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Try this Vodka Soda recipe: a tangy, bubbly drink! It’s light and refreshing, with slightly less calories than the typical cocktail.

Vodka Soda

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. Just lime, vodka and soda water make the best hydrating combination! Bonus: it’s a low calorie cocktail, too. This concept is actually called a “rickey”, a classic cocktail made with liquor and soda water. Here’s how to make it and a bit more about the drink!

What’s a Vodka Soda?

The vodka soda is a highball cocktail made with vodka, lime juice, and soda water. The concept of watering down spirits has a long history. The drink is related to the Gin Rickey, a cocktail invented in the 1880’s! It was first created with bourbon, then became very popular with gin a few years later, pairing the spirit with lime juice and soda water. Other cocktails that use this concept are the Whiskey Highball, Ranch Water, the Mojito, and the Aperol Spritz.

How to make a vodka soda? It’s very simple, like most highball cocktails! Grab these ingredients and pour them into a glass:

  • Vodka: any type
  • Lime juice: from a fresh lime, not bottled lime juice!
  • Soda water: which is unsweetened, not tonic water (which has sugar)
Vodka soda

Vodka soda calories

Some people choose this drink because it’s considered a “healthy cocktail” and has less calories than the standard cocktail. How many calories in a vodka soda? This drink has 135 calories, 131 of which come from the 2 ounces of vodka in this drink. How does this stack up compared to other cocktails? Here’s a comparison of some popular drinks with the calories in vodka soda:

  • Vodka soda: 135 calories
  • Whiskey sour: 224 calories
  • Negroni: 200 calories
  • Old Fashioned: 155 calories
  • Margarita: 166 calories

In general, most cocktails have between 150 and 200 calories. So while the vodka soda has slightly lower calories than other drinks, it’s not significantly so. If you’re worried about calories: opt for water instead!

Step it up: add garnishes to your vodka soda

The vodka soda is a laid back cocktail that takes literally 2 minutes to make. But want to make it look a little fancier for entertaining? Here’s what to do:

  • Try clear ice. Clear ice is crystal clear instead of cloudy like normal ice. You can cut it into organic shapes and it looks like it’s from a fancy bar.
  • Add a straw. Cute, colorful straws are the perfect accessory.
  • Put a cherry on top. There’s something about a cocktail cherry that makes the mood more festive.

The concept of watering down alcohol goes back hundreds of years. For example, a Wine Spritzer is wine diluted with water, which started back in the 19th century as a way to make bubbly wine. Here are a few famous cocktails that use soda water or tonic water to water down the alcohol:

When to serve a vodka soda

The vodka soda is bubbly and refreshing. It works well for summer, but you can drink it anytime (and we do!). It’s great for serving as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Afternoon drink
  • Before dinner drink (aperitif)
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Vodka Soda

The Vodka Soda

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Try this Vodka Soda recipe: a tangy, bubbly drink! It’s light and refreshing, with slightly less calories than the typical cocktail.


  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) vodka
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) soda water
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)


  1. Place the vodka and lime juice in a highball or lowball glass and add ice. 
  2. Top off with soda water and enjoy. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Vodka soda

More famous vodka cocktails

A bottle of vodka makes so many great drinks! Here are some favorites to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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