Flavored vodkas have been growing in popularity with most brands introducing an array of new flavors. From vegetal flavors like cucumber or jalapeno to fruit flavors such as raspberry or grapefruit to sweet flavors like vanilla, caramel, and chocolate, flavored vodkas can add variety to your cocktail repertoire.
Fruit, Herbal, and Vegetal Vodka Mixers
Fruit (such as berries, citrus, peach, stone fruits, and tropical fruits), herbal (such as basil or thyme), and vegetal vodkas (such as cucumber or chili pepper) work well with similar types of mixers. Mixers that blend well with all of these vodkas are citrus or fruit-based, including:
- Lemonade or limeade
- Orange juice
- Collins mix
- Margarita mix
- Crushed fruits and berries
- Grapefruit juice
- Fresh lemon or lime juice plus simple syrup
- Triple sec or Cointreau
- Lemon-lime soda
- Pineapple juice
- Cranberry juice
- Club soda
- Tonic water
- Ginger ale
Substitutions in Classic Cocktails
Try substituting vegetal, herbal, or fruit flavored vodkas in the following classic cocktails.
- These vodkas work well with the tang of lime and the bite of ginger in a Moscow mule.
- They can add zest to the intense lime flavor of a kamikaze.
- They blend well with the tart cranberry flavor in a sea breeze.
- Add these types of flavored vodkas to Jell-O shots for added interest.
- Spice up a margarita or a daiquiri by replacing the tequila or rum with a flavored vodka.
- Use them as your vodka in a trash can punch, such as jungle juice.
Flavored Vodka Mojito Recipe
Mint and lime blend beautifully with herbal, fruit, or vegetal vodkas in this twist on a classic cocktail. Try it with any vegetal, fruit, or herbal infused vodkas. The recipe serves one.
- 6 mint leaves
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 ounces flavored vodka (some flavors to try: cucumber, orange, grapefruit, jalapeno, basil, lemon, raspberry, blackberry, peach)
- Club soda
- In a highball glass, muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of the glass.
- Add the simple syrup, lime juice, flavored vodka, and ice.
- Fill the rest of the glass with club soda and stir.
- Garnish with additional mint sprigs and a lime slice if desired.
Sweet or Spiced Vodka Mixers
Sweet vodkas such as caramel, peppermint, vanilla, whipped cream, or chocolate and spiced vodkas, such as cinnamon or cardamom, have a completely different flavor profile than the vegetal and fruit varieties. These work well with creamy or sweet mixers such as:
Classic Vodka Cocktail Substitutions
Try substituting sweet or spiced vodkas in any of the following classic cocktails.
Creamy Flavored Vodka Shake Recipe
This simple blended cocktail works with any of the sweet or spiced vodkas (such as cinnamon flavored or caramel). It uses cream soda, which has such a lovely vanilla flavor, it blends well with any sweet or spiced vodka. It serves one.
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
- 8 ounces cream soda
- 1 ounce RumChata
- 1 1/2 ounces flavored sweet or spiced vodka
- Splash of heavy cream
- Whipped cream and sprinkles (optional garnish)
- In a blender, combine the ice, cream soda, RumChata, flavored vodka, and heavy cream.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into a milkshake glass.
- Garnish if desired with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles.
Adding Variety to Cocktails
Whether you substitute them for plain vodka in classic cocktails or come up with your own creative versions, flavored vodkas add variety and tons of flavor. Once you understand how the flavors mix with classic mixers, it's easy to come up with an endless variety of flavored vodka cocktails.