While you can enjoy vodka alone, either neat or on the rocks, it also mixes exceptionally well, thanks to the fact that it has a clear, almost water-like color and clean, subtle flavors.
You can add vodka to a mixed drink to stiffen the alcohol content or use it as one of the main ingredients in a vodka-centric cocktail. To help you get the most out of vodka and discover a wide range of new and exciting alcoholic drinks, we will go over some of the best mixers for vodka!
Whether you prefer fruity mixed drinks that hardly taste like alcohol or want to appreciate vodka’s unique flavor and characteristics and simply want to accentuate it with a subtle mixer or garnish, we can help.
Table of Contents
A wide range of cocktails and mixed drinks involve combining vodka with specific types of fruit juice. To make things simple, we will highlight the best fruit juice mixers for vodka.
The tart flavor of cranberry juice almost entirely obscures the taste of the vodka, which is why a vodka cranberry, or vodka cran, is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks for those who are not regular drinkers. For best results, purchase real cranberry juice rather than sugar-filled artificial cranberry juices.
Orange juice is another extremely popular vodka mixer. The iconic Screwdriver is simply vodka and orange juice. The tangy, sweet, and citrusy flavor of the orange juice perfectly offsets the vodka’s bite, resulting in a deliciously simple mixed drink.
Fortunately, most homes already have orange juice in the fridge, so it is also an extremely accessible vodka mixer.
While it may sound strange, tomato juice is another good vodka mixer. Tomato juice and vodka are the two central ingredients in the infamous Bloody Mary, a refreshing mixed drink that many swear is the ultimate hangover remedy. You can add flavor and heat by adding lemon juice, hot sauce, and just about anything else you think will spruce it up!
Like orange juice, grapefruit juice is another popular vodka mixer. The tart and sweet flavors of the grapefruit help cover up the harshness of the vodka. The result is a refreshing and straightforward mixed drink.
Pineapple juice also mixes exceptionally well with vodka if you prefer a more tropical taste. Add plenty of ice and enjoy outdoors on a hot day!
Lemon juice is one of the most versatile mixers, so make sure you have plenty on hand. While adding vodka to lemon juice and water makes for a delicious drink, you can also add lemon juice to a wide range of vodka-based cocktails to help cut the harshness of the vodka.
Fresh Lime Juice
Like lemon juice, lime juice is highly versatile in a bar setting. It also mixes very well with vodka, as the sour flavor of the lime juice can help cut the taste. Squeezing fresh lime juice into most juice-based vodka drinks is always a good idea!
As the name implies, simple syrup is extremely easy to make. It also happens to be a bar essential. This sweet, sugary liquid can help sweeten just about any type of cocktail or mixed drink, which can be useful when working with strong yet subtly flavored liquors like vodka.
You can purchase ready-made simple syrups, which are available in various flavors, or you can easily make your own. The process involves boiling water with equal parts sugar, so it is one of the easiest things you can make in the kitchen.
Waters and Sodas
You can use tonic water to add carbonation and a uniquely tart and sweet flavor to your vodka drinks. You can enjoy vodka and tonic water on their own or with a bit of lime juice. This is a popular option for those that enjoy the taste of vodka and just want something a little less intense.
Soda water is a sugar-free version of tonic water, so it is an excellent option for those looking to cut calories. It adds carbonation to your vodka drink and can also help to dilute it, so the flavor of the vodka is not quite as strong.
Club soda is very similar to soda water but is injected with added minerals. This can add flavor, but it is also considered a more natural alternative to tonic and soda water. It is mixed with vodka, just like the options mentioned above.
For those that enjoy the unique taste of ginger and added sweetness, ginger ale is a very versatile mixer. It mixes with vodka just as well as with bourbon or rum.
If you want added sweetness and a serious caffeine kick, Red Bull, or any other energy drink, will mix with vodka. Just make sure you do not overdo it!
Before we get into our list of the best vodka garnishes, we recommend reading through our Stocking Your Home Bar: Complete Garnishes List. This will help you garnish your vodka, non-vodka cocktails, and mixed drinks, just like a professional bartender!
Lime wedges work well as a garnish for various vodka-based cocktails and mixed drinks. It also allows the drinker to squeeze more lime juice into their glass if they find the vodka flavor too strong.
Fresh fruit works well as a garnish, especially if you make any tropical vodka drink. You can get creative here and use any of your favorite types of fruit.
Black pepper is useful for topping a Bloody Mary or any other vodka drink type if you want to add some spice. It is also a functional garnish, which looks interesting and adds flavor.
Bartenders have used maraschino cherries for over a century. These sweet, bright red cherries look great in a range of classic, prohibition-era cocktails. They also taste great and complement the flavor of vodka quite well.
Best Vodka Cocktails
A vodka tonic really is as simple as the name implies. Add two ounces of vodka to roughly five ounces of tonic water. You can also add fresh lime or lemon juice and garnish with a lime wheel. Served over ice, it is an excellent option for those that want a simple and refreshing drink.
As discussed above, the vodka cranberry works well for those that do not like the taste of alcohol. The tart and sweet flavor of the cranberry juice almost entirely obscures the flavor of the vodka, which makes cranberry juice the perfect mixer.
Simply fill a highball glass with ice, add two ounces of vodka, and fill the rest with cranberry juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
For a classy and iconic vodka cocktail, combine three ounces of vodka with one ounce of dry vermouth in a mixing glass. Stir or shake with ice cubes, then strain into a chilled martini glass. You can garnish with olives on a toothpick.
When it comes to martinis, people can be extremely particular about what they like. If you have ever watched a James Bond movie, you are probably familiar with this fact. To help you make and serve the perfect martinis, we recommend watching the following video – How to Make the Classic Vodka Martini the Right Way – Best Drink Recipes.
The White Russian may initially sound strange, but it is a classic vodka cocktail. In a short, tumbler-style glass, combine 1.5 ounces of vodka, one ounce of fresh cream, and one ounce of coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua. Slightly stir and serve over ice.
A Vodka Collins is a simple and refreshing drink. It is made with 1.5 ounces of vodka, one ounce of lemon juice, 0.5 ounces of simple syrup, and three to five ounces of club soda. Combine in an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange wheel.
Classic Moscow Mule
For those that enjoy the taste of ginger, the Moscow Mule is the ideal vodka cocktail. Simply combine 1.5 ounces of vodka, 1/6 ounce of lime juice, and 4 ounces of ginger beer in an ice-filled copper mug. You can garnish with a large lime wedge and a sprig of mint.
The Cape Codder is another take on the vodka cranberry. Since Cape Cod is known for growing cranberries, it was only a matter of time before they came up with their own cranberry-based cocktail.
To make it the Cape Cod way, add two ounces of vodka to a tall glass of freshly-made cranberry juice and ice. Add in a few squeezes of lime juice and garnish with lime juice and fresh Massachusetts cranberries.
Vodka Mint Julep
The Mint Julep is traditionally made with bourbon, but there are also vodka-based versions of this iconic Kentucky Derby alcoholic drink.
Combine two ounces of vodka with one teaspoon of powdered sugar, two teaspoons of water, and four mint leaves. Muddle the ingredients together in a highball glass, then fill the glass with crushed ice and stir. Garnish with a large mint sprig.
Classic Bloody Mary
There are countless Bloody Mary variations, but to make the Classic Bloody Mary, combine two ounces of vodka, 0.5 ounces of lemon juice, and three to four ounces of tomato juice in a tall glass. Add black pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to taste. Stir with ice, then garnish with a lime wedge and celery stalk.
For a more detailed Bloody Mary recipe, visit the AllRecipes Classic Bloody Mary Guide. You can also scroll to the bottom for a wide range of Bloody Mary variations if you prefer to get creative!
Lemon Drop Martini
For those that enjoy sour cocktails, the Lemon Drop Martini is perhaps the best way to enjoy vodka. Combine two ounces of vodka, one ounce of triple sec, one ounce of fresh lemon juice, and 0.5 ounces of simple syrup. Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain and serve in a martini glass. You can garnish it with a lemon wedge.
The Classic Screwdriver is one of the easiest vodka cocktails to make. Simply combine two ounces of vodka with six ounces of orange juice in any glass. Garnish with an orange slice and serve over ice.
Vodka Arnold Palmer
An Arnold Palmer can be enjoyed alcohol-free or with vodka. To make the vodka version, add two ounces of vodka with three ounces of lemonade and three ounces of iced tea. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig. It should also be served over ice in a tall glass.
Coffee lovers will enjoy the espresso martini. Add two ounces of vodka with 0.5 ounces of coffee liqueur to one ounce of freshly brewed espresso. Mix the three ingredients, then serve in a martini glass. For added style, garnish with several unground coffee beans.
For a more detailed breakdown of how to make the perfect espresso martini, visit the Liquor.com Guide to the Perfect Espresso Martini.
Any vodka lover should have a few martini glasses. This iconic glassware is essential if you plan on making classic martinis, espresso martinis, or even just want to enjoy vodka more sophisticatedly.
A good cocktail shaker is essential for anyone that enjoys making cocktails with vodka or any other type of liquor. They allow you to chill your cocktails without diluting them, so you can still enjoy the subtle and distinct flavor of the vodka in your drinks.
The tall glass is essential for any high-volume vodka drink, so it is a good idea to have a few on hand if you mix your vodka.
A Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug. It is worth picking up a few of these unique and sophisticated mugs if you want to impress your guests and go for genuine authenticity.