Quick, step away from that vodka soda! Keeping the spirit high with the celebration of International Vodka Day, vodka is one of the most versatile spirits for cocktails, and is distilled from grains or starchy potatoes. The word vodka comes from the Slavic word voda which means water. It’s time to take your home bartending game up several notches with just a few creative and easy vodka cocktail recipes that will make your place the hottest bar in town. When it comes to mixed drinks, vodka is the go-to liquor and it can do so much than just disappear in your cocktail. So we decided it was time to (literally) shake things up a bit with our go-to classic vodka drinks. Featuring simple, classic cocktails—vodka martini, Cosmos, and screwdrivers— and creative creations (frozen watermelon mules, anyone?), these 6 vodka cocktails will get you out of your vodka-soda routine.
Prep: 10 mins
Put 1 martini glass in the fridge to chill. Mix 1 tbsp white caster sugar with the finely grated zest of ½ lemon, set aside. Pour 50ml vodka into a cocktail shaker and add 25ml triple sec, 25ml lemon juice and a handful of ice. Shake really well until the outside of the shaker feels cold. Dip the rim of the chilled glass in water, shake off the excess then dip into the sugar and zest mix. Strain the contents of the shaker into your prepared glass and enjoy.
Classic White Russian
This classic dessert cocktail is a real treat for vodka and coffee lovers alike. Combine 1.5 – 2 ounces of vodka with 1 ounce of coffee liqueur and 1/2 – 1 ounce of heavy cream. I offer a range of measurements here because some prefer a stronger, more vodka-forward drink, while others like it to taste more like coffee ice cream. Yum!
Frozen Watermelon Mules
Add the cubed watermelon to a blender and blend until smooth till you get what will be our homemade watermelon puree. Strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer 2-3 times or until completely pulp free and smooth. Alternatively, run through a nut milk bag if you have one. Add the watermelon juice (you should be left with 1 cup) to a cocktail shaker with the vodka, lime juice and sweetener if using. Shake with ice. Pour over more ice and enjoy!
Make it fizzy by topping with a splash of club soda or even sprite if you like it sweeter and with extra carbonation.
Brunch simply isn’t brunch without the presence of a Bloody Mary. The hearty drink is said to be the ultimate hangover cure, and can be topped with everything from a simple celery stick to mini burgers, crab legs, and everything in between. To make one, combine vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and celery salt in a Highball glass. Top with your garnish of choice, and sip to start the day off right.
A simple cocktail is ideal for rough mornings, it might be the simplest to make, however, hits the right spot. The screwdriver is made by combining any vodka of your choice along with fresh orange juice in a Highball glass with crushed ice. This drink is best served with an orange slice as garnish and a side of fried eggs.
The Espresso Martini
This Martini riff is served shaken, not stirred. Invented in 1983 by London bartender Dick Bradsell, the Espresso Martini was originally created for a model who asked for a cocktail that would “wake her up and f*ck her up.” If you have a similar goal, try out this drink.
It is a combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, fresh espresso, and simple sweet syrup. Shake all ingredients together, strain into a Martini or coupe glass, and top with coffee beans for presentation.
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