Vodka is one of the best liquors for making mixed drinks and cocktails. Its lack of color helps it mix well with other ingredients without creating unattractively colored drinks, and its flavor blends well with many others; there’s a reason there’s more variety to flavored vodka than any other liquor.
Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a dinner party or create a signature cocktail for a large celebration, any of these vodka-based cocktails should do the trick.
The Vodka Cranberry
Simple and classic, the vodka cranberry has been a mainstay of vodka cocktails for years. The cranberry and vodka flavors play well together, the cranberry helping the vodka go down smoothly and the vodka cutting through some of the cranberry’s tartness. To makes this drink, all you need is:
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 5 oz cranberry juice
Pour the cranberry juice and vodka into a highball glass filled with ice and stir and garnish with a lime wheel.
The Georgia Peach Cocktail
An excellent cocktail for summer, this cocktail includes the wonderfully sweet flavors of peaches and oranges with a splash of tart cranberry. To make a Georgia Peach Cocktail, you’ll want:
- 1 peach
- 2 oz vodka
- 3 oz orange juice
- 2 oz cranberry juice
Skin and pit the peach and cut into cubes, then place in a blender. Add vodka and orange juice and blend until smooth. Pour the blended mixture into a glass filled with ice and add cranberry juice. Stir lightly.
For a stronger cocktail, you can also add 1/2 oz triple sec. For something sweeter, consider adding 1/2 tsp agave.
The Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule
The Moscow Mule is one of the most popular cocktails on the market today thanks to its distinctive copper mug and the hundreds of variations the cocktail is suited to. The Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule is a great play on the original that is perfect for the fall. To make one you’ll need:
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz cranberry-apple juice
- 1/4 oz lime juice
- ginger beer
Pour the vodka, cranberry-apple juice, and lime juice in a copper mule mug filled with ice and stir to combine. Top off the mug with ginger beer and garnish with some cranberries and apple slices.
For people who find ginger beer too spicy, ginger ale works well as a substitute.
The Vodka Bee’s Knees
Usually made with gin, a Bee’s Knees it’s a delightful and light cocktail with a sweet yellow color. The combination of lemon and honey is refreshing and more noticeable when vodka is used in place of the traditional gin. You’ll need:
- 2 1/2 oz vodka
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz honey
- 1 dash vanilla extract
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until combined. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
The Cucumber Mint Vodka Cocktail
While cucumber might not rank high on everyone’s list of obvious cocktail ingredients, those who have experienced it know that its unique flavor makes it remarkably refreshing, especially on hot summer days. To make a Cucumber Mint Vodka Cocktail, you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2.5 mint sprigs
- 1 tbsp minced cucumber
- 1 tbsp mint simple syrup
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 oz vodka
- 4 oz sparkling water
Using the sugar, water, and mint springs, make the mint simple syrup. Mix the sugar into the water in a saucepan and keep it at a low boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add mint springs, and allow the mixture to steep for bout 15 minutes. Strain out the leaves.
Add the diced cucumber, mint simple syrup, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the cucumber, then add vodka and ice to the shaker and shake until chilled and combined. Pour the drink into a lowball glass and garnish it with cucumber wheels and mint sprigs.
Vodka is the most popular spirit in the world. These cocktails and the hundreds of others like them are sure to show you why.