"When it comes to mixed drinks, there's no end to what you can do with vodka," says John Clement, a bartender at Clementine in Manhattan. "I have the recipes for about 1,000 vodka drinks in my head." Vodka is great for cocktails because it has virtually no taste with a smooth finish. Save your higher quality vodka for drinks where the spirit dominates, such as martinis, gimlets or vodka sodas. Mid-level brands work fine in cocktail recipes that have other flavorings, such as white Russians, Bloody Marys, Cosmos, or screwdriver. If you want to start experimenting with vodka on your own, use Food & Wine's guide to find the best brands and drink ideas.