21 Vodka Cocktails Worth Stocking the Bar Cart For
From the classics to creative concoctions you'll want to try, these are the vodka cocktails you should know.
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Time to pull out your copper cups! In a pitcher, combine 4 cups chilled ginger beer with 1¼ cups vodka and ⅔ cup lime juice, then stir. Add ice to six copper mugs, divide the drink evenly and garnish with lime slices. Take your mules to the next level with these riffs on the classic recipe.
Garden of Elyx
This recipe comes from our friends at Absolut Elyx, a copper-distilled luxury vodka from Absolut. In a shaker with ice, combine 1½ ounces Elyx with 1 ounce fresh pomegranate juice and ½ ounce pink grapefruit juice. Pour into a large glass with ice and top with 2 ounces sparkling apple cider and a pinch of ground cinnamon. While you’re at it, serve this cocktail in one of Elyx’s coveted copper pineapple copper cups.
Cure the most stubborn of hangovers with our Bloody Mary recipe. Fill a shaker three-quarters of the way with ice, add 2 ounces vodka, 1 cup tomato juice, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lime juice, ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a dash each of pepper and hot sauce. Shake, covered, for 15 seconds then strain over a pint glass with ice. Add your favorite toppings to basically make it a meal. While you’re at it, try these hangover cures that are proven to help.
Inspired by a Brazilian caipirinha, this cocktail comes together by muddling 3 orange slices with a tablespoon superfine sugar and then topping with 2 ounces orange vodka and some ice. You can serve the cocktail as-is for some pulpy goodness or strain into a new glass. Do you know why vodka doesn’t freeze? We found out!
No matter what you call the original cocktail, this vodka version will still satisfy. You can make it by adding ice, 2 ounces vodka, 2 ounces lemon juice and 1 teaspoon simple syrup to a Collins (or highball) glass. Top with soda water, a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry. Did you know you can make your own simple syrup? It’s really easy, we promise!
Citrus & White Grape Party Punch
For the perfect party punch, pour 2 cups vodka, 4 cups white grape juice, a 12-ounce can each thawed frozen lemonade concentrate and frozen orange juice concentrate, and two 2-liter bottles of lemon-lime soda into a large punch bowl. Add ice, sliced lemons and green grapes. It’s so good, your party guests will ask you to mix another batch.
Take a page from The Dude’s playbook and go with a White Russian. You can make it by adding a few ice cubes to a rocks glass, adding 1½ ounces each vodka and Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur) and topping with 3 ounces heavy whipping cream. While you’re at it, make a few of these other recipes that are inspired by classic movies.
Is there anything better than a strawberry cocktail? We think not, which is why we always make this drink when these berries are in season. You can make it by muddling a sliced strawberry and basil leaves in a glass. Then in a shaker, mix 2 ounces vodka, 1 teaspoon simple syrup, 1 teaspoon cranberry juice and a pinch of pepper. Strain the cocktail into the glass, top with club soda and garnish with a basil leaf. (Yes, there is a difference between tonic, club soda and seltzer. Learn about them here.)
Feel like Bond, James Bond, by filling a cocktail shaker with ice, then add 3 ounces vodka and ½ ounce dry vermouth. Strain into a martini glass, drop in a pimiento-stuffed olive (or three) and sleuth like the British spy himself. Make sure you’re choosing the right vodka with our guide to the best vodka brand for every occasion.
For an impressive—and fun—cocktail, pour 1 ounce chilled raspberry vodka into a champagne glass, then fill it with chilled champagne. Drop a piece of pink cotton candy on top and watch as it fizzes!
Let’s be real: A screwdriver is the perfect lazy-day cocktail. Just grab a glass of ice and combine one part vodka with two parts orange juice and you’re set. Keep things easy with these two-ingredient cocktail recipes.
This cocktail from Absolut Elyx will make you feel like you’re at the spa. Just add 1½ ounces of vodka to a shaker with ice, 1 ounce pineapple juice, 1 ounce green tea and scant 1½ teaspoons each honey, fresh lime juice and aloe vera juice (which you can pick up online). Shake, strain into a glass with ice and garnish cucumber slices. Aah, we’re relaxed already.
Here’s how to make a vodka cranberry like a true Cape Codder. Add some ice to a highball glass and pour in 1½ ounces vodka and 3 ounces cranberry juice. Garnish your glass with a lime wedge and fresh cranberries for a burst of freshness. Round out the night with these recipes that are straight from the East Coast.
Have some fresh rosemary and thyme you have to use up? Muddle half a tablespoon of each in a glass, then add ice, 1½ ounces vodka, 2½ ounces lemonade and top with 2 ounces soda water. Garnish with some lemon zest and a sprig of rosemary for a fresh beverage. Here are some tips for storing fresh herbs the right way.
Carrie Bradshaw was on to something when she made this pink cocktail popular. You can turn your home into a New York City-worthy bar by adding ice, 2 ounces vodka, 2 ounces cranberry juice and ½ ounce each Triple Sec and lime juice to a shaker. Shake the drink for about 15 seconds, then strain it into a martini glass with a twist of lemon or lime peel. Catch more iconic recipes straight from the 1990s right here.
Chocolate Candy Cane Martinis
This holiday season, give yourself and your family the gift of this rich peppermint martini! Start off by combining 3 cups half-and-half with 12 ounces each cake-flavored vodka and chocolate liqueur in a pitcher. Pop it in the fridge.
While it’s chilling, use a hand mixer to beat 6 ounces softened cream cheese with a ½ cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth, then gradually beat in 2 cups heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Rim 12 martini glasses with vanilla icing and crushed candy canes, divide the cocktail between them and top each with a dollop of whipped cream mixture. If that’s too sweet for you, imbibe in these other holiday vodka cocktails instead.
In the mood for something simple? Just pour 2 ounces vodka and 4 ounces tonic water over ice, add a lime wedge and this cocktail is ready! If you prefer gin over vodka, make sure you take a look at our tips for the best gin and tonic of your life.
Add a wine-y twist to the classic Salty Dog. To a large pitcher, mix a cup of simple syrup, 2 bottles of your favorite rose wine, 2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice, 1 can ginger ale and 1 cup vodka. Pop the pitcher in the fridge to chill while you salt 16 wine glasses. Once the sangria is cool, fill the glasses with ice and sangria and share with friends. Here are 14 other sangria recipes you’ll want to make all year long.
Jalapeno Pomegranate Cocktail
This spicy cocktail requires a little bit of planning, but we swear it’s worth it. First, infuse some vodka by adding a halved and deseeded jalapeno to a jar with 1½ cups vodka. Cover and store in a cool place for two or three days for the flavor to develop.
When the infusion is ready, strain the vodka and pour it into a large pitcher with ice, 3 cups each pomegranate juice and Italian blood orange soda (like San Pellegrino). Divide between eight glasses and pair it up with a few of these spicy recipes that’ll blow your top off.
Long Island Iced Tea
If you’re in need of a stiff cocktail, Long Island Iced Tea has your back. To a large glass with ice, add 1 ounce each vodka, tequila, light rum, sour mix and Triple Sec. Top with a splash of cola, stir and enjoy while poolside. Then, travel across the U.S. with a signature cocktail for every state.
Bring home a taste of the Preakness Stakes with a classic Black-Eyed Susan. Place your bets, then pour 1 ounce each vodka and light rum, ½ ounce Triple Sec, 2 ounces each unsweetened pineapple juice and orange juice into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of lime and pitted sweet dark cherry to serve. These Derby treats are totally worth whipping up, too.