Mixer Madness: The Basics of the Best Vodka Mixers

best vodka mixers and tonic water

Naming the best vodka mixers is a challenge because of the spirit’s versatility. But it’s the liquor’s neutrality (in the sense that it is a neutral spirit by law) that makes experimentation a worthy endeavor. To help cut the burn and make vodka a more flavorful experience, make sure a bar has at least a few of these best vodka mixers.

Soda Water

Whether it’s called carbonated water, sparkling water, seltzer or soda water, the liquid is all the same and it’s a perfect mixer for vodka. The water helps cut a spirit’s strength without diluting flavor and the effervescence adds just a little extra to a cocktail. Grab a flavored seltzer and it further kicks it up a notch, all without adding calories. La Croix, anyone?

Cranberry Juice

cranberry juice cocktail

In a pinch, cranberry juice and vodka is all that’s needed for a cocktail. Depending on the amount, the cranberry can be a light flavorful addition or completely mask the cheap vodka that has taken forever to drain. With this one, just beware of the college flashbacks that are sure to occur.

Lemon Lime Soda

For a little more sweetness and when soda water and lime just won’t cut it, lemon lime sodas can do the trick. There are hordes of lemon lime sodas on the market, all with their own unique twists, so the flavorful addition can be customized to a drinker’s palate and preference.

Pineapple Juice

pinnapple mixed cocktail

Vodka isn’t often associated with tropical cocktails since most leave that to rum and tequila, but a pour of tropical fruit with splash of vodka and it’s as cool as an ocean breeze.

Pineapple juice can be overwhelming, so ease into the drink to find the perfect ratio. Other tropical flavors, like coconut, are also an easy addition to kick up a quiet summer evening.

Tonic Water

One of the quintessential mixers, no bar is complete without it. Tonic water can be used with nearly any spirit, but is most notable for its starring roles in drinks like Vodka & Tonic, and of course Gin & Tonic. Its bitterness comes from quinine, which was first used for its ability to help fend off malaria. The one thing to remember is that tonics can be high in sugar, so make sure to look at the label before you purchase.