Here are all the best vodka cocktails to try! There are so many tasty classic drinks to try, from the Moscow mule to the Cosmo to the vodka tonic. Cheers!
Got a bottle of vodka and need to use it up? There are a myriad of vodka cocktails to try: and they 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 ones like the Gimlet and Cosmo, spicy like the Bloody Mary, and bubbly ones like the Vodka Tonic. These drinks should be in every cocktail enthusiasts repertoire. Let’s get started!
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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
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.
Ingredients: Vodka, lemon, tomatoes, horseradish, Tabasco, Worcestershire, Old Bay, garlic
Here's a tasty drink that's everything summer: a watermelon vodka cocktail! It's tangy and sweet tart, perfectly balanced between watermelon, bright lime and vodka. And that mini watermelon garnish? Perfection.
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.
Ingredients: Vodka, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice
This vodka cocktail is as refreshing as it is sophisticated: the Cucumber Martini! It’s a cool, crisp take on the classic martini starring cucumber, vodka, and the floral notes of St Germain. Take one sip and your palate will be amazed: it’s fresh, dry, and floral, with just the right scent of cucumber. Another great martini? The Vesper Martini, invented by James Bond himself!
Ingredients: cucumber, vodka, dry vermouth, St Germain
Looking for a fun vodka cocktail as a signature drink for your next gathering? Try a Pomegranate Martini! Crisp, sweet tart, fruity, and light: it’s much closer to a Cosmo than the classic martini. But instead of cranberry juice like the Cosmopolitan, it’s made with pomegranate juice instead.
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.