Vodka’s Tasty Turn
What is it about vodka that makes it one of the most sought-after spirits, consistently growing in popularity every year? Its versatility transforms a neophyte into a cocktail aficionado, while its malleability takes patrons’ palates on interesting adventures. Infused and flavored renditions of the spirit only add to the possibilities. Whether it’s distilled multiple times or made with the purest mountain spring water, the spirit has an intense and impassioned following, allowing bartenders to create diverse flavor profiles from sweet and savory to spicy and fruity. To grow your cocktail repertoire, add a few signature vodka recipes to the menu, and your guests won’t be able to do anything but order another.
Created by Bar Manager Jo-Jo Valenzuela at RIS in Washington, D.C.
1½ ounces Ketel One Oranje
1 ounce Luxardo Maraschino
½ ounce lemon juice
¼ ounce crème de violette
4 dashes orange bitters
Orange chip, for garnish
Shake, fine strain and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange chip.
Created by Sly Cosmopoulos from Republic National Distributing Company.
2 ounces Russian Standard Vodka
½ ounce lavender syrup
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce egg whites
Fresh lavender, for garnish
Muddle raspberries, then combine with Russian Standard Vodka, lavender syrup, lime juice and egg whites over ice. Strain into a Martini glass, and garnish with fresh lavender.
The Spicy Fifty
Courtesy of Stolichnaya Vodka.
1½ parts Stoli Vanil
½ part elderflower liqueur
½ part fresh lime juice
½ part Monin Honey Syrup
2 thin slices of red chili peppers
Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a red-eye chili sitting on the edge of the glass.
Created by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen for Purity Vodka.
3 ounces Purity Vodka
1/8 ounce wash of aquavit
3 to 4 slices cucumber
Add the aquavit to a cocktail shaker and roll around. Shake out any excess. Drop in cucumber slices and press with a muddler to release juices. Measure in the vodka and fill with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Double strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a small sprig of dill.
ABSOLUT Ginger Smash
Courtesy of ABSOLUT Vodka.
2 parts ABSOLUT Orient Apple
½ part simple syrup
1 part soda water
2 to 3 lemon wedges
4 to 5 mint sprigs
Muddle simple syrup, lemon wedges and mint in a rocks glass. Add ABSOLUT Orient Apple and ice. Top with soda water and stir.
Courtesy of The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley.
2 ounces vodka
3 ounces Perfect Purée Strawberry, thawed
2 ounces lemon juice
2 ounces simple syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.
St. Helena Picnic
Created by Allison Evanow, founder of Square One Vodka.
1½ ounces Square One Basil
2 to 3 strawberries
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce agave nectar or simple syrup
½ ounce sparkling wine or Champagne
Muddle strawberries in a mixing cup. Add remaining ingredients (except sparkling wine) and shake well with ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and gently pour sparkling wine to float on top.
Finlandia Mango Mojito
Courtesy of Finlandia Vodka.
2 ounces Finlandia Mango Fusion
2 ounces fresh mango purée
¼ ounce simple syrup
3 to 4 fresh lime wedges
3 to 4 fresh mint leaves
Splash of club soda
Muddle ingredients, stir and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a Caipiroska spoon.
Courtesy of 4 Orange Premium Vodka.
1½ ounces 4 Orange Premium Vodka
½ ounce simple syrup
Red chilies, chopped
Muddle tomatoes, chilies, basil, simple syrup and bitters in a mixing glass. Add vodka and ice. Shake and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a skewered chili and cherry.
It’s Cherry Thyme
Courtesy of Pucker Flavored Vodka.
2 parts Pucker Cherry Tease Vodka
4 parts fresh thyme
½ part honey syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part water)
1 part orange juice
3 parts orange bitters
1 part soda
Orange quarter, for garnish
Muddle fresh thyme with a little bit of ice. Combine with more ice and the rest of the ingredients (except the soda) in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Splash with soda and garnish with an orange quarter.
On the menu at Spiaggia in Chicago.
¾ ounce Dumante Verdenoce
1½ ounces ABSOLUT Vanilia
1 ounce Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
1 ounce Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
Shake ingredients, and serve up in a Martini glass.