Here are all the best vodka cocktails to try! There are so many vodka mixed drinks to try, from the Moscow mule to the Cosmo. Cheers!
Got a bottle of vodka and need to use it up? There are a myriad of great vodka cocktails to try, mixed drinks that are as varied as you could imagine! Because of its subtle flavor, vodka easily takes on the character of a drink. So it mixes well with almost anything (unlike more distinctive liquors like whiskey).
Pretty much anything goes with vodka! You’ve got fruity vodka cocktails like the Bay Breeze, classy drinks like the Gimlet and Cosmo, spicy like the Bloody Mary, and intriguing like the endless types of martinis. These vodka mixed drinks should be in every enthusiasts repertoire. Let’s get started!
And now…the best vodka cocktails & mixed drinks to try!
First in the list of best vodka cocktails: the vodka gimlet! This sophisticated retro cocktail has a tart, refreshing flavor and a chic vibe. A gimlet it traditionally made with gin, but it common spin-off is the vodka gimlet: it's got a smoother flavor.
It’s fizzy, it’s tangy, it looks festive, and it goes down easy. What's a more classic vodka cocktail than a Moscow mule? This easy cocktail recipe was invented in the 1940’s, but it's totally timeless. With only 3 ingredients and 3 minutes required, it’s perfect for entertaining or a night in. (Also try: Mexican Mule, Kentucky Mule, or Gin Gin Mule.)
The vodka tonic is an easy two-ingredient highball cocktail with a bright, lemon lime flavor! 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. It makes for an easy drinking vodka cocktail that's light and refreshing.
Here's another classic vodka cocktail: the Cosmo! It’s got a brilliant pink color and refreshing flavor. This recipe is balanced and tangy, an improved version of the classic using 100% cranberry juice. It's an easy cocktail to make, ready to spice up your next gathering.
Another well-known vodka cocktail: the Bloody Mary! This classic brunch drink is tangy, spicy, and perfectly seasoned, featuring tomatoes, horseradish, garlic, and lemon. Here's our spin on this classic.
This bubbly and fruity Vodka Spritzer is all fun! It’s just sweet enough with a subtle berry flavor: tangy, refreshing and sparkling all at once. Cranberry juice makes the brilliant red color, but it’s 100% juice so it’s tart and crisp instead of saccharine. It makes for the most satisfying party drink that you won’t want to end!
Ingredients: Vodka, cranberry juice, strawberries, lemon, soda water
The Sidecar is one of the great classic sour cocktails. It's typically made with brandy, but this version swaps it out with…you guessed it, vodka! Sometimes trying to improve on a classic comes up a little short. But this vodka sidecar is absolutely worth making. It’s refreshingly tangy, with a little vodka zing on the back end.
This vodka smash cocktail is all about smashed fruit and ice! 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. And it goes down easy.
Ingredients: Lime, fresh mint, blackberries or raspberries, vodka, simple syrup, soda water
Here's a famous vodka cocktail that's creamy and sweet: the White Russian! It takes just 2 minutes to make and hits the spot in any season. Perhaps you know it from the 1990’s movie The Big Lebowski, but this drink has been around since the 1950’s. Also try it without the cream as a Black Russian.
Here’s an easy vodka 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. Just lime, vodka and soda water make the best hydrating combination! This concept is actually called a “rickey”, a classic cocktail made with liquor and soda water.
Looking for a fruity vodka cocktail? Enter: the Bay Breeze! Also called the Hawaiian Sea Breeze, it has a vivid color and sweet tart flavor. Featuring the tropical taste of pineapple, it feels carefree and beachy.
Want a vodka cocktail that’s laid-back, tart and refreshing? Look no further than the Sea Breeze cocktail! It tastes just like its name: light, breezy, and all about no-frills vibes. See also: Madras Cocktail and Transfusion.
Ingredients: Vodka, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice
This vodka cocktail is intensely sweet tart! Use citron vodka for the most lemony flavor: otherwise, regular vodka works. It’s festive and refreshing, with a lemon twist and sugar rim. And there many more vodka martinis to try!
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.