctic temps, channel warm weather vibes with the easy-drinking pleasures of the Harborside Orange Crush. Here’s how to make it:


2 ounces orange vodka, preferably Smirnoff
2 ounces triple sec, preferably La Quinta
juice of one orange
lemon-lime soda, to top, preferably Sierra Mist or Sprite


Combine vodka and triple sec in a pint glass with ice.
Pour fresh-squeezed orange juice into glass.
Top with splash of lemon-lime soda and drink immediately.