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15 Classic Vodka Cocktails to Try

Everyone loves a good classic, especially when it comes to drinks. That’s why I’m excited to share my favorite classic vodka cocktails with you! These drinks are not just tasty; they’re timeless. They’re perfect for any party or just chilling at home. Made with simple ingredients, they’re easy to mix up and always hit the spot. Ready to find out which vodka cocktails are the best of the best? Let’s jump in and get the party started

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Dirty Martini

dirty martini cocktail with bottles of ingredients in the background

The Dirty Martini, a true icon among classic vodka cocktails, exudes an air of timeless elegance with every sip. Crafted with a masterful blend of vodka, dry vermouth, and a touch of olive juice, this libation embodies the essence of sophistication and refined taste. The Dirty Martini, earning its name from the cloudiness imparted by the olive juice, has rightfully earned its place among the best classic vodka cocktails.


Cosmopolitan

A cosmopolitan cocktail in a martini glass, garnished with a lime slice, displayed elegantly on a bar. The scene is set in a sophisticated bar environment, with soft, ambient lighting enhancing the rich colors of the cocktail. The drink is the focal point, with its vibrant pink hue standing out against the darker background of the bar. The glass is clear and classic in style, filled with the cocktail, and a neatly cut lime slice rests on the rim, adding a touch of freshness. The bar surface is polished, reflecting the light and adding depth to the image.

The Cosmopolitan’s ability to please a variety of taste buds has earned it a spot among the top classic vodka drinks. The vodka, known for its purity and smoothness, acts as the base and allows the other ingredients to take center stage. The addition of Cointreau, a quality orange liqueur, gives the drink a unique depth thanks to its sweet and zesty notes. Its balanced blend of sweet and tart, coupled with the vodka’s versatility, offers a universally appealing libation.


Bloody Mary

bloody mary drink

The Bloody Mary, an undeniable classic among vodka cocktails, entices with its rich and powerful tastes, making it a popular option for those looking for a lively and energizing libation. Tomato juice is used as the foundation, providing a rich and sweet tomato flavor that sets the tone for the drink, while the vodka blends in unobtrusively thanks to its neutral flavor. The Bloody Mary is known for its robust and complex flavor profile, making it a perfect choice for those who appreciate bold and savory cocktails.


Vodka Gimlet

Vanilla Pear Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet, a traditional vodka drink that has stood the test of time, emanates absolute refinement with its understated tastes. This cocktail captures the spirit of sophistication with its harmonious combination of lime juice, cooled vodka, and a splash of simple syrup. Embrace the allure of this exquisite concoction and discover for yourself why the Vodka Gimlet holds its esteemed position among the best classic vodka cocktails, offering a taste experience that is both timeless and unforgettable.


Cape Codder

cape codder cocktail vodka cranberry

Introducing the Cape Codder, a timeless classic that has earned its place among the best vodka cocktails. The Cape Codder’s appeal is found in its simplicity, with only three essential ingredients: vodka, cranberry juice, and a wedge of lime for garnish. This refreshing and vibrant drink is a perfect blend of simplicity and sophistication, making it a go-to choice for any occasion.


Screwdriver

A vibrant, refreshing Screwdriver cocktail in a highball glass, filled with ice and garnished with a fresh orange slice. The drink is a bright orange color, indicating a mix of vodka and freshly squeezed orange juice. The glass is set on a wooden bar top, and a background that suggests a cozy, inviting bar atmosphere. The setting is warm and welcoming, perfect for enjoying a classic cocktail.

The Screwdriver is a classic vodka drink that exemplifies the ideal combination of ease of preparation and adaptability of flavor. The vodka’s clear, crisp flavor pairs beautifully with orange juice’s natural sweetness for a drink that quenches your thirst and fills you up. Whether enjoyed at brunch, happy hour, or any time in between, the screwdriver is a timeless favorite that is sure to please.


Moscow Mule

A chilled copper mug on a rustic wooden bar top, filled with a fizzy, ginger-lime cocktail. Ice cubes float on the surface, and the drink is garnished with a lime wedge and a sprig of fresh mint. The scene is warmly lit, with a cozy, inviting atmosphere, reflecting the refreshing and lively essence of a Moscow Mule cocktail. The background suggests a lively bar environment, with subtle hints of other bar essentials and a soft focus to keep the attention on the Moscow Mule.

The Moscow Mule, a beloved classic among vodka cocktails, tantalizes the taste buds with its harmonious blend of flavors, creating a libation that is both refreshing and invigorating. When you take a sip of a Moscow Mule, the ginger beer’s spicy and slightly sweet flavor will be the first thing you taste, followed by the premium vodka’s smooth and fresh flavor. The Moscow Mule is a bold and refreshing cocktail that is sure to please anyone looking for a unique and satisfying drink.


Vodka Tonic

Cold cocktail with lime, tonic, vodka and ice

An ageless favorite, the vodka tonic has a fresh and energizing flavor. This libation, made with vodka, tonic water, and ice cubes, entices the tongue with its clear and uncomplicated taste profile. Sip, enjoy, and let the vodka tonic whisk you away to a place of classic refinement and incomparable refreshment.


Salty Dog

salty dog cocktail with vodka or gin and grapefruit juice

The Salty Dog’s unique combination of flavors has made it a beloved classic among cocktail enthusiasts. This libation, made with gin, grapefruit juice, and a rim of coarse salt, has a delicious blend of citrusy acidity and a faint salty undertone. It is a drink that embodies the perfect harmony of sweet, tangy, and salty elements, making it a delightful choice for those seeking a unique and memorable cocktail experience.


White Russian

image of a White Russian cocktail. The drink is served in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes. It shows distinct layers, with clear vodka at the bottom, a middle layer of dark coffee liqueur, and a top layer of smooth, creamy white heavy cream. The glass is on a wooden bar counter with a cozy, dimly lit bar ambiance in the background. The cocktail is garnished with a few coffee beans on the cream layer, adding an elegant touch.

The White Russian, a classic cocktail with a rich and indulgent taste, is a delightful blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream. With every sip of the White Russian, you will be welcomed by a flavorful medley that perfectly complements each other. Whether enjoyed as an after-dinner indulgence or a cozy evening drink, the White Russian is sure to leave you feeling relaxed and content.


Sea Breeze

sea breeze cocktail

The Sea Breeze is a drink with a lovely flavor that is both revitalizing and refreshing. With its vibrant combination of sweet cranberry juice, tangy grapefruit juice, and smooth vodka, this libation strikes a perfect balance on the palate. The Sea Breeze is a perfect choice for those seeking a refreshing cocktail with a delightful interplay of sweet and tangy notes.


Lemon Drop 

Lemon Drop cocktail

The lemon drop has established a reputation as a valued traditional drink, appreciated for its tart and refreshing flavor. Vodka creates a neutral background that showcases the zesty lemon juice, while the Cointreau enriches the flavor profile as a whole with its gentle sweetness. The sweetness of the simple syrup is just enough to counteract the sourness of the lemon. Savor the delightful flavors of the Lemon Drop and let its zesty and sweet profile transport you to a sunny citrus grove.


Black Russian

black russian cocktail

When it comes to the best classic vodka cocktails, the Black Russian stands out with its timeless appeal and bold flavor profile. Each sip is a decadent journey, where the smoothness of the vodka mingles with the deep flavors of coffee. Raise your glass to the iconic Black Russian, a true masterpiece among the best classic vodka cocktails.


Espresso Martini

espresso martini cocktail

The espresso martini is a relatively recent addition to the classic cocktail repertoire, originating in the 1980s. The richness of the fresh espresso can shine thanks to the smooth and clear base provided by the vodka. The coffee liqueur enhances the cocktail’s overall complexity by adding richness and depth that complement the coffee aromas. With its seductive flavors and luxurious texture, it has rightfully earned its place among the best classic vodka cocktails.


Vodka Soda

vodka with club soda in a glass with a lime garnish

Elevate your drinking experience with the timeless and refreshing vodka soda, a classic among vodka cocktails. This drink is a favorite among cocktail connoisseurs since it just requires a few basic components to create: vodka, club soda, a squeeze of lemon juice, and ice. Let the vodka soda be your go-to companion for moments of celebration and relaxation, offering a taste of pure sophistication with every sip.


A Classic Vodka Cocktail, served in a sleek, modern cocktail glass. The cocktail has a clear, pure appearance, characteristic of the high-quality vodka base. It's garnished with a twist of lemon or an olive, adding a sophisticated and refined touch. The glass is set on a polished bar counter, under the glow of chic, contemporary lighting that highlights the cocktail's crisp and elegant appearance. In the background, there's a display of vodka bottles and upscale bar accessories, creating a scene of modern cocktail artistry. The image captures the essence of a timeless and stylish cocktail experience, emphasizing the clean and smooth nature of the Classic Vodka Cocktail.

15 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.5 from 4 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic vodka cocktails
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Explore a collection of classic vodka cocktails that are timeless and perfect for any occasion.

Instructions

  • Pick your favorite recipe
  • Gather all the needed ingredients
  • Prep a classic vodka cocktail in less than 5 minutes
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
15 Classic Vodka Cocktails to Try
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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Ginger Tease Cocktail

Ginger Tease

A Summer Vodka Cocktail in a refreshing poolside setting. The cocktail is a light and invigorating blend of vodka, sparkling water, and fresh summer fruits like watermelon, strawberries, or citrus, served in a tall glass with ice. It has a bright and appealing color, garnished with a slice of fruit and a sprig of mint. The background features a luxurious poolside scene with clear blue water, comfortable loungers, sun umbrellas, and lush greenery, embodying the essence of a relaxing and rejuvenating summer day.

21 Must-Try Summer Vodka Cocktails