Learn about vodka and all our best vodka cocktails, including classic vodka drinks, martinis and mixed drinks like the Black Russian and Moscow Mule.
Table of Contents
What is Vodka?
Vodka is a clear spirit. It was originally made by fermenting and distilling potatoes or grains. But it can actually be made from most anything, including beets or grapes!
It may have originated in Russia or Poland, but it’s now enjoyed all over the world. It shows up in lots of popular vodka cocktail recipes.
Alcohol content of vodka
Vodka has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of between 40% and 50%. That translates to 80-100 proof. In the US, it has to contain a minimum of 40% ABV whereas in Europe the minimum is 37.5% alcohol content.
How Does Vodka Taste?
Vodka has a neutral flavor that doesn’t influence the taste of a cocktail. That means vodka is the perfect spirit for cocktails where you don’t want the flavor of the liquors changing the flavor of the mixers.
You can mix vodka into nearly any drink, including non-alcoholic drinks you want to spike. It won’t change the flavor. It just adds a kick.
The classic Bloody Mary recipe blends vodka with tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco, lemon juice and celery salt. This simple recipe tastes wonderful, but you can add more Tobasco if you want it hotter.
Most recipes you'll find for the Screwdriver don't call for the pinch of salt. But it smooths the rough edges of the orange juice's acidity and the "burning" flavor of the vodka. This is a refreshing cocktail that's ideal for brunches.
The Sex on the Beach cocktail is a classic drink recipe. It features vodka, peach schnapps with orange and cranberry juice. The taste is fruity with just enough tartness to keep it from being too sweet. The alcohol flavor isn't very noticeable.
The Vodka Sunrise cocktail is just like the Tequila Sunrise, but with vodka in place of the tequila. That makes it a nice alternative for Tequila Sunrise lovers, and a great replacement for those who don't like tequila.
The Espresso Martini has two wonderful purposes in your life: to give you a jolt at the same time as it helps you unwind. It features coffee liqueur along with actual espresso, so it will definitely keep you awake!
The Nilla Wafer Martini blends the flavors of vanilla and amaretto to taste like the cookie after which it's named. It's not as sweet as you might imagine, which makes it a nice drink to enjoy before dinner.
The Caramel Martini is definitely a taste experience. Like most candy-tinis, it's all alcohol. But there's not a hint of gin or vodka anywhere near this recipe. You get hazelnut, an almost buttery vanilla flavor and butterscotch, all mixed up into a wonderful caramel flavor.