Trying out food recipes is fun. But have you ever wanted to know how to make some of the cocktails you get served in bars and restaurants? It is with this zeal and a mind full of curiosity that I started researching some of the easiest vodka cocktails you can make at home. I mean there’s always a reason to have a cocktail right? But during my research, I also stumbled on a few tips regarding why most people prefer vodka cocktails and a few that you could use when you want to play the good bartender.
- Most day drinkers prefer vodka cocktails because they are virtually undetectable. They don’t leave behind an alcoholic smell which means your breath will still be good even after a glass or two.
- Before you begin exploring your mixologist skills, identify a few key pointers. For whom will you be making the cocktail, what the occasion and why is the drinker going to drink the cocktail. For instance, if the person is stressed you want to offer a dry cocktail to induce a calming effect. When it comes to a new drinker, you want to offer a sweet cocktail with a lot of juice. For experienced drinkers, offer a no-nonsense concoction of vodka or gin cocktail served in a chilled martini glass with one olive/lime.
However, since we are making an easy vodka cocktail to entertain friends or ourselves, instead of having plain juice, soda or water there’s no pressure to devote ourselves to the study. Yet through this practice we also get to learn the basics of cocktail technique, including, mixing, shaking, proper dilution, balancing flavours and garnishing.
Perhaps once you’ve nailed down these 10 recipes, you’ll be able to explore more cocktails and make them even better since you’ll have the knowledge and experience from making these. That said, here are the 10 recipes you can try at home when you want to make a good vodka cocktail.
A martini is a classic drink made with either gin or vodka. Gin is the preferred choice for the purist, while vodka gets its advocates as it gives the cocktail a smoother and modern taste. Vermouth is the snazzy ingredient added to lower the alcohol content while adding flavour and a pleasant aroma. While a lemon twist is used to garnish.
Thus to make a vodkatini you will need
- 60ml vodka
- 10ml dry vermouth
- Lemon to garnish
- Mix the vodka and dry vermouth in a glass.
- Fill the glass with ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist to highlight the citrus notes.
This is yet another variation of the martini that you can make at home. It is an electric green drink that’s sweet to the taste, easy to make and fun to mix up. You will need:
- 50ml of flavoured vodka. Citrus vodka is a good option.
- 50ml cloudy apple juice.
- 1tsp of maple syrup.
- An ice-filled shaker.
- Mix the vodka, apple juice and maple syrup into the ice-filled shaker.
- Shake the mixture until the shaker feels very cold.
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass and garnish.
Make sure you dip the apple garnish in lemon juice to preserve its colour and prevent it from turning yellow once exposed to oxygen. Or you can use a lemon twist to garnish.
- Apple cider Martini
This cocktail can be equated to a drier version of the sweet appletini. It offers a multidimensional tasting experience, considering it uses a clean or spiced vodka instead of a flavoured one. Although flavoured vodkas are also worth giving a try.
To make it you will need;
- 1¾ ounces of vodka
- 1½ ounces of apple cider
- ¼ ounce of ginger liqueur
- Splash of spiced brown sugar syrup or cinnamon syrup
- Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add all ingredients in the shaker.
- Shake well until chilled.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
This recipe yields a true fruit flavoured cocktail while adding an interesting twist of ginger liqueur and syrup of choice. An apple cider martini is quite light on alcohol and thus makes a great addition for a diner or even an occasion at home.
- Vodka tonic
A vodka tonic is built in a tall glass filled with ice and contains a shot of vodka, lime juice, and tonic water.
To make it you will need;
- 60ml of vodka
- 7ml of fresh lime juice
- Tonic water enough to fill the glass
- Lemon/orange wedge or wheel to garnish.
- Fill the tall glass with ice.
- Pour in the vodka and lime juice.
- Add the tonic then stir until chilled. (The more tonic you add the stronger the cocktail).
- Garnish with the lemon wedge or wheel and serve.
This cocktail would be a fantastic way to feature your favourite citrus vodka while exploring different tonic waters. A vodka tonic is also a great accompaniment for meals, as it allows you to taste the food without the interference of the alcohol. Its transparent taste makes it a good palate cleanser.
The caipiroska is adapted from the Brazilian caipirinha whereby instead of cachaca, vodka is used. This drink is more monolithic in flavour compared to the Brazillian caipirinha but it also gives you an opportunity to make a variety of cocktails. You can add character to its taste by using flowers, herbs, berries or a slice of pineapple to garnish.
To make it you will need-
- 50ml vodka
- ½ or 1 lime cut into small chunks or wedges
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- Grapes or a slice of pineapple to garnish
- Pour the small chunks of lime in a tumbler or old fashioned glass.
- Add sugar and crush well using a muddler or mortar and pestle.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, fill the tumbler with crushed ice and add the vodka.
- Covering the tumbler with your hand, stir the mixture with large movements.
- Garnish with grapes or any other decoration.
- Serve in a lowball glass.
A variant would be to add pineapple juice, or strawberries to the mixture, turning the cocktail into a pineapple/strawberry caipiroska respectively.
- Moscow mule
The Moscow mule is a drink that was invented in the 1940s in California. However, contrary to its exotic name, it’s a simple cocktail to make. It falls under the category of buck cocktails which are drinks made with ginger ale, lemon juice and a spirit. Hence if this is your drink of choice this is how you make it at home.
- 50ml vodka
- ¾ full of crushed ice
- One lime
- Ginger beer
- Sprig mint, a slice of lime, or fresh ginger to garnish
- Squeeze, strain and pour the lime into an old fashioned glass or tumbler.
- Add vodka, crushed ice, ginger beer and stir the mixture.
- Garnish with a slice of lime a sprig of mint or fresh ginger then serve.
The Moscow mule pairs well with finger foods, fish, poultry and spicy foods. Never red meat.
- Sea breeze
This cocktail is described as one of the classic long vodka drinks that rely on freshness and simplicity. The drink is built directly in the glass and you only need a side of fish dishes or brunch to make a great pairing.
- 50ml vodka
- 100ml cranberry juice
- 50ml grapefruit juice
- Slice of lime to garnish
- Get a tall glass and fill it with ice till halfway.
- Pour in the vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice.
- Stir until the glass feels chilled.
- Garnish with a slice of lime. To make it lighter, you can add soda or sprite.
This is one of the most famous vodka drinks primarily because it looks cool, it’s stylish and it tastes amazing. You may recall it from the show Sex and The City or perhaps you like it because of its a symbol of elegance. A Cosmo pairs well spicy foods, hot dogs, sausages, sour pork, burgers, chicken tandoori or chicken curry.
To make a cape cod cosmo (without triple sec) you will need
- 50ml vodka, mandarin or citron
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 50ml cranberry juice
- Lemon wheel to garnish
- In a shaker, pour in the vodka, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice.
- Fill the shaker with ice then shake for 15 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon wheel or orange zest.
- Lemon drop
This is a simple yet classic drink that will suit anyone who likes sweet cocktails. It is prepared in a shaker but you may want to start by coating the serving glass with sugar to give it its signature touch.
To make you will need;
- 50ml of vodka citron
- 1tbsp white caster sugar
- Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- 25ml Triple Sec
- 25ml lemon juice
- Start by putting the martini glass in the fridge to chill.
- Squeeze the lemon and combine the juice with vodka, and triple sec in a shaker.
- Pour in the ice and shake hard for 15 seconds.
- When the shaker feels cold prepare to serve.
How to serve
- Remove the glass from the fridge and dip the rim in water.
- Shake off the excess water then dip the rim in sugar and zest mix.
- Strain the contents in the shaker into the glass, garnish with a lemon wheel and enjoy.
A glass of lemon drop pairs well with pastries or dishes like fish tacos.
- White Russian
Prepared directly from the glass, this cocktail is a distant cousin of the Irish coffee. It can be served all year long and it is a great accompaniment for any dessert or cake that has coffee or chocolate in it. Examples include Tiramisu, chocolate cakes and coffee cakes.
- 50ml vodka
- 25ml coffee liqueur
- 1tbsp cream
- In an old fashioned glass filled with ice, pour the vodka and add the coffee liqueur. Stir gently.
- Before adding the cream to the cocktail, shake it in a shaker filled with ice. Do this for 10 seconds (this is optional). This will make the cream softer and give it consistency. You achieve even better results if you start off with cream that has been frozen for a few minutes.
- Put a spoon facing downwards into the glass you filled with the mixture of vodka, ice and coffee liqueur.
- Making sure the spoon is attached to the wall of the glass, pour in the cream and stir to mix everything together.
Here are a few cocktails you can make with other alcoholic drinks – whiskey, gin, cognac, rum and Martini Cocktails. If you are a Famous Grouse fan here are additional recipes you can check out – Famous Grouse cocktails you can make at home. If you are a liqueur fan then you can check out these Magnum Cream Liqueur cocktails you should try