When it comes to mixed drinks, vodka seems to be everyone's go-to liquor. It goes down easy and tastes decent with pretty much anything. So we decided it was time to (literally) shake things up a bit with our go-to classic vodka drinks. With simple, classic cocktails—vodka martini, vodka tonic—to creative creations (boozy Butterbeer punch, anyone?), these vodka cocktails will be new party favorites starring your fav liquor.
From Moscow mules to Bloody Marys, vodka is the perfect blank canvas for sweet, sour, and savory flavors. Usually made from grain or potatoes, vodka is ideal as a base because of its neutral flavor. But not all vodka is built the same. If you're stirring up a simple martini or any other cocktail with minimal ingredients, quality is key. Whether you're drinking it straight or mixed, check out our top vodka brands to add to your bar cart.
Vodka is also our favorite for infusing with all kinds of flavors. Our list includes sour patch watermelon-infused vodka for our boozy sour watermelon slushies, Reese's Pieces-infused vodka (yes, really) for a drunken Peanut Butter cup cocktail, and even pickle-infused vodka perfect for Bloody Marys.
These vodka cocktails will shake (and stir) up your mixed drink game, sure, but what exactly is the deal with shaken or stirred martinis? According to bartenders, you only shake a cocktail when it includes non-alcoholic ingredients (citrus, cream, egg whites, herbs, fresh fruit, etc.), while stirring is saved for alcohol-forward cocktails (think martinis and Manhattans). IF you forget, don't worry. There might be a change in texture, cloudiness, and mouthfeel if you mix it up (no pun intended), but the flavor shouldn't change too drastically.
And just like that, this amazing throwback cocktail brings us right back to Sex and the City. Tart and citrusy with a real punch, it's a classic for every at home bartender to know.
Get the Perfect Cosmopolitan recipe.
Lemon-Poppy Seed Drop
Combining our love of sweet-tart lemon drop martinis and spring-y lemon poppy seed muffins, this cheery cocktail is the perfect balance of citrus and nutty poppy seed flavor. If you'd like to enhance the nuttiness of the poppy seeds, simply toast them in a hot dry pan for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant, then cool before mixing with your sugar.
Get the Lemon-Poppy Seed Drop recipe.
Developed in Ocean City at the Harborside Bar & Grill, it’s no wonder this refreshing cocktail has found popularity outside of Maryland’s borders. Intensely juicy and citrus-forward, the drink was originally made with orange-flavored vodka, although regular vodka works just as well.
Get the Orange Crush recipe.
Long Island Iced Tea
Vodka is just one of the five alcohols in this notoriously boozy drink that somehow still manages to taste incredible and resemble the taste of a lemony sweet tea. Tip: A homemade sour mix with lemon, lime, and grapefruit adds a bit more complexity that takes this drink up several notches.
Get the Long Island Iced Tea recipe.
Deep Blue Vodka Punch
If Shark Week is basically your Christmas, then consider this our gift to you. Be sure to prepare the "lifesaver" well in advance so that it's fully frozen. As the ice cream melts, it will create foamy white waves, making the punch extra creamy. You just might need a bigger punch bowl.
Get the Deep Blue Vodka Punch recipe.
Mackenzie Filson is a food writer and contributing digital food producer at Delish. Her favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate-pine. If wine was an astrological sign she'd be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. She's never met a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos she didn't eat in one sitting.
Taylor Worden is Delish's Assistant Digital Food Producer, where she creates recipe galleries, recipe updates and more. She was previously a freelance editor on the food team for Good Housekeeping, where she also contributed entertainment and culture pieces as a freelance writer. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism and a lifelong love of writing. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, testing out a new pasta recipe, or rewatching one of her favorite shows.
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