From Sodas To Syrups To Tonics These Top Mixers Will Up Your Vodka Game
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Vodka was until recently, by legal definition, a flavorless, odorless spirit . Of course, fans of this clear spirit would disagree, arguing that each brand has different flavors depending on the grains used in the mash bill, how many times its been distilled, and what country it comes from. And vodka enthusiasts also know how well it works in a variety of cocktails, from the Moscow Mule to a Screwdriver to the humble Vodka & Tonic.
There are many different vodka mixers to choose from, ranging from simple flavored seltzer to a one-step Cosmopolitan combination of cranberry and lime juice. We spoke to some bar industry experts and gathered our own picks of the best vodka mixers that you can buy now.
How Im Gonna Choose The Best Vodka For Cocktails
The best way to work out which is the best Vodka for cocktails is to:
I think the best and fairest comparison comes from actual stats and data, rather than opinion.
So Im going to compare and rank each brand of vodka on the following criteria:
- Best value for money.
- Best by rank on the Amazon bestseller list for vodka.
- Best by best Amazon rating.
Sound good? Great! Lets start comparing Vodka!
First up, what is the best Vodka for cocktails based on value for money?
Best Craft: Maine Root Ginger Brew
With organic sugar cane juice thats certified fair trade and none of the additives that are so common in todays soda market, Maine Root Handcrafted Beverages is a company thats out to make everyone feel good. It offers a full line of well-crafted sodas and enjoys surprisingly wide distribution. Plus, the brand creates a top-notch ginger beer.
This is the ginger beer for true connoisseurs. It has a wonderful spicy ginger kick that will never go unnoticed. Maine Root describes it as wicked, and that is not an overstatement. Behind that is a slight natural sweetness, and the two contrasting flavors are married perfectly with lively bubbles. Even with all that going on, its an easy drinker, and it makes some very fine cocktails. For a true taste adventure, pour it into the tequila-based el diablo.
The spice is what sets ginger beer apart from ginger ale. While it may not be to everyones liking, a big, bold, spicy ginger beer is a thing of wonder. In this flavor profile, its hard to beat Reeds Stronger Ginger Brew.
Reeds is a well-known name in ginger beer, and ginger is the companys primary focus. Made with raw cane sugar, organic Peruvian ginger, and honey, this ginger beer features pineapple, lemon, and lime juices, too. Theyre made in the Jamaican style, so they always have a lively ginger snap that will grab your attention.
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Tito’s Is A Really Solid Option
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. If you want a crowd-pleasing vodka that is sure to be great for sipping, taking shots, enjoying Jell-O shots and mixes, you name it, Tito’s has your back. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, as described by Influenster, is “micro-distilled in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs.” Why does that matter? It makes its flavor so favorable that you’ll just want to keep drinking it .
Another great thing about Tito’s is the price. As noted by Drizly, you can get a 1L bottle of Tito’s for $27.99, or a 1.75L bottle for $35.19, so it’s a pretty good bang for your buck. Some happy customers on Influenster shared their thoughts on the beloved vodka brand, with one saying that Tito’s is their favorite vodka to drink. “I think it is really smooth. It’s also pretty affordable,” they wrote. “It mixes well with anything and is a cheaper alternative that meets the same standards.” So there you go Tito’s will never do you wrong.
Best For A Dark And Stormy: Barritt’s Original Ginger Beer
Barritt’s has been the standard in ginger beer for years and is called for in the original dark and stormy recipe. If you want an authentic taste of that cocktail, pair Barritt’s with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum .
Both familiar and readily availableoften appearing with other mixers near liquor, even in grocery storesBarritt’s is extremely reliable. It’s made with high fructose corn syrup, so there’s a sweetness reminiscent of mass-marketed sodas. And yet, it pairs with rum just as well as the super-syrupy Coca-Cola does in a rum and Coke. The ginger isn’t overpowering, and it has a great fizz that only adds to its appeal.
Bundaberg should be considered a benchmark for great-tasting ginger beer. You can’t help but miss the stout, dark bottle outfitted with a bold yellow label and pull tab.
A family-owned Australian company, Bundaberg reveals exactly how it’s made. It’s just like beerwort, fermentation, and maturingso it’s the real brew rather than an imitation thats produced like a soda. The recipe uses cane sugar and real ginger, offering the perfect balance of sweetness and spice with a warm foamy fizz reminiscent of dark beers.
Perfectly enjoyable on its own, Bundaberg can stand up to any cocktail. For a real treat, heat it up to give the ginger flavor a new life and mix it with seasonal flavors in the Christmas mule.
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More Cocktails From Fine Dining Lovers
Why be satisfied with just vodka when you can mix up a drink with gin and vodka. You might want to say your evening prayers before tossing back one of the vesper, in which the two spirits mentioned above are shaken vigorously with lillet blanc and garnished with candied lemon zest.
Then there are cocktails where the base is a wild card. Enter the gimlet, an explosion of lime that can be mixed with vodka, gin, or even mezcal, tequilas smoke-shrouded cousin. This simple drink with a strong literary pedigree can be embellished with different herbs like rosemary, basil, or mint.
Speaking of mint, to conjure up swirls of Southern nostalgia and the rowdy revelries of the Kentucky Derby, slurp a mint julep. The elements: bourbon whiskey, sugar, crushed ice, and, of course, mint.
The Drink Recipes Every Vodka Drinker Needs
Vodka may be the most mixable and useful liquor in the bar. The spirit’s clear, clean taste pairs well with any flavor, from sweet to savory and dry to spicy. Featured in thousands of cocktail recipes that vary in character, ingredients, and style, there is a vodka cocktail for every drinker and occasion.
Within that extensive list of vodka drinks, some standouts are considered essential. These are the most popular of those recipes and the drinks that everyone should taste at least once.
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What Is The Absolute Best Thing To Mix With Vodka
The absolute best thing to mix with vodka is tomato juice. It has a rich, savory flavor, is low in sugar and carbs, and has no caffeine. Its a safe, yet tasty, mixer for vodka and wont add too many extra calories to your drink.
Regardless of which mixer you choose, a good rule of thumb is always to mix alcohol with a non-alcoholic beverage. This helps dilute the alcohol content of your drink and is an effective way to avoid overindulging, which comes with negative consequences like lack of self-control, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Oxidation damages cells and causes aging in the human body.
Non-alcoholic drinks typically served in clubs like soda water are diluted and have a pH lower than that of vodka.
If Quality Isn’t Exactly What You’re Going For Skyy Vodka Will Do
We’re slowly starting to inch our way to the best vodka brands on our list. If you’re looking for a vodka that’s pretty decent for mixing, then Skyy Vodka could be the bottle you’re looking for. As noted by Drizly, Skyy Vodka starts at $19.89 for a 1L bottle, so it’s still very much on the affordable side. It has underlying flavors of anise, coriander, and pepper and is a triple-filtered spirit.
This all sounds pretty good, right? Well, some users who took to the reviews on Drizly had less-than-nice things to say. First and foremost, one reviewer explained that they left the vodka in the freezer and it completely froze solid , so that seems a bit questionable if you ask us. Another reviewer put it pretty well when they said, “Skyy is pretty middle of the road. Its selling point is its cheapness.” So is it the worst? No. Is it the best? Not at all. Do with this information what you will.
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Because You Really Don’t Want To Drink It Straight
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Have you ever thought you’ve found your favorite chaser just to realize that it doesn’t mask the awful taste of vodka anymore? Not to worry, there are plenty more drinks out there that you might not know about. Some vodka mixers aren’t as well known, but they’re ones you have to try nonetheless.
It doesn’t matter if you need a quick chaser or if you’re making a mixed drink, all of these vodka mixers will do the trick. Just find what you like and stick with it. Who knows, maybe you’ll even switch it up a bit.
Soda Water & Sparkling Mineral Water
Soda water, also known as club soda, is an absolute go to as a mixer. If you like the taste of vodka or want to avoid sugary mixers , soda water can be used to dilute vodkas bite while adding a little carbonation. Using soda water is a tried and true way to create delicious cocktails, especially if youre trying to limit your carb and sugar intake. Our go-to brands include Schweppes and Canada Dry
For a more sophisticated low-calorie drink, spend a few dollars more and get sparkling mineral water instead. Unlike standard club soda, true mineral water comes from a natural spring, which is why restaurants charge a premium for S. Pellegrino and Perrier. To create the perfect at-home vodka cocktail, simply combine S. Pellegrino, vodka and crushed fruit of your choice over ice.
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Lime And Vodka Granita
The ultimate hot weather refresher involves preparing your own icy mixer to top off your choice of vodka ideal for when guests are all bringing their own favourite brand. Whats more, you probably already have the ingredients to hand. At least if, like all good vodka aficionados, youre constantly stocked up on limes.
To make a lime and vodka granita, simply:
To serve, pour a little vodka into 4 lowball glasses, drop a wedge of lime into each, and top with the granita. For an extra bit of flair, start by zesting your limes before you juice them and set the curls aside in an airtight container until its time to garnish.
Iced Tea And Lemonade
Iced tea and vodka, third-wheeled by lemonade, create a light and refreshing summer drink. Its okay to solely use lemonade to mix with vodka . But if you want to include both, its called a John Daly, named after the American golfer and his infamous alcohol problems.
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Best Syrup: W& p Craft Moscow Mule Syrup
Courtesy of Amazon
The Moscow Mule is a classic cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime. W& P makes this already simple drink even easier with this cocktail syrup, and the fact that its a concentrated syrup means you get more bang for your buck.
Made using fresh ginger, lime juice, and cane sugar, only a half-ounce is needed per drink. An 8-ounce bottle makes 16 drinks. You’ll just need some soda to round out this spicy party!
Best Overall: Spindrift Cucumber Flavored Water
Courtesy of Amazon
You can mix almost anything with vodka, as this spirit is often a blank canvas that will take on the characteristics of its companions in a cocktail. The best overall option to try is Spindrifts cucumber-flavored seltzer. Its made using real cucumbers and provides a bright but subtle mix of fresh flavors without the cloying sweetness of othered flavored seltzers.
Spindrift is widely available and inexpensive, so theres no reason not to keep a six-pack at home to whip up a round of drinks at a moment’s notice.
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Big Batch Bloody Mary Mix
Whether you’re serving guests or just want a pitcher waiting in the fridge for a quick drink, it’s easy to increase the recipe. The make-ahead bloody mary works out best if you hold the vodka because it gives you the option of pouring another liquor or enjoying a nonalcoholic drink.
- For a bloody mary pitcher that will serve eight drinks, combine four cups of tomato juice, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon each of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, and black pepper, and about two teaspoons of horseradish in a pitcher. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasonings, and refrigerate for up to one week.
- When ready to serve, pour 1 1/2 ounces of vodka in an ice-filled glass and add the Bloody Mary mix.
- To spike the entire pitcher, add two cups of vodka.
Belvedere Is One Of Our Top Three Picks
If you’re a “I’m going to buy this vodka because I like the label” kind of person, then we’ll be surprised if you’ve never picked up a bottle of Belvedere before. The name itself just sounds fancy, and, as noted by Drizly, the vodka itself is excellent. Belvedere markets itself as the “true expression of luxury vodka,” and is the result of a 600-year vodka-making tradition originally from Poland. It is made with Polish Dankowski Rye and is distilled four times in order to “create the perfect balance of character and purity.” It also doesn’t have any added glycerin, sugar, or additives, so you know you’re getting the good stuff.
Belvedere is a fantastic choice as well, because it is not only great for sipping, but it makes the perfect martini . The only slight downside to Belvedere, as you may have guessed, is the cost. For a 1L bottle, you’re looking at dropping about $40, which isn’t exactly the most budget-friendly idea. But if you have a bit to spare, Belvedere is absolutely the right choice.
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The Best Italian Vodka
VOGA Italia Vodka
When you think of Italy, your brain probably doesnt immediately jump to vodka distilleries – but VOGA Vodka looks to be changing that. The wheat that makes Italian pasta so delicious is the same wheat used to make VOGA Vodka, along with spring water from the Italian Alps. Though a delicate spirit, the Nebbiolo grapes from Piemonte that are used to filter Voga give it a unique flavour profile worthy of its premium label. To fully appreciate this vodka, drink it neat or over ice alongside a generous slice of focaccia. Mmm
ABV: 40%Size: 1LFind here: Available here for some countries from $38.99 but will be coming to more soon!
What Is The Healthiest Mixer For Vodka
Vodka is one of the easiest liquors for fitting cocktails into your diet. If you mix vodka with soda water, you have a light beverage with very few calories!
You can also add a squeeze of lime to add a bit of a flavor. This is also a great way to enjoy quality vodkas without diluting the flavor with too many mixers.
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Six Of The Best Vodka Mixers According To Us
Vodka is supposed to be flavorless, says the TTB, the government bureau that regulates alcohol. Some bottles may have grassy undertones and others a sharp bite , but, ultimately, understatement is the name of the game.
And so mixers matter when youre making vodka cocktails. To determine the best juices, sodas, and other dance partners for vodka, we turned to an utterly subjective source: ourselves. We gathered VinePair staff and extended family for a taste test.
Our criteria? All mixers had to be widely available, disqualifying that tasty Concord grape syrup a friend from Maine sometimes brings to Thanksgiving. We prioritized simple, two- or three-ingredient drinks and, for sake of consistency, made every cocktail with one of our preferred affordable vodkas, Prairie Organic.
Here are six of our favorite vodka mixers, ranked.
Picking Your Vodka Mixers
Typically, juices are the best mixers for vodka. Fruit juices, arguably, makes for the best vodka mixers due to the wealth of flavor and the range of possibility that they bring. Almost any juice you enjoy will do, but it is important to keep in mind how much of the vodka you would still like to taste. The stronger the juice, the more dangerous the drink. To learn more about commercial-grade juice equipment, make sure to take advantage of SC Beverages 20 years of experience!
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