5 Intoxicating Vodka Cocktails for Summer

Because spring is perfect vodka weather.

Christopher Osburnby Christopher Osburn
Photo: Bruce Shipee/EyeEm, Getty Images.

Sometimes, even though it doesn’t deserve it, vodka gets overlooked. It’s not as spicy as rum, not as nuanced as whiskey, and not as fun as tequila. On its own, vodka can sometimes feel a little flat. It’s at its best flavorless and at its worse, harsh and (literally) hard to swallow. But because of its lack of flavor, it’s one of the best spirits to mix with and it’s perfectly suited for spring cocktails. While other spirits only work well with specific flavors, vodka is the chameleon of the liquor world. It pairs perfectly with every flavor from tomato juice (bloody mary) to ginger beer (Moscow mule).

Siren

Photo: Reyka Vodka.

Photo: Reyka Vodka.

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts Reyka Vodka
  • 1 1/2 parts fresh lemon juice
  • 1 part simple syrup (1:1)
  • 1 part St. Germaine
  • 6 parts champagne

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker except champagne. Shake, top, garnish and serve in a wine glass.

Cocktail by Ingi R. Sigurdsson.

Also: The Best Vodkas for Your Buck

Lunar Eclipse

Photo: Victor Tangos.

Photo: Victor Tangos.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounce tumeric-infused vodka
  • 1 ounce carrot juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Celery stick (for garnish)

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin and shake well. Strain. Serve on the rocks and garnish with celery stick.

Cocktail by Andrew Stofko at Victor Tangos.

Citrus Sol

Photo: Pam Wiznitzer.

Photo: Pam Wiznitzer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 parts Menagé à Trois Citrus Vodka
  • 3/4 part lime juice
  • 1/2 part orgeat syrup
  • 3 – 4 fresh peach slices
  • Celia Saison Beer (or any other gluten-free beer)

Preparation:

In a shaker, muddle the peach and add in the vodka, lime juice, and orgeat syrup. Shake with ice and strain over fresh ice into a collins glass. Top with gluten-free beer and garnish with a peach slice.

Created by Pam Wiznitzer, president of USBG and creative director at Seamstress, NY.

Imperial Blue

Photo: Svedka Vodka.

Photo: Svedka Vodka.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 parts Svedka Blue Raspberry
  • 1 1/2 parts black tea
  • 3/4 part fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 part simple syrup
  • 1 part sparkling wine
  • 3 raspberries

Preparation: 

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the raspberries then combine remaining ingredients (except sparkling wine). Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Top with sparkling wine and stir. Garnish with raspberries and loose black tea.

Cocktail by Svedka Vodka.

Lychee Lake

Photo: LEAF Vodka.

Photo: LEAF Vodka.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces LEAF Vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces lychee puree
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce sparking rosé wine

Preparation:

Shake all ingredients except rosé wine. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass, top off with sparkling rosé, garnish with orchid, and serve in a martini glass.

Cocktail by LEAF Vodka.