21 Must-Know Vodka Drinks From Classic to Creative

Bottle of vodka in distillery

From casual drinkers to cocktail enthusiasts, every person who indulges in the world's best spirits can agree that vodka drinks never fail to be delicious. Thanks to the liquor's basic flavor, it can pair well with every ingredient it's tossed together with. So, if you're looking for a little inspiration for how to dress up your go-to bottle of vodka, take a look at these twenty-one vodka drinks that every amateur mixologist needs to know how to make.

1. Vodka Sour

A vodka take on the original whiskey sour, this frothy cocktail's easy ingredients create a light and punchy drink.

Two vodka sours

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel and ground nutmeg for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the egg white, lemon juice, simple syrup, and vodka.
  2. Dry shake vigorously for a full minute.
  3. Add ice and shake again until chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass.
  5. Garnish with the lime wheel and a grating of nutmeg.

2. Screwdriver

One of the most well-known orange juice-based cocktails around and alarmingly easy to make, a screwdriver is a classic vodka highball that's the best kind of morning, noon, and night drink.

Screwdriver Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Orange juice
  • Orange wedge and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass filled with ice, pour the vodka and orange juice.
  2. Stir.
  3. Garnish with a classic garnish "flag" - an orange wedge and a cherry.

3. Vodka Tonic

If you're looking for a more subdued cocktail that doesn't require a lot of prep, make yourself this two-ingredient vodka tonic.

Vodka Tonic drink with lemon

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Tonic water
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass filled with ice, pour in the vodka.
  2. Top with the tonic water and garnish with a lemon wedge.

4. Vodka Gimlet

This vodka version of the classic gin drink, the gimlet, combines lime juice, simple syrup, and vodka for a light and refreshing finish.

Vodka gimlet cocktail with lime

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Lime spiral for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, simple syrup, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass. Garnish with the lime spiral.

5. Vodka Collins

Another variation of a classic gin cocktail, this vodka collins brings lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, and club soda together for a great drink that you won't regret tomorrow.

Tom Collins Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ ounces simple syrup
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a collins glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge.

6. Thunderstorm

In order to make this vodka twist on the traditional rum cocktail, the dark 'n stormy, just combine ginger beer and vodka over ice.

Dark and stormy cocktails

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a collins glass filled with ice, pour the vodka.
  2. Top off with the ginger beer and stir using a cocktail spoon or stirring stick.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

7. Boozy Lemonade

You can't go wrong with adding a little bit of vodka to the best summer beverage; if you're not a huge fan of original lemonade, you can always substitute it with your favorite flavored versions.

Iced lemonade with lemons

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Lemonade
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a collins glass filled with ice, pour the vodka.
  2. Top with lemonade and stir.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

8. Red Snapper

A close cousin of the popular bloody Mary, the Red Snapper brings together an interesting array of ingredients like cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato juice.

Red Snapper Cocktail on the Rocks

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1½ ounces tomato juice
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, tomato juice, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a tall glass or rocks glass and serve.

9. Sex on the Beach

Sex on the beach is a beachfront favorite, mixing together orange, cranberry, peach, and raspberry flavors together for a wonderfully fruity cocktail.

Cocktail glass, orange, lime and lemon

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounce orange juice
  • 1½ ounces cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce peach schnapps
  • ½ ounce Chambord
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the orange juice, cranberry juice, peach schnapps, Chambord, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon wedge.

10. Harvey Wallbanger

Another orange juice cocktail, the Harvey Wallbanger combines orange juice, vodka, and Galliano L'Autentico liqueur together for another drink to add to your brunch menu.

Mixed drinks on table

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • ½ ounces Galliano L'Autentico liqueur
  • Orange slice for garnish
  • Lemon or lime slice for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a tall glass, pour the orange juice and vodka.
  2. Add ice and stir.
  3. Pour the Galliano directly onto the drink's surface over the back of a cocktail spoon to create a float of Galliano.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice and another citrus slice and serve.

11. Frozen Strawberry Vodka Daiquiri

There's nothing that screams vacation quite like having a frozen strawberry daiquiri in your hand. While traditional daiquiris are made with rum, this vodka version is just as delicious.

Two strawberry daiquiris beside a resort swimming pool

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce strawberry liqueur
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, strawberry liqueur, vodka, and ice.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass or margarita glass and serve.

12. Vodka Honeysuckle Cocktail

This sweet concoction uses the best of nature's natural sweeteners to create a springy drink that you'll want to enjoy surrounded by nature.

Two honeysuckle cocktails on a table

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce honey simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¾ once freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the honey simple syrup, molasses, lime juice, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe, or champagne, glass and serve.

13. Agent Orange

This potent citrus cocktail combines orange juice, orange liqueur, and vodka for a powerful and antioxidant-packed experience.

Vodka and orange juice with peel and sliced fruit

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the orange juice, orange liqueur, triple sec, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a few orange peels.

14. Vesper Martini

You can thank 007 for the classic vesper martini, which adjusts the basic martini formula slightly by combing Lillet Blanc, vodka, and gin.

Vesper martini with a twist

Ingredients

  • ¼ ounce Lillet Blanc
  • ½ ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces gin
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the Lillet Blanc, vodka, and gin.
  2. Add ice and stir to chill.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

15. Frozen Moscow Mule

Moscow mules are all the rage nowadays, and you can wow even the most mule-loving Millennial with a batch of this frozen Moscow mule recipe.

Frozen Moscow Mule

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 1½ ounce vodka
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Blend until the mixture resembles a slushy texture and pour into a chilled glass like a margarita glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.

16. Shirley Temple Grows Up

A classic Shirley Temple is nonalcoholic, but adding an ounce or two of vodka to the mixture can transform this childhood staple into an adult indulgence.

Shirley Temple Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ginger ale
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a collins glass filled with ice, pour the grenadine and vodka.
  2. Top with ginger ale and stir.
  3. Garnish with a cherry.

17. Brass Monkey

The brass monkey creates a rich taste by combing orange juice, vodka, and dark rum together, over a tall glass full of ice.

Brass Monkey Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1 citrus wedge (lime, orange, lemon) for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a tall glass filled with ice, combine the orange juice, vodka, and dark rum.
  2. Stir with a cocktail spoon and garnish with a citrus wedge.

18. Green Russian

A lesser-known drink that belongs to the black Russian cocktail family, this green Russian recipe substitutes Midori for Kahlúa to create an unearthly green coloring and a uniquely flavored cocktail.

Green Russian

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce cream
  • 1½ ounces Midori
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine the cream, Midori, and vodka.
  2. Stir.

19. Amber Moon

This vodka version of the unusual breakfast drink isn't for the faint of heart. Made famous in Murder on the Orient Express, this cocktail puts vodka and a few dashes of Tabasco hot sauce over a raw egg.

Man drinking Amber Moon

Ingredients

  • 1 raw egg
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce

Instructions

  1. Crack an egg into a rocks glass; make sure you don't break the yolk.
  2. Pour the vodka and Tabasco sauce on top and serve.

20. French Martini

A classic French martini mixes pineapple juice, Chambord liqueur, and vodka together for a light and fruity flavor.

French Martini Cocktail In Glass On Table

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • ¼ ounce Chambord
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Strawberry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the pineapple juice, Chambord, and vodka.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a strawberry.

21. Vodka Red Bull

Vodka Red Bulls continue to take America's college campuses by storm, but sometimes the kick of buzzing energy that you get from combining the two ingredients together is just what you need to get through a night of dancing.

Vodka With Red Bull

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Red Bull

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass filled with ice, pour the vodka.
  2. Top with Red Bull.

Simple Mixer Options for Vodka

You can't go wrong with having a spirit and a mixer, and vodka is the best spirit to pair with single ingredient mixers because its flavor isn't powerful enough to require a more specialized treatment. From juices, to tonics and sodas, vodka can be added to just about anything. Here are a few mixers to get you started:

  • Cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
  • Orange juice
  • Club soda
  • Tonic water
  • Pineapple juice
  • Lemonade
  • Ginger ale
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Cola

Don't Forget to Take Your Vitamin V

If this list has taught you anything, it's that there seems to be an infinite number of ways for you to get your weekly dose of vitamin v. It doesn't matter which types of flavors you like best or mixers you keep stocked in your pantry; there's a vodka drink out there that'll blow your mind.

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21 Must-Know Vodka Drinks From Classic to Creative