Colorful Cocktails for National Vodka Day
Of all the made-up holidays on the calendar, National Vodka Day is a keeper. Let’s hear it for the Water of Life — one of the oldest and most versatile spirits in the world. Here's a rainbow of recipes to get you started.
Did you know vodka had its very own day? In the United States, National Vodka Day comes around every October 4th. And while that’s a perfectly good reason to master your martini or discover some new, blue-hued vodka cocktails — so is just about any other day of the year.
One reason? Vodka is one of the hardest-working, most versatile items in your liquor cabinet — and it’s the base of more alcoholic beverages than any of the other bottles you’ve got on the shelf. In fact, there's a veritable rainbow of choices when it comes to vodka cocktails! Here are a few of our favorites.
Red: The Perfect Bloody Mary
A mainstay of the brunch set, the Bloody Mary has countless variations — some simple, some spicy, some topped with a whole piece of fried chicken. This popular version, by Girl Raised in the South, keeps it classic with tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, and celery, plus a garnish of bacon and olives.
It’s the drink that more or less defined the ‘90s for anyone who ever saw an episode of Sex in the City: the cosmopolitan. In this Williams-Sonoma recipe, it’s a straightforward mix of vodka, triple sec, cranberry, and lime juice — but you can up the ante at home with any of the citrus-flavored vodkas that are now on the market.
Orange: Mandarin Vodka Spritzer
Of course, you could go with a classic screwdriver — which is just vodka and orange juice — but why not change it up a bit? Freshly-squeezed mandarin juice plus vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and club soda make this recipe, from A Healthy Life for Me, extra light and refreshing.
Yellow: Limoncello Vodka Collins
I basically do anything the Barefoot Contessa tells me. In this recipe, vodka gets a full-blown lemony treatment with limoncello, lemon juice, club soda, and a bit of simple syrup. If you plan ahead, you can make your own limoncello with little more than vodka, lemons, sugar, water — and a week’s worth of patience.
Green: Midori Martini
Ah, Midori — there are so few green cocktails out there without you. This Midori martini, from Crazy for Crust, combines Midori, vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup for a balanced cocktail that's deemed “perfectly sweet and sour.”
Blue: Sex in the Driveway All Summer Long
It’s possible that the name of this cocktail is at least part of the reason it has 22,000 yums. The other part? The very sweet combo of peach schnapps, blue curaçao, vodka, and Sprite!
Purple: Blueberry Purple Rain Martini
Blue curaçao also plays a starring role in this vodka cocktail, from 3 Yummy Tummies. Grenadine, a couple of different juices, and blueberry vodka give it its distinct color. And there’s no beating the name.
Black: Black Russian
Here's a classic vodka cocktail, where your favorite coffee liqueur and vodka meet up for an after-dinner soiree. This recipe, from Little Kitchen Blue, doesn’t specify which coffee liqueur, but Kahlua is the classic go-to.
White: White Russian
The Black Russian’s creamy cousin, made famous by The Big Lebowski, is like dessert in a glass. Careful! It goes down easy but packs a punch.
Gold: Moscow Mule
A good ginger beer is key in this dead-simple Moscow Mule recipe from Serious Eats. Note: the fancy copper mugs are not required, but recommended.
Clear: Vodka Martini
For purists, clear is the only way. Vodka sodas, vodka tonics, and the quintessential vodka martini require few ingredients other your favorite vodka, whether it’s a classic Russian vodka, an old-school potato vodka from Poland, or a new-fangled American gluten-free vodka from Austin, Texas.