17 Vodka Cocktails Because It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

moscow mule cocktail in copper mugs with lime wedges

Vodka is a great spirit for many classic cocktails. These cocktail recipes use both regular vodka and flavored vodka, like lemon or pomegranate. Whatever kind of vodka you choose will taste delicious in these drinks. Recipes like our Moscow Mule Cocktail and Spicy Tomato Vodka Soda are tasty, fun and the perfect drink to mix this weekend.

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Moscow Mule Cocktail

moscow mule cocktail in copper mugs with lime wedges

This refreshing cocktail features a combination of vodka, tangy lime and ginger beer, a nonalcoholic carbonated ginger beverage similar to ginger ale. This cocktail is traditionally served in a copper mug.

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Spicy Tomato Vodka Soda


Kate E. Richards, author of Drinking with Chickens, gave EatingWell a spicy cocktail recipe for you to mix up that she says is equally good for happy hour or brunch--fowl or no fowl.

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Blackberry-Rosemary Vodka & Soda


Blackberries give this vodka cocktail its gorgeous hue and jammy flavor. Use the leftover simple syrup to mix up drinks for friends or skip the vodka for a mocktail.

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Salty Chihuahua


This is a Mexican-inspired take on the Salty Dog (usually made with grapefruit juice, vodka and salt).

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Crisp Apple-Ginger Cocktail

Crisp Apple-Ginger Cocktail

Enjoy the taste of fall in a cocktail with this crisp combo of apple cider and ginger ale spiked with vodka.

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Elderberry Sunset Cocktail


This refreshing cocktail calls for elderberry syrup--if you've tried trendy St-Germain elderflower liqueur, which is made from the same plant, the flavor of elderberry syrup is somewhat similar but not as floral. Stock up on the syrup for this cocktail and for your health--research shows that it can help you recover from a cold faster. (One brand, Sambucol, is widely available in supermarket supplement sections.)

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Jack Frost Cocktail

Jack Frost Cocktail
Amy Traynor

This frozen cocktail is made blue with a natural infusion of butterfly pea flowers in vodka. A blend of mint liqueur and vanilla ice cream makes this cocktail the perfect frosty holiday dessert drink.

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Love Potion Cocktail

Love Potion Cocktail
Amy Traynor

Celebrate Valentine's Day (or Galentine's Day) with this fruity vodka cocktail. Fresh raspberries, lemon and simple syrup are combined with pomegranate juice (pomegranates are a purported aphrodisiac). Add a dash of rosewater for a layer of alluring floral flavor.

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Ginger-Thyme Sparkling Lemonade

Ginger-Thyme Sparkling Lemonade
Eva Kolenko

Leave the jug at home—this homemade lemonade concentrate is easier to tote, plus gives you the option to make drinks to order at your picnic. Bring sparkling and still water along with gin and vodka for a bar in your basket.

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Dirty Shirley

2 Dirty Shirleys
Brittany Conerly

Here's a Shirley Temple for grownups! We found that typical Dirty Shirleys are cloyingly sweet. Our version uses half the amount of grenadine as other versions and a lower-in-sugar ginger beer instead of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda for a refreshing drink.

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Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini
Amy Traynor

This espresso martini is the perfect pick-me-up cocktail, combining vodka with coffee liqueur and a shot of espresso. Use freshly brewed espresso and shake vigorously to give this cocktail a rich foam. If you don't have an espresso maker, you can make this drink with strong brewed coffee.

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Lemon-Ginger Kombucha Cocktail

Lemon-Ginger Kombucha Cocktail
Photographer / Brie Passano, Food Stylist / Annie Probst, Prop Stylist / Holly Raibikis

If you like kombucha, it's time to try it in a cocktail! We recommend lemon-ginger kombucha, but try this versatile vodka cocktail recipe with any flavor.

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Cran Razzy


To keep calories in check, we like to use seltzer along with juice in drinks like vodka and cranberry. This version gets a raspberry twist with cranberry-raspberry juice and raspberries for garnish. For the prettiest garnish, start with big, plump fresh raspberries and freeze them yourself.

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Frozen Espresso Martini

frozen expresso martini
Fred Hardy

This frozen twist on the classic cocktail is perfect for sipping in hot weather. The coffee liqueur provides sweetness—no extra added sugars needed. Freezing the coffee into ice cubes helps chill the drink without diluting the flavor.

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Berry Bubbly Vodka Soda


This bright and bubbly sipper combines berries with vodka and seltzer to make a colorful 3-ingredient cocktail you can enjoy year-round, thanks to frozen berries. Amp up the flavor even more by using a flavored seltzer rather than plain!

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Frozen Pumpkin-Spice Espresso Martini

Frozen Pumpkin-Spice Espresso Martini
Photographer: Sara Baurley, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle, Food Stylist: Liv Dansky

Put a seasonal twist on a classic frozen espresso martini. Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice combine to create the perfect fall cocktail. A touch of black pepper brings a little heat to the drink. Use up the rest of the can of pumpkin in a pasta sauce or in a dessert.

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These refreshing summery drinks can be made with or without alcohol.

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