Be a Bartending Rockstar at Your Next Party With These 10 Vodka Cocktails

best vodka cocktails
Courtesy of @Absolut
When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

Vodka is a clear, nearly tasteless liquor that lacks any sort of strong aroma or character. To the untrained drinker, vodka may seem kind of… blah. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Vodka is one of the most popular spirits in the world, and for good reason. While places like Poland and Russia enjoy the spirit neat, the rest of the world uses the neutral flavor profile of vodka to create delicious vodka cocktails. Really, vodka mixes well with everything from orange juice to coffee liqueur, and it also makes for a great substitute for the gin when it’s piney flavor gets too overbearing.

A good vodka can be the secret weapon in your liquor cabinet. But to be the star of your next soiree, or to simply switch up your beverage selection during quarantine (anybody else wine’d-out at the moment?), you’re going to need a guide for making the best vodka cocktails handy. Thankfully for you, that’s what can be found below.

The exact recipe for the best vodka cocktails will vary depending on your preferences and the particular recipe you use, so we’ve avoided precise measurements. So long as your favorite craft cocktail bar is closed, try your hand at mixing up one of these vodka drinks.

  

1 . Bloody Mary

Ingredients:

vodka
tomato juice
lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
horseradish
fresh lime juice
hot sauce
black pepper

We’ve all been there before — sitting at brunch with your friends, eyes red and head pounding from the previous night of sheer excess. That’s exactly why you’ll want this Bloody Mary recipe from Tito’s This brunch specialty is a savory and spicy late morning cocktail that can help you combat that hangover with a dose of hair of the dog, and vitamins and electrolytes from the tomato juice. Plus, an extra splash of hot sauce really clears the head.

best vodka cocktails Instagram @ Titos
  

2. Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

vodka
lime juice
ginger beer
lime wedge for garnish

This delicious cocktail is great for everything from back yard BBQs to happy hours at your favorite local watering hole. It’s a fairly simple drink with essentially two main ingredients according to AllRecipes.com. The trick to making a great Moscow Mule is finding a ginger beer that fits your taste. Some ginger beers can be overly spicy or too sugary, so experiment with a couple different brands to find the one for you. For a classic Mule, enjoy out of a copper mug.

vodka drinks Instagram @ Titos
  

3. Vodka Tonic

Ingredients:

vodka
tonic water
lime wedge for garnish

Even though gin enthusiasts will be insistent that a gin and tonic is the superior cocktail, a Vodka Tonic is a much more mild, and equally refreshing, way to enjoy the classic cocktail. Like the Moscow Mule, this is essentially a two-part harmony with the vodka and tonic water, but the lime wedge adds that extra refreshing, summertime flavor that takes this simple cocktail over the top. It’s also one of the easiest vodka cocktails to make. Simply mix the ingredients to taste over ice and add a lime wedge garnish.

best vodka cocktails Instagram @FiveWives
  

4. White Russian

Ingredients: 

vodka

Kahlua
heavy whipping cream or milk

A cocktail suitable enough for The Dude should probably be in your vodka cocktail repertoire. We don’t recommend drinking multiple White Russians using this Taste of Home recipe in a night or day — it’ll make for a pretty good tummy ache and help you pack on the lbs. — but coffee flavorings of the Kahlua can make for a great dessert or even breakfast cocktail. And remember, when it comes to White Russians, The Dude abides.

Working Title Films
  

5. Screwdriver

Ingredients: 

vodka

orange juice

If you’re looking for a classic two-ingredient cocktail, you can’t forget about the Screwdriver. (Thanks for the reminder, Esquire.) Like the Jack and Coke or Vodka Tonic, the Screwdriver is as simple as it is refreshing. It’s also one of the best vodka cocktails to keep in your back pocket, especially for those horrible hungover mornings. A Screwdriver can bring you back to life, and it doesn’t take much brainpower to make this delicious rise and shine drink. Just a shot of vodka and as much OJ as you want to mask the vodka, all poured over ice. You can always add a slice or two of fresh orange into the drink to class it up.

best vodka cocktails Instagram @Stoli
  

6. Vodka Martini

Ingredients:

premium vodka
dry vermouth
bitters
lemon twist or green olives

Don’t let your gin drinking friend see you order a Vodka Martini at the bar (instead make this Spruce Eats recipe at home). But really, Gin is essentially vodka without juniper, so it’s no surprise that vodka makes for a less botanical substitute for gin drinks. You can get away with vodka, ice and dry vermouth, and have what you need for the cocktail, but if you want to take it all the way, the bitters and garnish add that bit of sophistication that cocktail enthusiasts strive for.

best vodka cocktails Instagram @ Titos
  

7. Kamikazi

Ingredients:

vodka

orange liqueur (or Triple Sec)
fresh lime juice

This Liquor.com Kamikaze can be enjoyed as a cocktail, or if you feel like getting the party started — like now — Kamikazes make for delicious shots as well. Add the vodka, orange liqueur and fresh lime juice into a shaker and give it a good and thorough shaking (about 10 seconds will do). Pour into a martini glass or shot glasses and enjoy this delightful and tasty vodka cocktail. While it’s delicious anytime, the citrus ingredients make this drink one of the best vodka cocktails for summer.

vodka cocktail Courtesy of @Reyka
  

8. Espresso Martini

Ingredients:

vodka

Kahlua
espresso and/or espresso liquer
coffee beans for garnish

An Espresso Martini from Absolut Drinks is a delicious way to cleanse the palate and get a little pep in your step after a meal. You’ll want to make sure you prepare the espresso well beforehand and let it chill, which will make your drink colder and more delicious. Add all the ingredients into a shaker and give it a good shake. Strain into a martini glass and top with the coffee beans for a distinct and classy cocktail topper. You can also substitute a vanilla-flavored vodka for a sweeter cocktail.

vodka cocktails Instagram @ Absolut
  

9. Cosmo

Ingredients:

lemon or citrus vodka

Cointreau
cranberry juice
fresh lime juice
orange peel for garnish

With a bold claim as “the best Cosmopolitan in the world” this Noble pig recipe calls for top-shelf liquor including a high-end citron vodka (plain vodka isn’t flavorful enough) and Cointreau instead of Triple Sec. Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and give it hell (at least till you feel the drink get cold). Strain into a martini glass and add a little crushed ice. The end result would make ladies from Sex In The City proud. While this vodka cocktail has a reputation as a “girly drink,” that’s an old-fashioned way of approaching cocktails.

best vodka cocktails Courtesy @belvedere
  

10. Lemon Drop

Ingredients:

lemon or citrus vodka

Cointreau or Triple Sec
freshly squeezed lemon juice
simple syrup
lemon peel for garnish

A top-notch Lemon Drop from Inspired Taste is a little sweet and a little sour. The tartness of the citrus vodka and lemon juice balances out the sweetness of the simple syrup and Cointreau or Triple Sec and makes for a delicious summer vodka cocktail. Add all the ingredients with ice into a cocktail shaker and go at it until the contents are nice and cold. To keep things really classy, take a martini glass and dip it into lemon sugar (sugar and lemon zest mixed) before you strain into the martini glass.

vodka cocktails Courtesy @Absolut
  

The 11 Best Bottles of Vodka for Every Type of Drinker