Easy vodka cocktails, you say? Vodka is so versatile. Dress it up, down, this way and that. Sweet, heat, shaken or stirred. It’s perfect for an elegant affair or a laid-back Saturday afternoon in the hammock. It’s a classic, no doubt.
We’re celebrating National Vodka Day with these six inspiring classic cocktails. You may recognize their names. But you perhaps don’t realize how simple they are to make. Put them on your dinner or party menu. Host a happy hour. Or mix up a solo drink sure to soothe your soul.
We’re applauding vodka today. We hope you’ll join the fun!
A Little Vodka History
To honor our liquor of the day, let’s take a look at its history. Then we’ll get our cocktail game on. Maybe you already know about the ongoing vodka argument. Both Russia and Poland claim to be the birthplace of this spirit. What’s important is that it likely surfaced in the 700s. (That’s before distillation was even a thing, by the way.)
The first distillery we know of was in Russia. The vodka story actually begins in medicinal fashion, as is the case with so much of our beloved bottles now. That vodka, though, was nothing like what we sip nowadays. And it wouldn’t be until the 1800s when continuous distillation came on the scene.
Hit the liquor store now, and it’s everywhere. We have New Orleans on record as the home of the first vodka cocktail, at least in the States. Thanks to the Big Easy for giving us “The Russian.”
Let’s hop to some recipes, shall we?
6 Inspiring Classic & Easy Vodka Cocktails
If you don’t have all the ingredients for these, they’re easy to get. Thinking impromptu vodka party tonight? No problem with these six up your sleeve.
1. Easy Vodka Martini
Gin snobs will tell you this isn’t a real martini. But we don’t care. We like a good vodka martini. And it’s a fantastic way to celebrate on National Vodka Day. Go for it, kids.
Recipe: Combine 3 oz. vodka and 1 oz. dry vermouth in a mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice. Then stir the cocktail until it’s chilled. Strain the mixture into a martini glass. Add a few olives on a toothpick for garnish.
2. Icy Orange Cosmo
We’re jumping onto the flavored vodka wagon for this one. The Cosmo is a staple, but let’s give it a literal citrus twist. Yeah? We got this recipe from Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. And we keep the essentials on hand here at Prestige. Delightful!
Recipe for two: Fill your cocktail shaker up with ice. Then add 4 oz. of orange-flavored vodka, 2 oz. of fresh blood or navel orange juice, and 1.5 oz. Campari. Shake for thirty seconds until it’s very cold. Strain this cocktail into two coupe or martini glasses. Add orange or lemon twists for garnish.
For some more creative takes on the classic Cosmo, read our article Best Cosmopolitan Recipe Ideas!
3. Moscow Mule
You’ve shaken hands with the copper mug, right? If you haven’t, it’s time. Today is the perfect day. Moscow Mules have become a staple in bars, restaurants, and homes across the country. Over here in bourbon country, we usually opt for Kentucky Mules, ourselves. But Moscow is tasty, too.
Recipe: Super easy. Fill your copper mug right up to the rim with ice. And if you don’t have the mug, a cocktail glass works fine. Add 2 oz. vodka and 1 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice. Top it off with about 4 oz. of ginger beer. Stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.
4. Vesper Martini
Can we do National Vodka Day without mentioning James Bond? Yeah, no. We took a vote, and we just can’t. The James Bond martini is one you need to try (if you haven’t). It’s excellent. Take a tip from the famous spy and serve these tonight.
007’s Recipe: Bond tells it like it is. He wants 3 oz. Gordon’s gin, 1 oz. vodka, and 0.5 oz of Lillet Blanc. Shake it with ice until it’s super cold. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a large lemon peel. Got it? Good.
5. Bloody Mary
Most folks agree: you either love Mary or you don’t. We choose to love. There are so many creative spins on this savory cocktail. In fact, you should probably go whip one of these up right now.
Recipe: Some mixes out there are so easy and completely awesome. Just add your vodka and go! Craft companies are really making delicious bloody waves in the industry. LAVA is one we’re digging these days. But if you want to start from scratch, give Cookie + Kate’s recipe a try. Kate never lets us down. We will say, you have to really work for this cocktail if you aren’t using a solid mix.
For some mind-blowing Bloody Mary garnish ideas, check out LAVA’s ebook. We’re impressed with their creativity and think you will be, too.
6. White Russian
And last but not least… the White Russian. For a Black Russian, leave out the cream. It’s rich and elegant. It’s perfect for dessert any night of the week.
Recipe: Grab an Old Fashioned glass to get started. Add ice, 2 oz. vodka, and 1 oz. Kahlua. Top with a splash of heavy cream and stir. Ready to go!
Let’s See Your Own Easy Vodka Cocktails
Feeling inspired? Prepared to make some sweet cocktails this evening? We hope you’ll opt for one (or more) of these easy, breezy drinks. Happy National Vodka Day, whatever you choose!
What are your favorite easy vodka cocktails? Tell us in the comments below. Link to recipes, and let our Prestige family give your go-to a try!
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And before you get back to your busy day, take a look around our online store. The barware you’ll find is high-quality, hand-crafted, and customizable. If our unique decanters distract you from National Vodka Day a little, well, that’s absolutely fine by us.
Take care, you vodka-loving kids. Check back soon for posts on vodka and beyond!