A Guide To Drinking Vodka

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Shots of Vodka Lined Up

A Guide To Drinking Vodka

Vodka is an extremely popular alcoholic drink and there are a lot of different variations, brands and flavours on the market. In this blog post we give you a guide to drinking vodka. This includes what it is, the temperature in which it should be drank and in what volume too. We also share how you can drink it straight before sharing some popular vodka based cocktail recipes with you too. If you need a guide that tells you all you need to know about drinking vodka, this is the guide for you.

What Is It?

It’s a strong alcohol that is made by fermenting grains or vegetables like potatoes. The key ingredient used in the fermentation process is what affects the overall taste, flavour and experience of the drink. Experts feel that grain-based vodkas provide a smoother and more enjoyable drinking experience than vegetable-based vodkas. They feel this is because the vegetable-based spirit leaves a harsher and more botanical taste in your mouth.

However, while you may not be an alcohol and spirits expert, you are an expert of your own tastebuds. It is your choice to decide if you prefer the grain-based or vegetable-based vodkas.

If you are into healthy eating, dieting or conscious of calories, vodka is a great option for you. It has a lot less calories that other alcohol beverages such as beer, run and whisky. In fact, this spirit also has the lowest percentage of fats and carbohydrates.

How To Choose A Plain Vodka

You will hear from aficionados that the best way to drink vodka is in its pure form. Not only is this the best way, but also the proper way – so they claim. So, if you are looking to enjoy this spirit the ‘proper’ way, this is how you can choose the right plain vodka spirit for you.

A good vodka will taste creamy and smooth. Meanwhile, a bad one will taste harsh, bitter, watery and even smell like medicine in some cases. If you notice that the drink burns your throat as you drink, this is likely to be a vodka of a lower quality.

If you had not drunk this spirit on its own before, opt for a popular brand. Brands like Grey Goose, Absolut, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya and Ketel One for example. However, if you have tried these branded vodkas before and find the taste to aggressive or strong for you, why not try a flavoured spirit. These are often much sweeter and have an added sugar content that will make the drink more palatable. There are lots of flavours to try from green apple, vanilla, marshmallow, mixed berries and more.

How To Drink It Neat

There is one hard and fast rule to drinking this spirit neat – you must always accompany it with food. If you are enjoying this spirit in good company, it can be very dangerous. You won’t realise how much you are drinking, but then you will feel worse for it the morning after. Just like in Russia, where this drink originates from, it is always served with food.

Popular dishes to serve with this drink in Russia will include things like pickles, roasted and boiled meats, salads and soup. If you prefer a more substantial food to go with this drink, you could opt for dumplings stews or meat patties for example.

One of the great things about this drink is that it is largely flavourless and odourless. This means that there is no danger of the drink competing with such a wide and varied selection of food as we have mentioned.

The Serving Size

Here in the UK, we opt for metric sizes and a traditional vodka serving is 25ml. It is recommended that this drink is served in smaller measures than whisky or Baileys for example. The smaller shot is suggested to extend the pleasure of the drink.

The Temperature

Some people think that this drink should be stored in the freezer, and drunk straight from the freezer. However, many Russians would not agree with this. Many are afraid to freeze their vodka because it can solidify some of the impurities that ‘dishonest’ brands put into their spirits. As well as this, a frozen drink like this can actually burn the throat. This drink is much better enjoyed neat from the fridge, so it is chilled but still enjoyable.

Most Popular Ways To Drink Vodka

Straight Shots

As we have already mentioned, this drink can be enjoyed straight. It’s a fairly neutral flavoured drink and has a full-bodied feeling in the mouth. If you are choosing to drink large amounts of this spirit, consider sipping the liquid slowly from a tumbler glass. Alternatively, it can be enjoyed as shots from shot glasses stored at room temperature.


Chilling this spirit will give it less of a bite, and a thicker texture in the mouth as well. You can enjoy chilled vodka by placing ice cubes in a tumbler. Alternatively, you can place the bottle into the freezer and take it for serving. This will help it become extremely chilled for you to enjoy.


While you can purchase flavoured vodka online or in the local supermarket, for example, you can also infuse it with flavours yourself. Think about the tastes you enjoy and how you can infuse them into this spirit. Popular flavours to try at home are thyme, cucumber, blackberries or mint for example. Coconut is another popular infusion, or sweets, as we discuss later.

With Food

As we have already mentioned, a popular way to drink vodka, especially in Russia, is with food. Food items such as sausages, salmon, fresh cucumbers, olives and pickles work really well alongside vodka, if you prefer something less Russian-traditional as we suggested earlier.


As this spirit is flavourless and odourless, it is a popular ingredient for many cocktails. Vodka pairs well with a wide variety of juices, but also tonic water, soda water and lemonade for example. Cocktails with this spirit can be as simple or complicated as you like, as we share below.

Vodka Cocktails To Make At Home

Below we have listed some classic and delicious cocktails that you can mix, prepare and taste at home. They are all relatively easy to make and vary in flavours, textures and styles. Take a look through these popular and classic cocktails to find one you would like to try out yourself.

A Bloody Mary is a drink you are likely to recognise. It is made by mixing the spirit with tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce as standard. You can also add horseradish, herbs and spices if you fancy something with more flavour. You’ll often see this drink served in bars with a stick of celery standing in it.

Bloody Mary Vodka Cocktail surrounded by Chillies & tomatoes

The Cosmopolitan is another popular cocktail. It is a mix of the spirit with Triple Sec (or another orange liqueur), cranberry juice and fresh lime juice. If you would like your Cosmopolitan to have extra flavour, you may opt for flavoured vodka instead of a plain one.

Cosmopolitan Vodka Cocktail

You may have heard of The Godfather, but have you heard of The Godmother? While the Godfather uses Scotch whisky as it’s primary liqueur, the Godmother uses vodka. You then add a splash of amaretto and serve it over ice. If you prefer a longer drink, then add coke to this alcoholic cocktail mix.

Godmother Vodka Cocktail sat on a bar

The Long Island Iced Tea is known for its high alcohol content. As well as vodka, it includes tequila, gin, rum and triple sec. It’s doesn’t taste like tea or contain any tea, as the name might suggest. However, by adding the small splash of coke results in the amber hue that looks like tea.

Long Island Iced Tea Vodka Cocktails

If you prefer a fizzy and refreshing cocktail, you might like to try a Moscow Mule. It’s a great cocktail with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice to create this classic cocktail that is enjoyable and refreshing.

Moscow Mule Vodka Cocktail in copper mugs

The screwdriver is another popular vodka-based cocktail that is very simple to make. It is simply orange juice and the spirit. To make it cooler, you can serve it over ice, or keep your vodka in the fridge with the orange juice.

Screwdriver Vodka Cocktail on a coaster

Usually made with vodka, dry vermouth and a dash of orange bitters this is the classic Vodka Martini cocktail. You can also add a lemon peel or olives to garnish this drink. You’ll need a cocktail shaker to mix the ingredients. It can then be poured into a chilled martini glass.

Vodka Martini Garnished with a twist of lemon

If you are looking for something sweet and creamy, you may like to try a White Russian. This is made up of vodka, a coffee liqueur and cream. The White Russian is one of the milder cocktail recipes we have listed. It is probably the most calorific and filling one too.

White Russian Vodka Cocktail surrounded by coffee beans

Using Sweets In Vodka

As we have stated, vodka is an odourless and relatively flavourless spirit. You can purchase flavoured vodkas, but you can also make some yourself with your favourite sweets. All you need to do is add your favourite sweets, such as skittles, starbursts, cola cubes or gummy bears to the vodka bottle. Place the bottle in the fridge for around two days and shake regularly. You can split the drinks into flavours and colours to make particular flavours of this spirit too.

May 22, 2022
By ryan-knighton-2
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