Vodka Mixers Master List: Every Drink That Perfectly Pairs With Vodka
Now, more Americans are drinking vodka (Yes, even more than beer and wine) and it has become the country’s largest spirit category by volume. What to mix with vodka? There’s a lot of vodka mixers to choose from that suit any taste preference, but not all of them are a perfect match. In this post, we’ve narrowed down the drinks that flawlessly blend with this favorite Russian spirit.
We know what you’re wondering and the answer is yes — they’re basically the same thing. Seltzer is made by carbonating plain water with carbon dioxide, occasionally flavored using natural fruit essences and oils. Club soda is just like seltzer water, but aside from CO2, various compounds are added. Sparkling water, on the other hand, contains minerals that occur naturally.
The water helps mask the vodka’s strength without diluting flavor, while the fizz adds just a little extra to the cocktail. Pour vodka into a glass, put ice cubes, and top it with your choice of seltzer, soda, or sparkling water. To add more kick to your Vodka Soda, add a heavy squeeze of lime. If you want to take it to the next level, watch this video.
Compared to bubbly, carbonated waters, tonic water is a different kind entirely. It’s generally known for its distinct bitter taste which is borderline medicinal. As a matter of fact, it contains quinine and was originally intended as a preventive measure against malaria. There’s a plethora of good quality tonics on the market that features subtle flavors.
Tonic water is the quintessential alcohol companion and can be used with virtually any spirit. Its most popular love child? The Vodka Tonic. It’s an easy-to-make, refreshing mixed drink that people associate with unwinding at the end of a stressful day.
While Gin and Tonic rely on the flavor of gin's botanicals, Vodka Tonic is cleaner which allows the taste of the tonic water to stand out in contrast to the sharp snap of lime. Remember that tonics can be very sugary (despite the bitterness), so if you’re watching your sugar, make sure to read the label.
When searching for some of the most popular cocktails in the world — mojitos, margaritas, sours, mai tais, and juleps — you’ll find simple syrup in all of them. Simply measure one part sugar and one part water and mix them up into a syrup. You can buy a bottled version of it or whip it up at home.
Combine equal parts of simple syrup and your favorite lime juice (even better if you have freshly-squeezed lime), plus twice as much vodka served ice-cold. Voila! You now have a Vodka Gimlet. It’s a spin on the classic gimlet that typically uses gin. The recipe is like daiquiri but the rum is replaced with vodka. You can also ditch the simple syrup and replace it with a high-end blue triple sec instead and you’ve got yourself a Kamikaze.
It’s a mystery that the Screwdriver cocktail doesn’t get the eminence it deserves, especially when Americans buy orange juice more than any other juices. When you hear 'summer', you think rum or tequila. However, vodka lovers will tell you that a dash of tropical fruit into a glass of vodka is as every bit as summery. Pineapple juice has the same effect, too!
Its sweet, tangy citrus taste offset by the faintest spicy bite of vodka is one of the best mixtures ever conceived by man. Vodka mixed with orange or pineapple juice is as easy as a cocktail gets — just combine two things, creating a base that’s open for experimentation.
You’re probably going to need more agents to boost the flavor and make this combination truly tasteful. The Bloody Mary, which is essentially tomato juice and vodka, is a popular drink when you’re hungover. Apparently, they taste better when you’re aboard a plane.
Tomatoes are rich in electrolytes, mainly sodium and potassium, as well as our friendly neighborhood antioxidant — Vitamin C. When partnered with vodka, tomato juice makes for a restorative elixir and hangover cure. Also, vodka is often associated with that "hair of the dog" tradition which says drinking the same alcohol that made you drunk, makes you feel better.
Aside from electrolytes and Vitamin C, tomato juice also contains lycopene and vitamin B6 that help fight skin aging and lower the risk of certain types of cancer. It’s known to be a digestive aid, too!
"I’d like a cheeseburger, large fries and a Cosmopolitan", says Carrie from Sex and the City. This ‘90s favorite cocktail (created during the cocktail collapse of the late ‘80s), is essentially vodka and cranberry juice. As the Cosmo craze has proven, those two ingredients are all that you need for a simple yet effective “party anywhere” drink in a martini glass.
The cranberry-vodka combo essentially picks out the best features of margarita and one-ups it: multi-layered, blazingly acidic, and refreshingly convoluted. It’s so good that even if you’re a vodka-hater, you won’t be able to deny its brilliance.
Popular Brands: Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice, Dynamic Health Pure Cranberry
Depending on the amount, tart cranberry serves as a light companion that can completely disguise the taste of vodka. The usual supporting cast is made up of orange-flavored triple sec liqueur and freshly-squeezed lime, and you get the classic Cosmopolitan recipe. You can also make it more fruity and refreshing by adding grapefruit into the vodka mix.
Iced tea and vodka, third-wheeled by lemonade, create a light and refreshing summer drink. It’s okay to solely use lemonade to mix with vodka (you can even make it blue). But if you want to include both, it’s called a John Daly, named after the American golfer and his infamous alcohol problems.
When you pour an ounce or two of vodka and equal parts lemonade and iced tea, it’s an instant winning sipper perfect for porches and poolside lounge chairs. Tea naturally has that refreshing nature that interacts well with the sweet and citrusy lemonade and the knockout punch of vodka.
You’d have to be living under a rock to not hear about Moscow Mule. One of the most popular drinks, Moscow Mule is a mix of vodka, bright lime juice, and spicy-sweet ginger beer. The trick is to choose the right ginger beer to get the most out of your vodka mix. Go for the fiery brands and avoid the ones that are too sweet.
Combining ginger beer and vodka creates a delightfully fizzy drink — a true crowd-pleaser not only during hot summer days but also during the holidays. The appeal comes from that elusive balance between spicy, sweet, and strong. Sure enough, vodka does not mask the sharp and spicy flavor of ginger beer.
Add fresh fruit straight from the market, sprinkle other spices to complement the ginger during cold months, or mix it with floral liqueurs or edible flowers in the spring. You can make it even more perfect using a copper mug as it enhances your Moscow Mule’s taste, intensifies the fizziness, and keeps it warm.
People have been mixing caffeine and vodka since World War II and there are several modern cocktails that are inspired by this. It’s a hit among those who are looking for that refreshing and short vodka drink that wakes up the senses. Its poster child is the Black Russian, made from five parts of your favorite vodka mixed with two parts coffee liqueur over ice.
It’s a satisfying concoction that doesn't require splurging on the vodka; a budget vodka bottle will do just fine. The vodka does not add much flavor on its own, so the drink tastes like sweetened coffee. However, you can always tinker the ratio of coffee liqueur and vodka to make the drink stronger and dryer.
You can even take it up a notch by adding a shot of cold espresso and some bitters into the vodka mix. This is called an Espresso Martini. There are several iterations out there, but the main attraction is the double hit of coffee flavor. Add a dash of chocolate bitters for a little more dimension.
Amaretto is a delicious Italian liqueur made from almond and apricot kernels. It’s velvety with a rich almond-like flavor and aroma. Originally, amaretto is flavored from bitter almonds. However, modern commercial brands are now using a base of apricot stones or peach stones. Amaretto can be a stand-alone drink and generally contains 21 to 28% alcohol by volume.
Popular Brands: DeKuyper Amaretto Liqueur, Disaronno Originale Amaretto, Monin Almond-Caramel Amaretto Syrup
Amaretto is thick and excessively sweet straight out of the bottle, but it can also be pretty bitter. The sweetness differs depending on the brand’s concentration, and you might detect hints of herbs and spices in some of them. Premium amaretto is more likely to have less sugar than many of the cheaper alternatives.
Combine that with vodka and you get what is called the Godmother (the Godfather is made of scotch). The neutral taste of vodka enhances the delicate bitter flavor of almond, without adding further sweetness. It’s a classic after-dinner drink paired with desserts or finger food with smoked salmon or caviar.
People often say “vodka goes with anything” because of its neutral nature, but that’s not necessarily true. For instance, everybody says vodka and Red Bull are a good match but in reality, there’s nothing spectacular about the taste and it’s actually a bad idea to mix them. We hope that this list of vodka mixers helped you make an informed choice in creating your next masterpiece. Don't forget to pour your drink in the right bar glass. Cheers!