Five Seriously Refreshing and Easy Vodka Drink Recipes

By Eric Twardzik · 06/16/2021

It’s high time that people stopped looking down at vodka drinks as the “chicken entree” of the cocktail world and appreciate this versatile spirit for what it does best: provide a neutral canvas for playing with bold, fresh flavors. (And, hey—we love a good chicken entree, too!) From a large-format tea-infused cocktail to an all-natural take on Carrie Bradshaw’s order of choice, here are five vodka drinks worth crushing at home this summer. 

Cocktail from Drink

A favorite at both No. 9 Park and its sister establishment Drink, Palmyra is refreshingly simple and just plain refreshing. All it requires is vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves; that last ingredient is shaken with the others to add a fast infusion of minty flavor. Go the extra mile by making it with crushed ice.

Da Nang 
Despite its tropical appearance, Da Nang is a vodka-soaked twist on the Last Word, a turn-of-the-century gin-based cocktail first mixed at the Detroit Athletic Club. Like that historic drink, Tiger Mama’s riff combines equal parts lime juice, liqueur (in this case, Aperol and St. Germain), and spirit. Where it departs is the use of passion fruit syrup, which is easily made by mixing simple syrup with a store-bought purée.

Cold Tea for Two
This Shōjō classic gives teatime an entirely new meaning, thanks to oolong tea-infused vodka that’s mixed with peach liqueur, lemon juice, and oolong syrup. Though prepared as a serves-two cocktail at the restaurant, it can easily be made for one—or scaled up to fill a pitcher for your next backyard barbecue.

This crushable cocktail is a twist on an Andalusian beverage of the same name that’s made by mixing sherry with lemon-lime soda. Toro’s take on the Rebujito is tuned up with vodka, grapefruit bitters, rich simple syrup, and a citrus-soaked manzanilla made by infusing sherry overnight with lemon, lime, and orange peels.

Before it became associated with Sex and the City and hangover-inducing sticky sweetness, the Cosmopolitan was just a vodka cocktail made with fresh lime juice, orange liqueur, and cranberry. Pammy’s iteration takes it back to its origins with a freshly made cranberry-cherry syrup and a house-infused citron vodka made with a handful of citrus fruit and no added sugar in sight.

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