Vodka’s something we drink more out of resignation than enjoyment. We’d like to have a drink, but we’d much rather have that drink be a whiskey cocktail or a good local beer than some bastardization of a mixed drink our host shook together with vodka and whatever was in their candy drawer.
But if you ever find yourself in a situation where vodka is the only thing in the cabinet, or if you feel like you may be missing out on something, know that you have options. Drinking vodka doesn’t mean like you have to drink like a college freshman. These are a few of the best vodka mixed drinks for guys who want to clear alcohol like adults.
Apple Cider Cocktail
We don’t have eyes for apple cider until mid-September, but come mid-September, you better believe we’re all over it. And if we can throw some alcohol in the mix, we’re not exactly going to say no to that. This apple cider cocktail combines cider, ginger beer, cinnamon, and a healthy dose of vodka in a drink that’s a symbol of all we love about the changing seasons. This is a drink perfect for sitting around a bonfire while the sun goes down and the leaves ditch their chlorophyll. It has some fruit in it, yeah, but as hard cider starts to regain its masculine edge, there’s no reason to think not-hard cider shouldn’t benefit from that. Plus, barring fruit allergies, don’t trust people who say they don’t like apple cider. Link
The hate for mojitos was never something we understood. But that reputation seems to be slowly reversing, thanks in part to proponents of the mojito getting vocal. People are also getting comfortable experimenting with it too, judging from the Italian Mojito. It keeps the lime and sugar, but uses basil instead of mint and vodka instead of rum, two substitutions that, while surprising, are far from crazy. Basil has been popping up in a lot of places recently, especially drinks, so maybe it’s not actually all that surprising that it makes an appearance here. Whatever the reason, we’re happy to see it. Plus this gives you something to pair with your pasta that isn’t wine. Link
The reason for this drink’s name is a bit puzzling. There isn’t anything particularly lizard-like about the drink. The only connection we can think of is Mexico. Iguanas are found in Mexico and tequila is the most stereotypically Mexican liquor we can think of, so there’s a connection, but we would have thought to find some other Mexican symbol to name the drink after. As far as we know, Emiliano Zapata doesn’t have any drinks named after him. We could be overthinking this though, since drink names rarely make sense. For example, there wasn’t any time an old fashioned was a new fashioned or even just a regular fashioned. If we are overthinking it, that could mean we’re keeping ourselves from enjoying a perfectly good patio sipper, so we’re going to dial that back a bit. Link
Dill Pickle Vodka Martini
We’ve all heard the rumors that pickle juice is a great chaser. Maybe some of us have even tried it. But we still think it’s safe to say that dill pickles and alcohol aren’t natural bedfellows. Some people, it would seem, disagree, and their counterpoint is the unique dill pickle vodka martini. We’ll admit that it’s a decent argument, mostly because it doesn’t have the fruity, sugary, immediate-headache-inducing syrups of other vodka pitfalls. It also packs a pretty hefty alcoholic punch, with each martini coming in at three and a half shots. This isn’t your standard college bar vodka drink and we applaud the creativity of whoever invented it. It might not become your specialty, but this is a great drink to surprise someone with. Link
The best part of this vodka drink might be the name and the way the recipe treats it. They don’t even try to relate the drink to Washington Irving’s story. There’s a plot synopsis and a recipe, making this the biggest missed opportunity in “you’ll lose your head” cheesy pun history. And it’s weird they missed it because this is one of those drinks that could do some serious damage, as anyone who drinks whiskey and ginger ale together knows. There are only four ingredients here and only two of them are liquids: vodka, ginger ale, bitters, and an orange slice. This is the kind of cocktail that sneaks up on you, so make sure it’s not the only thing you’re drinking. Link
Canadian Caesar Cocktail
This probably isn’t a groundbreaking observation, but Canadians get hangovers too. And like the rest of the world, they decided the hair of the dog is going to be what cures them. Well, if not cures them, at least take the edge off. Maybe not even that. Look, these kind of drinks don’t actually serve a purpose beyond helping you make the same mistake that got you into this mess, just in the morning now. The main difference between a Bloody Mary and a Canadian Caesar is the base juice. Bloody Marys use tomato juice, while Canadian Caesar’s use Clamato juice, which is a mix of tomato juice and clam broth. It sounds like a decently welcome difference too, because sometimes tomato juice needs something besides vodka to cut it. Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, celery, and lime are all present here too, so don’t think the Canadians skipped out on putting weird shit in their breakfast buzz. Link
Holiday Iced Coffee
We have a favor to ask of you. If you follow the link (which you should, it’s where the recipe is), don’t jump to hasty conclusions about the drink because of the site it’s on. Yes, the site is Pretty Plain Janes, and yes, some of the fonts aren’t exactly in line with what our tastes usually are. But look past those things and you’ll find a vodka drink that could easily end up a guilty pleasure. If you have to drink it alone to rationalize or hide what you’re doing, that’s fine. All we’re saying is a creamy drink like one of these every once in awhile can do a person good. And besides, it couldn’t hurt to have at least one vodka drink you and your girlfriend both enjoy. Link
It’s easy to overlook the fact that vodka can be drunk like whiskey, straight up or neat, in a glass, trying to discern the nuanced flavors of the spirit. Because let’s not forget the origins of vodka here. The Russian originators didn’t have tomato juice or coffee or bacon infusions to mask their potato water. Their mixer was more vodka. And if we’re on a quest to be “manly,” Siberian vodka fiends are pretty high up on the list of masculine archetypes. Vodka’s gotten a pretty heavy collegiate reputation lately and we’d like to see a bit of that original Russian prestige restored. Just because vodka’s the cheapest alcohol format at the liquor store doesn’t mean its only contribution to drinking is underage experimentation. Link