20 Vodka Cocktail Recipes We Can't Wait to Try This Weekend

There's so much more to vodka than those cringe-y college shots.

Design by Katja Cho

Poor vodka, so often relegated to the boring old "I'm watching my calories" vodka soda category or the sloppy vodka shots of college days past. Now that we're all adults, can we give vodka—the perfect mixing spirit—the treatment it deserves? Behold 20 exemplary (and easy-to-pull-off) cocktail recipes to try at home, so you'll never think of the clear stuff the same way again.

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1 Lime Matcha Cocktail

Ingredients:

1.5 parts Absolut Lime

1.5 parts Fresh Pressed Green Apple Juice

.5 parts Lime Juice

.25 parts Simple

½ part barspoon Matcha Powder

Directions: 

Shake all ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass.

Courtesy of Absolut Vodka

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2 Black Cherry Beast

Ingredients:

1.5 parts EFFEN Black Cherry Vodka

2 parts White Cranberry Juice

0.5 parts Vanilla Simple Syrup

0.5 parts Fresh Lemon Juice

Brandied Cherries, for garnish

Directions: 

Shake and strain all ingredients over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with brandied cherries.

Courtesy of EFFEN Vodka

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3 Love Buzz

Ingredients:

1.5 parts Absolut Original

.5 parts Crème de Cacao

1 part Raspberry Puree

1 part Room-temperature Espresso

Shaved Chocolate and Raspberries, for garnish 

Directions: 

Shake all ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a chocolate-raspberry tuille.

Courtesy of Absolut Vodka

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4 First Down

Ingredients:

1.5 parts EFFEN Cucumber Vodka

3 parts Soda

Cucumber or Lemon Wedge, for garnish 

Directions: 

Pour vodka over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Top with soda and garnish with cucumber or a lemon wedge.

Courtesy of EFFEN Vodka

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5 The Red Zone

Ingredients:

1 part EFFEN Original Vodka

1 part Grapefruit Juice

1 part Orange Juice

Orange Wheel, for garnish 

Directions: 

Build over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Courtesy of EFFEN Vodka

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6 Early Riser

Ingredients:

2 oz. Made Real Vodka

4-5 inch Celery Stock

1 oz. Grapefruit Juice

1 oz. Lemon Juice

1 oz. Simple Syrup

2 Dashes Green Tabasco

Directions:

In a mixing shaker add celery and simple syrup; muddle. Then add Made Real Vodka, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and Tabasco. Add ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Serve with a 4-5 inch piece of celery stock for garnish.

Courtesy of Made Real, a vodka brand created by women (which also supports female-owned businesses and hosts networking events for entrepreneurial females).

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7 Mint Condition

Ingredients:

2 oz. Made Real Vodka

1 oz. Honey Syrup

.5 oz. Lime Juice

Float Ginger Beer

1 Mint Leaf

Directions:

In a mixing shaker add Made Real Vodka, lime, and honey syrup. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a splash of ginger beer add a mint leaf for garnish.

Courtesy of Made Real

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8 Made Real Floradora

Ingredients:

2 oz. Made Real Vodka

4 oz. Ginger Ale

.5 oz. Simple Syrup

3-5 Fresh Raspberries

Directions:

In a shaker add simple syrup and raspberries; muddle. Add Made Real Vodka and Ice; shake. Strain into an ice filled collins glass. Finish with ginger ale and garnish with a fresh raspberry.

Courtesy of Made Real

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9 New Suit

Ingredients:

1 oz Made Real Vodka

.5 oz Dolin Blanc or Lillet

.5 oz Lemon Juice

.5 oz Simple Syrup

Float of Dry Sparkling Wine

Directions:

In a shaker add Made Real Vodka, lemon, Dolin Blanc, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled champagne coupe. Top with a float of dry sparkling wine and a lemon twist for garnish.

Courtesy of Made Real

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10 Plus One Lavender

Ingredients:

Made Real Vodka

Organic/Natural Lemonade

Muddled Fresh Lavender

Top With Soda

Directions:

Served in a collins glass over ice, with a splash of soda, garnished with fresh herb and lemon wedge.

Courtesy of Made Real

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11 Flirty Fizz

Ingredients:

1 part Pinnacle Original Vodka

2 parts Cranberry Juice

Splash of Club Soda

Cranberries, for garnish

Directions:

Mix ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with cranberries.

Courtesy of Pinnacle Original Vodka

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12 Raspberry Sparkler

Ingredients:

1 part Pinnacle Raspberry Vodka

2 parts Club Soda

Raspberries and Lemon Wheel, for garnish

Ingredients:

Mix ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with raspberries and a lemon wheel.

Courtesy of Pinnacle Original Vodka

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13 Handsome Ginger

Ingredients:

1 part Pinnacle Original Vodka

2 parts Ginger Beer

1 splash Lime Juice

Mint, for garnish

Directions:

Mix in a glass with ice and top it off with fresh mint. Serve in mason jars.

Courtesy of Pinnacle Original Vodka

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14 Fresh Start

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts EFFEN® Raspberry Vodka

2 parts Fresh Lemon Sour

1 part Peach Puree

1/2 part Campari

Lemon Wheel for Garnish

Ingredients:

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a tall highball or Collins glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel on the rim.

Courtesy of EFFEN Vodka

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15 Lemonade Prosecco Punch

Ingredients:

4-6 cups Prepared Lemonade

1/3 cup Citrus Vodka (you can substitute regular flavor)

1 pint Blueberries (or your favorite berry), frozen

3 sprigs Fresh Mint

1 750ml bottle Astoria Prosecco D.O.C., chilled

Directions:

Stir lemonade and vodka to a gallon size pitcher. Add berries and mint. Add the prosecco. Serve over ice. The longer it sits the more the berries and mint infuse in the flavor, like sangria. Store leftovers tightly covered in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Courtesy of Astoria Wines

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16 Watermelon-Cucumber Mojito

Ingredients:

2 oz. Prairie Cucumber-Flavored Organic Vodka

2 watermelon chunks, 1 inch each

1 English Cucumber Slice, 1 inch (peeled and seeds removed)

Juice of 1 Lime

2 tsp. Sugar

Handful of Mint Leaves

Crushed Ice

Ginger Ale

Directions:

Muddle the watermelon and cucumber chunks, with the juice of 1 lime and the sugar in a glass. Stir in mint leaves, then add crushed ice and 2 oz. Prairie Cucumber-Flavored Organic Vodka to a lowball glass. Top with ginger ale; garnish with more mint.

Courtesy of Prairie Organic Spirits

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17 Harvey Slambanger

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Reyka Vodka

.25 Galliano

2 dashes Bitterman's Tiki bitters

3 oz. Orange Juice

Directions:

Add all ingredients in shaker, muddle, add ice, and shake all together. Serve in a glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Courtesy of The Cocktail Bar at Windsor Court New Orleans

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18 Fresca Frizz

Ingredients:

4-6 Raspberries

10-12 Mint Leaves

1 ½ oz. Grey Goose Vodka

¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice

¾ oz. Wilks & Wilson Raspberry Gomme Syprup

1 ½ oz. Prosecco (Add after shake)

Garnish: Raspberry, Mint Sprig

Directions:

Add raspberries, six mint leaves, and raspberry syrup into mixing tin, then lightly muddle. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the prosecco. Add ice and shake vigorously. Now add 1 ½ oz prosecco into mixing tin, and strain over crushed ice with 6 mint leaves on the bottom of the glass. Garnish with raspberry and mint.

Courtesy of Bottiglia Cucina & Enoteca

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19 Pomegranate Sage Martini

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Vodka of Your Choice

1 oz. Fresh Sage Simple Syrup

1 oz. POM Wonderful 100 Percent Pomegranate Juice

.25 oz. Cointreau (or similar orange-flavored liqueur) 

1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

.5 oz. Pasteurized Egg Whites (optional)

Fresh Sage Leaf, for garnish

Directions:

Pack a pint glass or a martini shaker with ice. Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake until icy cold. Strain into a frozen martini glass. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf. 

Courtesy of Bonefish Grill

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20 Raspberry Smash

Ingredients:

6-8 Mint Leaves

6 Fresh Raspberries

2 oz. 50 Bleu Vodka

1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

1 oz. Pomegranate Juice

½ oz. Simple Syrup

Garnish: Lemon Wheel, Raspberry, Mint Sprig

Directions:

Add mint and raspberries into mixing tin. Lightly muddle, to press berries and to release the oils from mint. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Add ice and shake vigorously. Now strain over crushed ice and garnish with lemon, raspberry, and mint.

Courtesy of Hearthstone

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