14 Vodka Cocktails That Are Perfect for Summer

14 Vodka Cocktails That Are Perfect for Summer

Sea Breeze

The Sea Breeze screams summer drinking from the name alone. All members of the Breeze drink family (Bay Breeze, Hawaiian Breeze and Cape Codder) are contenders for summer drinking, but the Sea Breeze stands out for its juicy, citrusy qualities. Like Harry, Ron and Hermione, the trio of cranberry juice, grapefruit juice and vodka belongs together. Kick back with a Sea Breeze or two this summer whether you’re poolside, at the beach or in your backyard.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Moscow Mule

Hanging onto a frosty copper cup full of crushed ice is a good way to stay cool in the heat of summer. It’s even better when you throw vodka and ginger beer into the mix. Moscow Mules are simple to make, but their spicy ginger and citrusy kick are anything but basic.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Lime Juice
  • Ginger Beer

Harvey Wallbanger

It’s easy to mix some vodka and orange juice over ice to make an easy Screwdriver during the dog days of summer. That’s fine, but as you grab that OJ, also pick up a bottle of Galliano. A touch of the herbal vanilla liqueur adds a little something extra without complicating things too much.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Orange Juice
  • Galliano

Vodka Soda

Don’t underestimate the Vodka Soda as a summer sipper. While you don’t want to be taking iced vodka shots in the middle of a summer day, the Vodka Soda offers something equally clean and straightforward—but it’ll last a little longer than a shot. Garnish it with a lime wedge for an especially refreshing twist.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Soda

Melon Ball

Drink something that looks as fun as you want your summer to be. The fruity Melon Ball has a slight tang, and it’s crazy easy to drink. You can also easily scale it up into a pitcher-sized cocktail, making it a good choice for a summer party.

The Essentials

  • Midori
  • Vodka
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice

Chi Chi

Would a summer drinking list be complete without a frozen drink? Of course not. You might recognize the Chi Chi because it resembles its more famous cousin, the Piña Colada. The two are very similar, but the Chi Chi swaps out the rum for vodka, which lets the coconut cream and pineapple juice do all the heavy flavor lifting.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Coconut Cream
  • Pineapple Juice

Lemon Drop Martini

Sweet and tart like a piece of candy, the Lemon Drop Martini is for a summer night that’s just starting to heat up. It’s a crowd pleaser and looks elegant yet fun, like an upscale party on the beach where you get to kick off your shoes.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Lemon Juice
  • Simple syrup

Salty Dog

It’s summer, and thinking too hard can make us all a little salty. That’s why you should keep things simple and use easy upgrades to take your favorite drinks up a notch. The Salty Dog is just a Greyhound (grapefruit juice and vodka), but with the addition of a salted rim. That small modification makes all the difference, making the drink tart, refreshing and briney all at once.

The Essentials

  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Vodka
  • Salt

Vodka Gimlet

If refreshment is what you’re after, look no further than a Vodka Gimlet. A bright and tart Gimlet will make you come to your senses no matter how much sun you’ve taken in. To add some variety, opt for a citrusy bottling like Bedlam Vodka, or even choose a creamy one like Black Cow Vodka for something that is reminiscent of key lime pie.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Simple Syrup
  • Lime Juice

French Martini

Admittedly, the French Martini is nothing that its name suggests. It is, however, a delightful tipple to drink in the summertime—especially if you’re in the mood for something a little stronger than a traditional summer drink. It’s a mix of vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord, a French liqueur made with black raspberries, honey, vanilla and herbs.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Chambord

Blueberry Cider Cocktail

A palate cleansing dry cider is the perfect topper to your new favorite summer cocktail. Created by Cat DiPaci at her store Beer Fridge in New York’s Lower East Side, it combines fresh ripe blueberries, vodka and lemon juice.

The Essentials

  • Blueberries
  • Vodka
  • Nine Pin Cider

Coconut Vodka Soda

While the Vodka Soda is fine and dandy, you can take it to the next level by turning it into a Coconut Vodka Soda. That touch of coconut water makes it go down all too easy on a hot day, especially when you use a silky vodka like Zirkova One or Russian Standard. True coconut water devotees can also double down and use a coconut vodka like Three Olives Coconut Water vodka.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Coconut Water
  • Soda Water

Jungle Mule

Moscow Mule, meet the Jungle Bird. In the Jungle Mule, two favorites—one spicy and gingery, the other classic tiki—combine for a drink that will make you feel like you’re in the tropics.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Campari
  • Ginger beer

Peaches and Tea Punch

It’s hard to beat the experience of biting into a ripe peach in the dead of summer. Drinking a Peaches and Tea Punch and then biting into a ripe peach, though, that does the trick. The spiked iced tea is boozed up with vodka and peach schnapps, and then served up in a Mason jar filled with peach slices.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Peach Schnapps
  • Lipton’s Iced Tea, to top

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