The Cocktail You Should Never Order Premium Vodka For

Asking for premium alcohol when ordering at a bar can help upgrade and customize your drink order to your liking, but taking sips off the top shelf may not always work in your favor — especially if you're on a budget. Vodka is a versatile spirit, and while crisp, award-winning vodkas can taste smoother on the rocks or provide an extra taste of crispness when mixed into a classic vodka martini, for certain drinks, the switch might be unnecessary.

Bloody Mary cocktails, in particular, are best left alone if you're wanting to mind the contents of your wallet.

"Getting premium vodka in your Bloody Mary is probably the easiest way to waste money," former bartender Zanny Steffgen revealed to Insider. "At the bistro I managed, choosing a vodka one level up from the well for a Bloody Mary turned it from a $14 drink to a $22 drink, and the vodka flavor is totally masked."

Upgrade with intention

If a Bloody Mary is your brunch drink of choice, you may not need to ask the bartender to reach for any of the vodkas off the top shelf to make your order more flavorful. For a premium-tasting cocktail, you have options when it comes to upgrading a basic Bloody Mary. 

To liven up your drink, consider the seasonings used in the recipe. Including celery salt, Worcester sauce, and a dash of Tabasco can help ensure the cocktail has both a depth of flavor and a bright taste. For those following carnivorous diets, the Bloody Bull can be a satisfying Bloody Mary alternative. Bloody Bull cocktails are made with beef broth and bring a rich umami taste to the classic recipe. Vegetarians can spritz up boozy breakfast orders by using yellow tomatoes or adding pickled jalapeño brine to mix the drink.

With the money you'll save leaving more expensive vodka labels behind the bar, you can make a second order happen without blowing your budget.