Raspberry Vodka Cocktail

It's time to buy a bottle of bison grass vodka.


“Usually, when you see fruit and vodka in a list of cocktail ingredients, it's going to be overbearingly sweet. Not this drink,” write Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy, the savvy cocktail minds behind this tart and sweet drink. Made with muddled fresh raspberries, lemon juice, and honey syrup this raspberry cocktail has an intensely fruity flavor with plenty of brightness, balanced by floral notes. 

To make this drink, Jones and McCarthy call for Zubrowka, a traditional Polish vodka made from rye and flavored with grass which grows in remote Polish forests. While inedible for humans, the grass is a favorite meal for bison, so it’s known as bison grass, and therefore Zubrowka is known as bison grass vodka. According to Jones and McCarthy, the bison grass gives Zubrowka its distinctive woody flavor with creamy aromas like vanilla and almond. While you can certainly substitute in traditional vodka Zubrowka, the bison grass-flavored spirit brings distinct complexity and plenty of personality to this cocktail as Zubrowka’s grassy notes play off the tart raspberry and bright lemon. 

This drink calls for honey syrup, which can be made from simply combining honey with hot water and stirring to dissolve, or bringing to a simmer in a saucepan. Unlike simple syrup made from granulated sugar, honey syrup brings more complex sweetness — choose a local honey with woodsy aromas to play off the grassy Zubrowka. To make this cocktail, muddle fresh raspberries in a shaker tin before adding fresh lemon juice, the vodka and honey syrup. Jones and McCarthy suggest adding a few dashes of Angostura bitters, a citrus-based bitter blend which adds an extra layer of savoriness to this fruity drink. Add ice to your cocktail tin and shake well until the outside of the shaker is cold to the touch. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass and top with club soda for a bit of fizz. –– Lucy Simon


Honey syrup

  • 1 ounce honey

  • 1 ounce water

Raspberry Vodka cocktail

  • 8 raspberries

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 ounces Zubrowka vodka

  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup

  • 1 fl oz bitters

  • Club soda (as needed)


Make honey syrup

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together hot water and honey until combined.

Make Raspberry Vodka cocktail

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle raspberries.

  2. Fill shaker with ice, and add lemon juice, vodka, honey syrup, and orange bitters. Shake until frosted on the outside.

  3. Strain into a rocks glass and top with club soda. Garnish with raspberries on a cocktail pick.

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