Vodka Drinks, Cocktails and Concoctions: 10 Refreshing Summer Recipes
- 25ml = 0.10 cups = 0.88 fluid ounces
- 40ml = 0.17cups = 1.4 fluid ounces
- 50ml = 0.21cups 1.76 fluid ounces
- 100ml = 0.42cups = 3.5 fluid ounces
Vodka is a versatile spirit that is perfect for giving any fruity or milky drink combo a good kick. It is my spirit of choice either in its vodka and mixer or cocktail guise. I must admit I can't handle neat shots of the stuff, although here and there I put this theory to the test only to come to the conclusion that, no, I still can't handle it!
Over many years of enjoying a nice drink or two (or three...) I have sampled, sipped and slurped a spectrum of colourful concoctions and cocktails, here are 10 of the tastiest tried and tested recipes, from the simple to slightly more involved. All of them delicious, in my opinion!
- Be careful when you put the bag in the freezer. Don't put it directly onto the shelf as it might stick. Use a container or a plate.
- If you are struggling to get the frozen mixture out of the bag run it under warm water until you can break a chunk off.
1. Strawberry Summer Slush
Yield: 6 cocktails in long glasses. The yield for this cocktail is high as there is a little bit of preparation involved so it's worth making it in bulk. Scale up or down to suit.
- 240ml vodka (based on 40ml per drink—add more or less depending on how potent you want it to be, remember to adjust water accordingly)
- 135g strawberry jelly (or jello). 1 UK jelly pack is 135g. Jello packs are 85g so you will need a little under 2 packs.
- 285ml boiling water
- 50g sugar
- 285ml water
- 170ml pineapple juice
- 170ml lemon juice
- 500ml ginger ale
- Lime for garnish
- Stir together the strawberry jelly and boiling water. Making sure all the jelly has dissolved.
- Put the sugar and water in a pan and bring it to boil making sure all the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the two water mixtures together.
- Stir well.
- Add the pineapple juice followed by the lemon juice and mix together.
- Pour the contents into a freezer bag that can be sealed.
- Freeze. It takes a good 3 or so hours to solidify completely so prepare this part well in advance.
- Take out the frozen mixture and break up so it fits into a jug or if you are serving a few drinks at a time take out as much as you need. Judge it by filling up most of the glass with the frozen mixture as you only need a splash of ginger ale otherwise it will be more drink than slush.
- Add the vodka and ginger ale and stir. This should partially melt the frozen mixture producing a slushy drink.
- Serve in a long class add a wedge of lime to the side of the glass (slit the lime in the middle, widthways, flesh side so it sits nicely on the side of the glass).
2. Vodka and Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
A simple, but deliciously refreshing drink. This is a completely different drink to vodka and orange! Even if you are using the allegedly freshly squeezed orange juice from cartons it just tastes different.
Yield: 1 Drink
- 40 ml vodka
- 250 ml squeezed orange juice
- Orange slice to serve
- Squeeze about 3–4 oranges depending on juiciness. Using an electric citrus juicer will extract more juice than doing it manually. My juicer is my favourite gadget in the kitchen! I know it's simple but it just pleases me in its simplicity and efficient juice extraction!!
- If you are using an electric juicer then you can opt to add more of the pith from the orange into the juice if you prefer your orange juice a bit more bitty.
- Add crushed ice (or just ice) to a glass.
- Add the vodka and the OJ
- Pop a slither of orange on the side of the glass. Et voila!
- Choose a glass that starts small and opens up as you can squirt the chocolate in more easily.
- Make this recipe slightly less naughty by not including the chocolate sauce, squirty cream and ice-cream. Still tastes pretty good, just not as fancy.
- If you are using chocolate sauce then go for one in a squeezy bottle so you can control the chocolate flow more easily.
3. Frozen Mudslide
Yield: 1 Drink
- 25ml vodka
- 20ml Kahlua (or other coffee liquor)
- 40ml Bailey's (or other Irish cream)
- Crushed Ice
- 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream
- Chocolate sauce
- Squirty cream
- Fill your chosen glass with crushed ice
- Add the ice, vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's and Ice-cream to a food processor/blender.
- Decorate your glass with chocolate if desired.
- Add the slushy, alcoholic, chocolaty, coffee concoction to the glass.
- Squirt some cream over the top for extra indulgence if desired and the finish it off with a bit more liquid chocolate.
4. Vodka Watermelon
Yield: A 700cl bottle contains 28 shots (at 25ml per shot). So if the whole bottle infuses before reaching saturation point then 28 shots worth will be spread across 1 watermelon.
- 1 watermelon
- 1 bottle of vodka
- Make a hole in the top of the watermelon that is the same size as the cap of your vodka bottle. Do this with a sharp knife.
- Dig out the watermelon hole until it is a fair way into the watermelon, at least as deep as the neck of the vodka bottle, to aid the absorption of the vodka.
- This is the tricky part. Get your vodka bottle and tilt it slightly then slide the neck of the vodka bottle into the prepared hole. Turn so that the vodka bottle is upside down and filtering into the watermelon. If your hole is big enough and you go quite slowly there shouldn’t be any spillage. This could be a team effort!
- Leave for a day or two. Ideally, this monstrosity would be kept in the fridge so that the watermelon is nice and chilled when it comes to consuming it. There won't be any room left for food though!
- Cut open your watermelon and serve.
- Beware! Very potent!
A Slightly Different Take on Vodka Watermelon: Watermelon Vodka
Strawberries vary immensely in flavour and can be bitter or sweet. If they are more on the bitter side add more sugar, if they are succulent and juicy perhaps add a little less sugar. You can always add more sugar to the blender if it isn't sweet enough.
5. Watermelon and Strawberry Crush
Yield: 1 Cocktail
- 40ml vodka
- Approx 2 slices of watermelon
- Handful of strawberries (about 10)
- 40g sugar
- 50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Chop up the watermelon and remove the seeds.
- De-head the strawberries and chop.
- Add the watermelon, strawberries, lemon and sugar to a blender or processor.
- Add crushed ice to a glass.
- Strain the drink if you prefer it less pithy as there will be a lot of watermelon and strawberry gunk. It is the healthiest part of the fruits though so keep it in if you want the goodness! Note that if you strain it you will end up with a smaller quantity and will need to add more watermelon and strawberries.
6. Vodka, Fresh Lime and Soda
With a generous amount of fresh lime juice, this is a great tasting drink. Also very low in calories for an alcoholic beverages, one of the lowest there is in fact (with 1 shot of vodka in its 76 calories). I used to drink vodka, lime and soda with lime cordial until I discovered that without the cordial and with fresh lime it is infinitely better. The number of times I end up with cordial in my drink if I'm out though! Sometimes I send it back and sometimes I bear it astounded that I ever chose to drink it like that.
Yield: 1 Drink
- 30ml Vodka
- Soda Water
- Ice, cubes or crushed
- Squeeze the limes to get a 15ml of lime juice.
- Add ice to a glass.
- Add the vodka
- Add the lime
- Add the soda.
- Add a good wedge of lime to the drink to serve.
Brazilian Lime Confusion
There is often some confusion involved translating the word lemon/lime. Here are the English/Brazilian Portuguese words:
Lime = Limão
Lemon = Limão Siciliano or Lima depending on which variety of lemon. There are also other names for different varieties.
So it is no wonder that people get in a muddle!
- Make these on an on demand basis as they don't keep. The limes will turn the drink bitter within an hour.
- It is best not to add all the ingredients to the blender in one go as straining it afterwards will lose the frothiness of the milk.
- This is a vodka article but this recipe also works well substituting the vodka for rum and the water for coconut water.
7. Twisted Brazilian Lemonade
This is called 'lemonade' without containing any actual lemons. It tastes really good but only make as much as you can drink pretty much straightaway!
Yield: 2 yield options provided as it is a bit of effort just for one cocktail.
- 30ml vodka
- 1/2 a lime plus wedge to garnish
- 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk
- 150ml water
- 20g sugar
- Crushed ice (enough to fill the glass you are using as a rough guide)
- 60ml vodka
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
- 300ml water
- 40g sugar
- Crushed ice (enough to fill 2 of the glasses you are using)
- Cut up the lime removing ends add them (peel and all).
- Add the water and sugar to the blender.
- Blend the limes, water and sugar together. Don't blend for too long to avoid the lime peel getting too bitty and so harder to strain.
- Strain the result to get rid of the grittiness.
- Put liquid back into blender.
- Add the ice, sweetened, condensed milk and vodka.
- Pour into glass.
- Serve with a lime wedge on or in the glass.
A Couple of Cocktail Classics
These classics have to be included when vodka is involved.
- Chill the glass in the freezer for 10 minutes or fridge for an hour beforehand.
- If you want a layered red and orange look to the cocktail add everything but the cranberry and orange juice to the cocktail shaker. Add contents to the glass and then add the cranberry followed by the orange. You will want to mix it up with a straw to drink but presentation wise it looks great!
8. Sex on The Beach
Yield: 1 Cocktail
25ml peach schnapps
75ml Orange Juice
75ml Cranberry Juice
Dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Add some ice to a cocktail shaker.
- Pour each of the ingredients into the shaker.
- Add a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice.
- Shake well
- Transfer into a long glass.
- Add a maraschino cherry on a stick and a slice of orange to garnish.
The orange garnish will help to take the edge off of the vodka. If you can, peel the orange over the top of the cosmopolitan so any wayward zesty orange ends up in the cocktail. You could also rub the peel around the rum of the glass.
This is the one drink in the list that you will really be aware of the vodka! Not for the fainthearted!
Yield: 1 Cocktail
- 60ml vodka
- 15ml Triple Sec
- 25ml cranberry juice
- Approx 10ml freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 orange peel twist
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add the vodka, Triple Sec, cranberry juice and lime juice to the shaker.
- Shake vigorously for about 20–30 seconds.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel twist.
- If you buy plastic shot glasses the best way to consume the jellies is to create a vacuum with your mouth over the top of the shot glass and then poke your tongue in to loosen the jelly slightly and suck. If you do this properly it should come away in one go and should leave no jelly in the glass. Easier said than done! Have fun trying....repeatedly!
- Alcohol takes longer to absorb in this form so it's easy to underestimate how much you have had and end up rather inebriated.
10. Tri-Color Vodka Jellies (Jello's)
These are great fun in the summer…..or anytime!....and will really impressive friends but if time is against you then go for the one colour.
Works well with disposable, plastic shot glasses.
Yield: One 135g pack of Jelly produces 600ml, which is 24 UK or 20 US shots. If you use 3 packets worth you will end up with 72 or 60 shots worth. Adjust the quantities to suit your jelly needs!
- 45g each of strawberry jelly, lime jelly and lemon jelly
- 200ml Vodka
- 150ml Boiling water
- 200ml Water (you will use a bit less)
- Set up the shot glasses on a tray or in a container that can be easily transferred into the fridge.
- Break up the jelly and dissolve it in 150ml boiling water.
- Add the vodka
- Add the cold water to make the total contents up to 600ml.
- Pour carefully into each shot glass so that each one is 1/3 full.
- Place the shots into the fridge for about an hour or so to firm up (will set quicker in the freezer).
- Repeat the process using the second colour.
- And the third colour.
- Place in the fridge for another hour or so, and they should be ready to go!
Ingredients Quick View
Strawberry Summer Slush
Strawberry jelly, sugar, water, pineapple juice, lemon, giner ale, lime.
Vodka and Fresh Orange
Vodka, orange, ice.
Vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce, crushed ice, squirty cream
Watermelon and Starwberry Crush
Vodka, watermelon, strawberries, sugar, lemons, ice.
Vodka, Fresh Lime and Soda
Vodka, lime, soda, ice.
Twisted Brazilian Lemonade
Vodka, lime, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, crushed ice
Sex on The Beach
Vodka, peach schnapps, creme de cassis, orange juice, cranberry juice.
Tri-Color Vodka Jellies
3 shades of jelly, vodka, water.
Would you want to know the calorie content of your cocktail or would you rather be blissfully ignorant?
© 2014 Zoe