There are two ways to drink vodka – for purists – neat, with no mixers or flavorings and in mixed drinks and, for casual drinkers, in mixed drinks and cocktail recipes. Everyone who dabbled into the realm of spirits as a teenager has probably had a screwdriver. (vodka and orange juice). My favorite Vodka drinks are those that are full of flavor, since I rarely drink spirits neat.
It’s Cocktail Hour with my 10 Favorite Vodka Drinks.
Vodka is composed primarily of water and ethanol. Traditionally is it made by the distillation of fermented grains and potatoes. Some modern brands use fruits or sugar to distill it. Vodka brands vary considerably as does the price. What makes a good vodka? Before today, I thought it was primarily one that cost more. They seemed to be smoother, without the “burning” sensation that cheaper vodkas sometimes have.
Enter Leaf Vodka. One of my latest sponsors has provided me with two bottles of Leaf Vodka to test and review for them. I have done this by drinking it neat to compare the two bottles, and also in some of my favorite Vodka recipes. You can see the drink recipes here.
Since vodka is primarily water (60% by volume for 80 proof and 50% by volume for 100 proof), it stands to reason that the quality of the water is very important.
Leaf vodka comes in two types.
- Leaf vodka with the blue leaf, made from Rocky Mountain Glacial mineral water and
- Leaf vodka with the green leaf, made from Alaskan Glacial waters.
Both are quite smooth. When I tested them neat, I found the Alaskan glacier water version has a pure taste that is very smooth and the Rocky mountain water version is complex and quite rich. Neither version has an overpowering burning sensation that I normally associate with vodka. That is not to say there is no burn, but the vodka is smooth, nonetheless. The blue Leaf Vodka has a hint of sweetness, so is better suited to sweeter mixed drinks, and the blue Leaf vodka is more savory with a warm complex note.
So having been sold on drinking it neat, and enjoying the taste and smoothness of Leaf Vodka, I decided to see how it tasted in some of my favorite vodka drinks. The answer, in a word, is superb!
Leaf Vodka is reasonably priced at $16.99 for 750 ml and is certified USDA organic. For more information, see Leaf Vodka.
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 – 3 ice cubes
- 2 ounces of Blue Leaf Vodka
- 6 ounces of Fever Tree Ginger Beer
- wedge of lime to garnish
- Copper Mug (affiliate link)
Preparation: Add the lime juice, vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug over the ice and garnish with a lime wheel.
Cosmopolitan. This traditional cocktail is very popular and easy to make. It’s also a very pretty drink when made.
- 1 1/2 ounces Green Leaf vodka
- 1 ounce Cointreau orange liqueur
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/4 ounce cranberry juice
Preparation: Shake all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Smooth Operator The reason this drink is called a smooth operator is because the drink is as smooth as can be. It is full of fruity flavor and perfect for those who don’t like the taste of any alcohol in their drinks. I used Chobani vanilla yoghurt and the Blue Leaf Vodka for this one.Ingredients:
¾ oz. Blue Leaf Vodka
4 tbsp. vanilla yogurt
3 oz. apple juice
3 ice cubes
Garnish: strawberry slice
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a highball glass. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.
Ritzy Raspberry. I think this one might be my favorite! This refreshing drink has the goodness of raspberries and a hint of mint combined with lemon lime. The lemon-lime offsets the sweetness very well. I especially like the taste of this one.
- 2 oz. Blue Leaf Vodka
- 10 raspberries
- 4 mint leaves
- 1 oz. lemon-lime soda
- 1½ tsp. lime juice
Preparation: Muddle the raspberries and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake and strain into a tall glass.
Madras This refreshing drink could not be easier to make. It is perfect for a quick and fruity summer time sip.Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 ounces Green Leaf vodka
- 3 ounces of cranberry juice
- 1 ounce of orange juice
Preparation: Pour the cranberry juice and vodka into a margarita glass and stir well. Top the drink off with orange juice. Enjoy!
Screwdriver. Simple combination of vodka and orange juice and the friend to every young person starting to drink vodka. This is another drink perfect for brunch.
- 2 ounces of Green Leaf Vodka
- 5 ounces of orange Juice
- slice of Orange to garnish
Preparation: Place the ingredients in a tall glass with ice. Stir well and garnish with a slice of orange.
Bloody Mary. This tomato based cocktail is the perfect choice for brunch. Tip: Have the hot sauce in a bottle nearby, so guests can add as much as they want. Some might like it spicy and others not so much.Ingredients:
- 2 oz. Green Leaf Vodka
- 6 oz. Tomato Juice
- 2 to 3 drops of Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Dash of Pepper
- Celery slice to garnish
Preparation: Mix all of the ingredients and serve it in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of celery.
Vodka Mimosa. Brunch anyone? This delicious blend of vodka, orange juice and champagne, is the perfect way to toast the day! This drink is basically a screwdriver with a classy twist.
- 1 ounce Green Leaf Vodka
- 2 ounces orange juice
- Champagne to top the drink
Preparation: Add the Leaf Vodka and orange juice to a chilled champagne glass. Top up with champagne. Enjoy!
Cape Cod. Want to feel as though you are enjoying a day in the sun on Cape Cod? Try this delicious drink.
- 2 ounces of Green Leaf Vodka
- 3 ounces of cranberry Juice
- Wheel of Lime
Preparation: Fill a highball glass with ice cubes. Add the vodka and cranberry juice. Stir well and garnish with a lime wheel.
Black Russian. I love the creaminess of this delicious cocktail. It is a perfect choice for those who like a hint of coffee taste in their drinks.
- 1 3/4 ounces of Blue Leaf Vodka
- 3/4 ounce of Kahlua
- heavy cream (optional)
Preparation: Fill a short glass with ice. Add the vodka and Kahlua and stir well. Some versions add heavy cream to the drink, or even cola soda. This is just a straight version of it.
If you like these Leaf Vodka drinks, there are many more on their website.
Note: I received two bottles of Leaf vodka from the sponsor for free in exchange for this review. Nevertheless, I only recommend products that I feel that my readers will enjoy. I recommend this vodka highly. It is very smooth and makes a great mixed drink. For more information about the product, see the Leaf Vodka Website.
Do you have other vodka drinks that I haven’t mentioned here? What are your favorites?
More fun Vodka cocktails:
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." One of the companies who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."