6 Vodka Cocktails to Try

Vodka-Rose Punch
Photo: © John Kernick

Vodka has been America's most popular spirit since 1976 for a reason: It's incredibly versatile. Clear, colorless, odorless, and (relatively) flavorless, vodka pairs well with just about any flavor profile you can think of, making it an essential bottle to have on hand if you're entertaining at home. That neutrality also means it takes well to infusions with ingredients like citrus fruits, herbs, and even jalapeño peppers. We've collected our favorite vodka cocktails from bartenders and chefs around the country. Stock up your cabinet with your favorite vodka and start mixing.

01 of 07

Grapefruit Vodka Soda

Grapefruit Vodka Soda cocktail
Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones

Homemade grapefruit vodka, made by steeping Ruby Red grapefruit segments in vodka overnight, gives this refreshing vodka cocktail its delicious bright flavor. Once the vodka is infused, simply serve it over ice, topped off with club soda and a slice of grapefruit for a delicious, elegant, bone-dry cocktail. You can use the grapefruit vodka in other cocktail recipes, too.

02 of 07

Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule
Getty Images

A cool, refreshing vodka and ginger beer concoction served over ice and garnished with a wheel of lime, this popular vodka cocktail is synonymous with summer. Moscow Mules are traditionally served in copper mugs, which is how the cocktail was first presented when it was invented in the 1940s; you can order your own copper mugs, but a Moscow Mule is just as tasty sipped out of a Collins glass.

03 of 07

Vodka-Rose Punch

Vodka-Rose Punch
© John Kernick

This pink-hued cocktail was created by Padma Lakshmi in homage to the rose syrup-spiked milk her grandmother gave her when she was a child in India. Mint and club soda make this drink especially refreshing. Use pesticide-free rose petals for the garnish.

04 of 07

Big-Batch Bloody Marys

Big-Batch Bloody Marys
Greg Dupree

You know what’s easier than a bloody mary bar? Preparing a big-batch Mary that’s so good, your guests don’t have to do any DIY work. This crowd-pleasing mix starts with the toned-down tomato kick of V8, then gets a double smack of heat from zippy horseradish and hot sauce. Regular pickle juice adds a puckery sweet-and-sour touch, but we really love the extra heat from a jar of spicy pickles.

05 of 07

Barbecue Bloody Mary

Barbecue Bloody Mary
Eric Medsker

Award-winning barbecue chef Chris Lilly inspired cocktail expert Brian Bartels to create this Barbecue Bloody Mary, made extra savory with the addition of beef drippings (or beef broth, if that's what you have on hand). A lemon and celery salt rim keeps the flavors bright.

06 of 07

Classic Vodka Gimlet

Classic Vodka Gimlet
Abby Hocking

The defining feature of a classic gimlet is Rose's Lime Juice, a sweet lime juice cordial created in 1867 by Lauchlan Rose. For a time, it was given to members of the British Royal Navy to prevent scurvy; the first gimlet was supposedly mixed up by an enterprising sailor. The original gimlet was made with gin, but many fans prefer this version, made with just vodka and Rose's Lime Juice. (Prefer a version with fresh lime juice? Try this Rosemary Gimlet)

07 of 07

James Bond Martini

James Bond Martini, Smoky's Club • Madison, WI
© Tina Rupp

For this variation on the Vesper from Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, bar manager "Martini Bob" Perry adds a Wisconsin touch: blue-cheese-stuffed olives.

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