Hosting a house party soon? If you’re planning to get everyone in high spirits while impressing your guests, skip the cheap beers, fruit punch bowls, and shooters of distilled spirits with lemon and salt. Why not create colorful, refreshing, fancy-looking glasses of cocktails for everyone?
The good news is you don’t need to hire a professional bartender or rent a mobile cocktail bar. Whether you like your cocktail sweet, sour, and fruity or clean and dry, there’s a refreshing vodka-based cocktail recipe for you. Once you’ve prepared the ingredients, you can make each glass in less than 3 minutes!
What you’ll need:
- Tools: Cocktail shaker, jigger, strainer, and bar spoon
- Fresh fruits and herbs (orange, lemon, apple, mint)
- Fruit juices (orange, lemon, cranberry, peach)
Cosmopolitan is a light, fruity cocktail made with vodka, cranberry, and lime juice. You can make it sweeter by pouring more cranberry or you can just put a small dash of red for the lovely pretty-in-pink color.
- How to make: Put 50ml mandarin vodka, 1 tbsp orange liqueur, 1 tbsp lime juice, and 50ml cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker. Fill up the shaker with ice and shake well. Strain it into a nice martini glass and garnish with a slice of orange zest.
2. Sex on the beach
A fruity, tropical vodka drink with a provocative name, sex on the beach is one of the crowd favorites in cocktail bars. There are countless recipes for this drink because bartenders often came up with their own versions.
- How to make: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 3/4 ounces peach schnapps, 1/2 ounce creme de cassis, 2 ounces orange or pineapple juice, and 2 ounces cranberry juice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with orange slices and maraschino cherry.
3. Bloody Mary
Want a spicy and tangy kick to your house party? You can never go wrong with Bloody Mary, an iconic tomato juice and vodka highball that’s sure to wake your senses up.
- How to make: Put a handful of ice into a large shaker. Fill it with a shot of vodka (50ml), 125ml tomato juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of hot sauce, and a pinch of salt, black pepper, and celery salt. Shake well then strain into a tall glass with ice. Garnish with a celery stick, lemon, and cherry tomato.
4. Apple Martini (Appletini)
Apple Martini is a sweet and sour cocktail that’s fun to mix up. Recipes range from sour, green drinks that use green apple schnapps to drier ones that use an apple liqueur or brandy and dry vermouth.
- How to make: Mix 1 ½ ounce vodka, 1-ounce green apple schnapps, and 1/4 ounce lemon juice into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of apple.
If you’re looking to serve a refreshing citrusy juice with a slight kick of vodka, then mixing up a Screwdriver is a great way to go.
- How to make: Squeeze one large or two small oranges and set the juice aside. Put a handful of ice cubes into a tall glass, pour a shot of vodka, and mix your freshly-squeezed orange juice. Stir gently then add a wedge of orange to garnish.
6. Cape Codder
Popularly known as “vodka cranberry”, this hip mixed drink, traditionally called the Cape Coffer is a refreshing fruity mix that’s ideal for a quick happy hour.
- How to make: Pour 2 ounces of vodka and 3 ounces of cranberry juice into a highball glass with ice cubes. Squeeze a lime wedge into the drink and drop it into the glass.
7. Sea breeze
Add some grapefruit juice to a classic vodka cranberry and you’ll have an invigorating Sea Breeze, another crowd-pleaser.
- How to make: Fill half of a tall glass with ice then add 50ml vodka, 100ml cranberry juice, and 50ml grapefruit juice. Stir gently and garnish with a slice of lime.
8. Black Russian
Had enough fruity cocktails? You might want to make something a little unexpected – a coffee-infused alcoholic beverage, perhaps? Black Russian is a satisfying cocktail that’s also easy to make!
- How to make: Pour 50ml of your favorite vodka and 25ml of coffee liqueur over ice, and stir well. Garnish with cherries for a pop of red and serve!
9. White Russian
White Russian is the creamier cousin of the former. It’s perfect if you love frothy cocktails.
- How to make: Pour a shot of vodka, 25ml of coffee liqueur, and 1 tablespoon of single cream into a glass filled with ice. Stir gently and serve.
10. Vodka Tonic
If you’re not into over-the-top fruity cocktails or sweet soda-based ones, the vodka tonic makes a perfect refreshment. This clean vodka cocktail has a dry, semi-bitter profile that’s surprisingly refreshing.
- How to make: Simply mix 2 ounces of vodka, ¼ ounce of fresh lime juice, and 4-6 ounces of tonic water in a highball glass with ice and stir. Garnish with lime wedges.
Kamikaze is an iconic cocktail bar drink, and one of the best-known vodka “martinis”. Treat it like vodka’s take on Margarita (tequila) and Daiquiri (rum).
- How to make: Pour 1 ½ ounce of vodka, 1-ounce fresh lime juice, and 1-ounce triple sec in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedges.
12. Moscow Mule
Moscow Mule is a snappy cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer (traditionally spicy), and lime juice, garnished with a wedge of lime. It’s usually served in a metal mug to preserve its cold temperature.
- How to make: Pour a shot of vodka into a metal mug or tumbler. Have the container ¾ full with crushed ice then fill to the top with ginger beer. Stir gently to mix. Garnish with a few dashes of ginger bitters, a lime slice, and a mint sprig.
Author – Carmina Natividad is a self-proclaimed foodie who enjoys discovering hidden gems and writing engaging articles about food, travel, and lifestyle. And yes, she loves cocktails and happy hours too! To know more about cocktails, you may visit Cask Cork.