Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

14 Best Vodkas for Drinking on a Sweltering Day

Vodka is perhaps the most quintessential spirit. It is booze in one of its simplest forms. For many, the depth of vodka is unrealized and it’s viewed as a relatively flavorless spirit that alcoholically enhances a classic cocktail or a favorite mixer. Others cherish its smoothness and lightness compared to other spirits like whiskey and gin, to sip straight or on the rocks. Here are The Manual’s favorite vodkas.

Best Classic Vodka

Stoli Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s plenty out there about Russia and its love of vodka. Stolichnaya started in the early 1900s in Russia and despite its Soviet Union ties helped drive the rise of vodka in mid-century U.S. Some drinkers love the nostalgic idea of heritage and drinking from places historically known for their spirits, so if a Russian vodka is desired, this clean wheat and rye-derived vodka is a great option.

Absolut Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Established in 1879, the Swedish Absolut knows how to make a solid vodka after all these years. It is now one of most popular vodkas in the world for its clean smooth flavor that doesn’t impart too much on the palate in any way.

Best Vodka for Sipping Neat or on the Rocks

Reyka Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Born in the land of fire and ice, Reyka hails from Iceland. Not an expensive bottle by any means, Reyka keeps a nice variety of notes from its wheat and barley base, including some herbaceous and citrusy hints.

Ocean Organic Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There is a light sweetness to Ocean, derived from the sugar cane it’s distilled with in Hawaii. That sugar cane also gives it a thicker finish than many vodkas, so it feels a little more hefty. That said, it’s not overly aggressive at any point, so perfect for a glass all its own.

Haku Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Japan has quickly established itself as a hub for excellent spirits. The rise of Japanese whiskey is the highlight. But Haku — also known for its whiskey — makes an incredibly delightful vodka. The rice base leaves an interesting floralness and adds a soft, complex ricey finish.

Best Vodka for Vodka Sodas

Humboldt Organic Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Soda is perfect to level out this gorgeously soft vodka from California. With a fair bit of vanilla, Humboldt vodka with soda is a delicious way to indulge on a warm, sunny day at the beach.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Tito’s has turned into one of the most recognizable vodka brands in the U.S. While its “handmade” claim can ruffle some feathers, Tito’s inoffensive profile goes perfectly well with soda water and lime. “Tito’s and soda” is a pretty familiar bar call, after all.

Best Vodka for a Martini

Cutwater Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Named after the fugu fish that requires delicate dissection to eat, Cutwater says they approach the distillation of the vodka the same way. True or not, the vodka is smooth and plays well in a martini. Also in the portfolio, a spicy habanero and delightful hibiscus infusions.

Frankly Organic Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

With a subtle sweetness, Frankly can be used in martinis of all shapes and sizes. Whether going for sweet, dirty, or dry, Frankly will saddle up as a star not afraid to share the limelight. The organic spirit also comes in strawberry, grapefruit, apple, and pomegranate.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another vodka that emerged from the frigid winters of Scandinavia, Finlandia keeps true to its glacial water promises, gives off nearly zero booze-y scent, and keeps the alcohol burn on the back end. That makes it a perfect play in a martini aiming for smooth sipping.

Best Vodka Story

American Liquor Co.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Because of the subtleness of vodka, many vodka makers turn to marketing and packaging to sell their spirit. But the American Liquor Co. tells a great story. American Liquor Co. makes its vodka by blending together a mix:

  • Wheat vodkas from Ohio’s Middle West Spirits and Illinois’ Stumpy Spirits
  • Corn vodka from Wisconsin’s Yahara Bay
  • Rye vodkas from Michigan’s Grand Traverse Distillery and Valentine Distilling
  • Potato vodka from North Dakota’s Proof Artisan Distillers

Doing the blending is master blender Chris Montana, who is also the owner of Minneapolis’ Du Nord Craft Spirits, the first Black-owned craft distillery in the U.S.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Vodka is usually marketed as “clean.” Well, Air Co.’s vodka is made out of air, which seems pretty clean. The company uses CO2 in a process to create “impurity-free alcohols” for a variety of commercial uses. One of those uses: A vodka that helps create a more sustainable globe.

Crystal Head Vodka

Image used with permission by copyright holder

For starters, the packaging will always catch an eye — it’s a skull designed by artist John Alexander, who founded the brand with actor Dan Aykroyd. Second, after its distillation process, the vodka is run through layers of diamonds. That’s rich. It comes in three styles, the corn-based Original, wheat-based Aurora and agave-based Onyx.

Best Vodka Lineup

Hanson of Sonoma

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Most vodka makers recognize the relative blandness of vodka and have expanded into a variety of flavored products — just look at Stoli and Absolut. That said, California’s Hanson of Sonoma takes a grade distilled spirit and turns it into a delightful mix: Original, Cucumber, Lemon, Mandarin, Habanero, Boysenberry, Ginger, and Espresso. Try the Habanero in a Bloody Mary.

Editors' Recommendations

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
The best East Coast IPAs to drink this summer: 10 great alternatives to West Coast IPAs
Looking for a good cold one? Try one of these great IPA beers
Dogfish Head


If you’re a fan of beer, you’re likely well acquainted with the term “West Coast IPA.” This iconic style is known for its over-the-top hop aromas, flavors like citrus peels and pine needles, and a bitter wallop to finish things off. And while you might have tried your fair share of West Coast IPAs, you might have also encountered the term “East Coast IPA” at one point or another as well.

Read more
The 12 best movie drinking games to play while watching the films
You'll love playing these movie drinking games
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Watching something can be a great way to stave off the boredom that everyone faces from time to time. Whether it's a great show or movie available on Netflix or Amazon Prime, streaming services have ensured that we'll always have something to watch. Just having something to watch often isn't enough, though. In fact, what some people need is a game that goes alongside the latest thing that's streaming which is why we've developed this list of drinking games that are perfect for Amazon Prime or Netflix subscribers.

You don't need to follow along with these games to get to a good drinking game with anything you're watching. What you might find, though, is that these movie drinking games have been carefully calibrated to ensure that you have as much fun as possible. Once you see a game that looks like fun, just grab a case of cheap beer or whatever your preferred drink might be and get started. You can also check out our guides for board games and card-drinking games if you're looking for a drinking game that doesn't involve a screen at all.

Read more
Best Meat Delivery Deals: Omaha Steaks, ButcherBox and Good Chop
Omaha Steaks roasted chateaubriand

You may or may not be aware, but like grocery delivery services, it's entirely possible to have specific types of food delivered, from desserts such as ice cream to a sizable and juicy steak. There are full meal kit delivery services too. As a third option, there are meat delivery services, too, which also means there are some fantastic meat delivery deals out there -- to get your food for less. You no longer have to visit the local butcher for yummy cutlets of beef, chicken, pork or beyond. You can order it all online, sit back, and wait for it to be delivered to your doorstep. Some even come pre-prepped and ready to throw on the grill or in the oven. How awesome is that?

Now, when it comes to finding the best meat delivery deals, or choosing a service, there are a lot of different options. To lighten your load, and improve your selection process a little, we've rounded up the best of the best below. Some of the more notable services include Good Chop, ButcherBox, Omaha Steaks, and Crowd Cow -- especially if you like lamb.
Good Chop
Boneless ribeye steaks, top sirloin, Filet Mignon, Alaskan sockeye salmon, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, if any of these sound mouth-watering to you then Good Chop is the place to go. We haven't even begun to scratch the surface in regards to just how many different types of meats they offer. Organic, grass-fed, and delicious are three words that can be used to describe Good Chop's meats.

Read more