Browse our best vodka cocktails for summer: fruity, bubbly and refreshing! These summer vodka drinks range from classics to unique spins.
Summer is the best season for cocktails (at least we think so). Here’s why: there are endless ways to enjoy fruity, herby, bubbly and icy flavors and textures. Make up a tall highball with sparkling water or ginger ale. Grab handfuls of fresh mint from the garden. Blend up summer fruits like watermelon and ripe strawberries. Summer is all about laid back, seasonal drinks! And what better spirit to pair than vodka?
Here are all the best summer vodka drinks! These vodka cocktails for summer range from classics like the Moscow Mule to freeform highballs like the Vodka Spritzer, Vodka Soda and Vodka Tonic. To be honest, we started getting thirsty as we created this list…
And now…the best summer vodka drinks and cocktails!
A signature vodka cocktail for summer? A bubbly and fruity Vodka Spritzer! It’s just sweet enough with a subtle berry flavor: tangy, refreshing and sparkling all at once. That’s cranberry juice that makes the brilliant red color, but it’s 100% juice so it’s tart and crisp instead of saccharine.
Looking for a refreshing summer vodka cocktail that goes down easy? Try the vodka tonic! This variation on the Gin & Tonic is less about the booze and more about citrusy bubbles. Gin is botanical and booze forward, but vodka melds right into the tonic water.
When it comes to summer cocktails, there’s no need to get fancy with shakers or fancy syrups. In fact, some of the best drinks are just two ingredients. Such is the case with Vodka and Ginger Ale! Mix vodka with a little bubbly ginger ale and it’s pretty fantastic: no need for buying fancy liqueurs required.
What says summer more than a watermelon vodka drink on the patio? Watermelon is so hydrating and refreshing, and its natural sweetness is perfect for cocktails. So we used it to whip up this easy and vibrant watermelon vodka summer drink: perfect for parties or evenings on the patio!
Also called the Hawaiian Sea Breeze, this drink is one in a family of cranberry cocktails that have a vivid color and sweet tart flavor. Because the Bay Breeze features the tropical taste of pineapple, it feels carefree and beachy. It’s perfect as a summer vodka cocktail!
Ready for our new favorite summer vodka cocktails? The vodka smash! It’s tangy and refreshing, featuring muddled blackberries, mint, and lime. It’s tangy, it’s sweet, and it’s got a bit of back-end vodka flavor, though it’s not too strong. Basically: these go down easy (beware!).
Here’s a tasty refreshing vodka cocktail that’s perfect for summer, but works any time of year: Vodka Lemonade! Make up a pitcher of homemade fresh lemonade, then spike it with a little vodka. It comes out fresh and sweet tart, and very easy to drink. The vodka adds just the right boozy finish.
Here’s a cocktail that’s light, refreshing, and goes down easy: the Vodka Soda! Cousin to the Vodka Tonic, the vodka soda is even more tart and refreshing. Bonus: it’s a low calorie cocktail, because it’s essentially just watered down vodka. This concept is actually called a “rickey”, a classic cocktail made with liquor and soda water.
Another great vodka cocktail? Try the Vodka Margarita, a smoother spin on the classic cocktail. A margarita without tequila? Yes, and it's darn good. It’s tart, citrusy and so smooth, without the traditional bite on the finish from the tequila.
Want a summer vodka cocktail that’s laid-back, tart and refreshing? Look no further than the Sea Breeze cocktail! Combine vodka with cranberry and grapefruit juice and it tastes just like its name: light, breezy, and all about no-frills vibes.
Try this Pineapple Vodka Cocktail! This stunning two-toned drink couldn’t be easier. Simply mix pineapple, vodka and lime right up in the serving glass and it tastes sublime. Want to take it over the top? Add a brilliant red layer to the bottom of the drink.
Here’s a bright blue drink that’s as beautiful as the ocean: the Blue Hawaii! This one is as classic 1950’s as it gets, from the crushed ice to the drink umbrella. Both vodka and rum feature in this sweet tart drink, along with a secret ingredient that brings in its ocean-tinted color.
Here’s a summer vodka cocktail you won’t be able to stop sipping. Try this elderflower cocktail! The flavor here is so refreshing, so perfectly balanced, that it’s almost impossible not to take another sip. The secret? St Germain, that irresistible elderflower liqueur! Combine it with vodka, lemon and tonic water, and it’s a beautiful blend of botanical, sweet tart, bright and bubbly.
Here’s a vodka cocktail that will blow you away with its nuanced, rich flavor: the Key Lime Martini! It’s made with this incredible Spanish vanilla liqueur that makes anything taste delightful. Add to that tart key lime juice and a graham cracker drink rim. It’s a heavenly dessert drink that’s full of complexity and nuance…and completely irresistible.
Some cocktails have a strong image, and the Long Island Iced Tea is one of them, right? It’s boozy, low-brow, and sickly sweet. But have you tried a classic Long Island Iced Tea? Mixed up as intended, this drink will blow you away. Ditch the sour mix and Triple Sec in favor of fresh citrus and top shelf liquor. One sip and it’s zingy, sweet tart, nuanced and sophisticated.
Here's a unique vodka cocktail for summer: the Mind Eraser! This it’s a bubbly and refreshing coffee cocktail, beautifully layered in a glass. Essentially a fizzy Black Russian, it’s also fairly low alcohol for a cocktail. For all its bravado, it’s really not about to erase your mind…unless you drink several of these (which we find impossible given the high sugar content!).
This vodka cocktail is a refreshing highball drink that reminds us of a Pimm’s Cup: but it’s made with Concord grape juice, vodka, and ginger ale! The flavors really work: sweet tart, bubbly, with a bit of spicy ginger and the musky finish of the grape juice.
Here’s a vodka summer drink that’s full of big fruity flavor: the Watermelon Martini! This vodka martini is all about the watermelon, with a pure, refreshing flavor. It’s just sweet enough to let the fruit shine through, and it goes down pretty easy. Add that watermelon wedge garnish and it’s a great signature drink for a dinner party, or ideal for sipping by the pool.
Here’s one of the easiest vodka summer cocktail recipes you can make: the vodka cranberry! It’s got only a handful of ingredients and it tastes tart and refreshing. Even better (or worse?), it goes down easy.
To round out our list of vodka cocktails for summer...the Classic Moscow Mule! This drink was invented in the 1940’s, but it’s having a moment now, too. It’s got only 3 ingredients and takes 3 minutes to make: don't forget the frosty copper mug! It's perfect for parties or a lazy evening on the patio.
More summer inspiration
Outside of these vodka cocktails for summer, there are so many other drink inspirations! If you’ve got spirits, we’ve got recipes. Here are all our best ideas: