Fed up of vodka and tonic? No, nor are we. There’s every good reason for this drink’s huge popularity on a summer evening when you’re out socialising with friends and you want something bright and drinkable. Vodka doesn’t have a lot of taste when you drink it neat, which means that getting creative with your additions is going to make all the difference.
Where shall we start? Well, if you haven’t tried it as a mixer, that's hard for us to believe, but feel free to start your list with Tonic, as one of 7 of the best vodka mixers. That feels like it goes without saying. What follows is a collection of 6 alternatives.
Vodka Orange Juice (also known as a 'Screwdriver')
The basic message is to keep it simple. Vodka and orange. You must have tried a Screwdriver sometime in your life. This simple cocktail turns up everywhere as a trusted favourite. And what’s more, if you splash some Galliano in there too, you get a classic Harvey Wallbanger.
Switch that OJ for some fresh and natural pineapple juice, and you’ll have created an entirely different summer drink that’s a real thirst quencher. For a French Martini, you could always try some Chambord to get that sophisticated twist. Yes please!
Grapefruit’s an interesting alternative if you’re up for something slightly out of the ordinary. As you’d expect, it’s not too sweet, but it’s certainly super-refreshing. Sometimes the sharper edginess of grapefruit juice hits the spot better than other mixers when you’re looking for that perfect long cool drink. Give it a go.
Along the same lines, cranberry juice is one the best vodka mixers. Cranberry has a tartness to it, and in fact, you might like to add some other juices at the same time, either to enhance the sour taste you love or to take the harsh edges off it if it's a bit too much. Mixed with vodka, cranberry juice has a particular kick you’ll remember. And a lovely colour.
Now, if you prefer your vodka mixer to sparkle sweetly, you should try a decent lemonade or soda. You could choose lemonade that has a very strong bitter lemon fizz, or if you prefer, others are softer and easier on the palate. Some people like to throw some berries or herbs in for good measure. Great for parties. Lemonade has that free flow experimental feel to it. Slices, chunks, rocks, umbrellas. Just what you need for an afternoon in the pool under the hot sun.
Finally, how about vodka with ginger beer? This is one of our definite favourites. Not just any ginger beer though, or it might as well be lemonade. Pick a good quality brand that really brings out the distinctive character of the ginger. There are extras you can add to make this a unique vodka blend. How about a generous squeeze of lime. Or make that lemon, and throw in some Vermouth and creme de cacao to create a 20th Century Mule cocktail. Fabulous.
Basically, there’s not much you can go wrong with when you’re mixing vodka cocktails, so this summer we suggest you make a collection of the best vodka mixers and give them all a try. We predict you’ll find an extra two or three alternatives you’ll want to come back to time and again.