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Here’s how to make the best vodka tonic, one of the easiest mixed drinks of all time! This two-ingredient cocktail is bubbly, citrusy, and refreshing.

Vodka tonic
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Looking for a refreshing 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. It makes for a drink where you might not be able to taste the alcohol at all (so beware!). While it’s simple, there are a few tips on making the very best vodka tonic. Here’s how to make this two-ingredient cocktail!

What’s a vodka tonic?

The vodka tonic is a highball cocktail, part of a family of drinks that pair liquor with a larger portion of a non-alcoholic mixer (like tonic water or soda water). The most popular highball drinks are the Gin and Tonic and the Whiskey Highball, but there are many others (the Americano, Tequila Sunrise, Vodka Cranberry, Sea Breeze, etc). The ingredients for a vodka tonic are:

  • Vodka
  • Tonic water
  • Lemon wedge and lime wedge

While the ingredients are simple, there are few tricks to the best vodka tonic. Here’s what we recommend!

Vodka tonic

Tip 1: Use good tonic water (and vodka!).

Tonic water is a carbonated water that also contains quinine and is lightly sweetened. Its flavor is bubbly, bitter, sweet and a little sour all at once. Classic cocktails used tonic water not only to dilute liquor with bubbles, but for its nuance in flavor. These days there are lots of tonic water brands out there. Our favorite brand is Q Tonic: it has great flavor and is sold in small cans, just enough for a few drinks.

Of course, you’ll also want to use great vodka! Because this drink is so simple, it needs quality vodka (though not as important as in other cocktails). Try to find a mid-price range vodka; the price is generally indicative of the quality inside the bottle.

Vodka tonic

Tip 2: Add both lemon and lime juice.

To get the best flavor in a vodka tonic, use both lemon and lime! Please don’t go minimalist on us and think that one is enough. OK, we’ll forgive you if you do! But there’s something about using both citrus together that gets the perfect zingy flavor. Try it with just one or the other, and something’s missing. Give a wedge of each one a good squeeze into the drink, then throw them in as a garnish too.

Tip 3: Pour the tonic water over a spoon.

One last tip to making the best vodka tonic! When you’re adding the tonic water, pour it over a spoon into the drink. This is known to make it more bubbly. Now, we don’t have any scientific proof of this! But why not.

Vodka tonic

When to serve a vodka tonic

The vodka tonic is a classic and carefree vodka cocktail. It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Vodka tonic

*Best* Vodka Tonic

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

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


Here’s how to make the best vodka tonic, one of the easiest mixed drinks of all time! This two-ingredient cocktail is bubbly, citrusy, and refreshing.


  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) vodka
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) tonic water
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 lime wedge, plus additional for garnish


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the vodka and stir several times. Pour the tonic water onto a bar spoon into the glass (to increase the bubbles).
  3. Squeeze in the juice from 1 lemon wedge and 1 lime wedge. Add the squeezed wedges into the drink, then add another lime wedge to the glass as a garnish.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More vodka cocktails

This vodka tonic is one in a list of the best vodka cocktails to try! Here are a few more to use up your bottle:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Tee El says:

    Perfect! Just made this as an after dinner drink and it was perfect. I used Tahoe Blue but Tito’s or Grey Goose would be great too. I think a slightly larger portion recipe would be great too.

  2. Linda Shelburne says:

    I am making your Best Vodka Tonic.
    Please recommend the best brand of vodka.
    I can’t wait to make it!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Any mid-level vodka would work! We like Tito’s.

  3. Lee Heddins says:

    What is the name of your cookbook?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Pretty Simple Cooking.

  4. William Twaddell says:

    Of all the recipes for Vodka Tonics online, I chose yours. Not sure about the others, because I have not tried any of them! Yours is just the best. Best wishes to you.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!