Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Vodka Cocktails

11 Summer Vodka Cocktails to Try Right Now

John Daly cocktail / Tim Nusog

Vodka sometimes gets a bad rap for being a boring spirit, but we like to think of it as more of a blank canvas, one on which other interesting cocktail ingredients, from seasonal fruit to chai tea to the most obscure liqueurs, find a home and even flourish. So start getting inspired. These are 11 vodka cocktails to try right now.

  • Lemon Drop

    Lemon Drop / Tim Nusog

    The 1970s spawned this mix of vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and simple syrup that has since spanned the globe and entered the pantheon of classics.

    Get the recipe.

  • Summerthyme Screwdriver

    Summerthyme Screwdriver / Tim Nusog

    This large-format cocktail, a mixture of vodka, Aperol and lemon and orange juices, topped with club soda and garnished with oranges and thyme, takes the classic Screwdriver into entirely new territory.

    Get the recipe.

  • Lunar Eclipse

    This health-conscious cocktail is packed full of veggies and good-for-you spices. Turmeric-infused vodka adds a savory kick to carrot juice, while honey and lemon juice brighten up the edges. Bitters add an extra layer for a drink that’s fit for brunch or afternoon sipping.

    Get the recipe.

  • Cosmopolitan

    Cosmopolitan cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Carrie Bradshaw had as good of taste in cocktails as she had in clothes. A true Cosmo, made with citrus vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and a splash of cranberry, is a delightful drink, walking the balance between sweet and sour with elegance.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Moscow Mule

    Moscow Mule / Tim Nusog

    The combo of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice has joined the canon of classic cocktails for its spicy and tart taste, just perfect for a summer afternoon. The copper mug is optional, of course.

    Get the recipe.

  • Oaks Lily

    Oaks Lily / Tim Nusog

    The official cocktail of the Bluegrass State’s other big horse race, the Kentucky Oaks, this Cosmo-inspired cocktail mixes vodka, orange liqueur, lemon and cranberry juices, and simple syrup for a truly winning combination.

    Get the recipe.

  • Vodka Gimlet

    Vodka Gimlet / Tim Nusog

    Gin may be the most classic choice for a Gimlet, a drink in which the spirit is combined with either lime cordial or lime juice and simple syrup, but vodka has been a popular option for decades in this simple sour cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • Chi Chi

    Chi Chi cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Essentially a Piña Colada with vodka swapped in to replace the rum, the Chi Chi calls for combining vodka, pineapple juice and cream of coconut, rendering a sweet, fruity and tropical cocktail. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • West Side

    West Side cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This drink is the all-time best-seller at famed NYC bar Employees Only. It's basically a vodka South Side with soda. To make it, shake together citrus vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and a bit of fresh mint, then top with club soda for the most refreshing of summer drinks.

    Get the recipe.

  • Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet

    Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet
    Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet. / Tim Nusog

    The Gimlet, a classic combination of gin, lime juice and simple syrup, gets a fresh-produce boost in this cocktail. Swap vodka for gin and add cucumber, basil and a little lemonade, and you have the ideal warm-weather cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • John Daly

    John Daly cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Essentially a boozy Arnold Palmer (and if you know anything about golf icons, you'll understand the punny source of this drink's name), this summer refresher involves vodka, lemonade and iced tea, simply poured into a tall glass over ice and stirred to combine before garnishing with a lemon wheel.

    Get the recipe.