10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home

Hands down, vodka is the king of the alcohol mountain here in the U.S. and has been for quite a while now. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, either. As a spirit, it is colorless and flavorless — neutral, if you will — which allows the spirit to be used in basically anything. From a price point, too, it is boosted by the fact that there is vodka in every price point, from the lowest of low shelf hooch to the priciest top-shelf vodka imaginable.

One of the most basic benefits of vodka (after “it gets you drunk”) is that it mixes with basically everything. While you can use many different vodka mixers for a quick two-ingredient drink that gets the job done, there are a number of classic vodka cocktails that, as a reader of The Manual, it’d be good to know off the top of your head.

More Cocktail Recipes:

Bloody Mary

bloody mary cocktail lime
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 5 oz tomato juice
  • 5 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lime wedges
  • Lemon wedge
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper
  • Celery stalk for garnish

Method: In a shaker, squeeze lemon and one lime wedge over ice. Add the other ingredients and shake well. Pour over ice in a tall glass and garnish with a celery stalk and a lime wedge. For extra flavor, float a few extra dashes of hot sauce on top.

Find some more Bloody Mary recipes here.

Vodka Martini

Cocktail (or Martini) Glass
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • Lemon peel

Method: Stir together with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. To make it dirty, add a splash of olive brine and garnish with a green olive. 

Find out more about how to make vodka martinis.

The Cape Codder

cocktail cape codder
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz cranberry juice
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • lime wedge

Method: Add vodka and juices to a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

Moscow Mule

moscow mule cocktail lime mint copper mug
  • 5 oz vodka
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • 0.25 oz lime juice
  • Lime wheel

Method: Add crushed ice to a copper mug, followed by vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Stir and garnish with a lime wheel.

(Note: If you want a Moscow Mule on steroids, check out the Mega Mule.)

Salty Dog

salty-dog-grapefruit-cocktail
Masanyanka/Getty Images
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 3.5 oz grapefruit juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Lime wedge

Method: Pour kosher salt onto a plate. Moisten rim of glass with a split lime wedge, then gently coat rim with salt. Add ice, vodka, and grapefruit juice.

White Russian

white russian cocktail
Dan Baker/The Manual
  • 5 parts vodka
  • 2 parts coffee liqueur
  • 3 parts cream

Method: In an Old Fashioned glass, pour vodka and coffee liqueur over a large cube or ball of ice. Float cream on top and stir slowly.

Cosmopolitan

martini glass cosmopolitan cocktail
Glowimages/Getty Images
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • .5 oz cranberry juice
  • .25 oz lime juice
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • Lime peel or lime wedge, for garnish

Method: Shake together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime peel.

Kamikaze

lime cocktail shot drink kamikaze
sf_foodphoto/Getty Images
  • 1 oz vodka
  • .25 oz orange liqueur
  • .25 oz fresh lime juice

Method: Shake together with ice and strain into a shot glass.

Espresso Martini

espresso martini cocktail coffee
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • .5 oz espresso
  • .25 oz simple syrup, optional
  • 3 coffee beans, for garnish

Method: Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

Harvey Wallbanger

harvey wallbanger
Cyrus McCrimmon/Getty Images
  • 3 parts vodka
  • 1 part Galliano
  • 6 parts orange juice
  • Cherry, for garnish
  • Orange slice, for garnish

Method: Mix the vodka and orange juice together in a highball glass full of ice and top off with Galliano. Garnish with cherry and orange slice.  

(Find out the history of the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail)

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