12 Best Drinks To Mix With Vodka, Ranked

Vodka is one of the most popular spirits when it comes to making cocktails. This clear liquor pairs well with a variety of sodas and juices, making it a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed anywhere, from bars and restaurants to special events. According to Thrillist, vodka can taste different depending on the brand and distillation process, however, it tends to be quite strong and bitter. That said, most casual drinkers prefer to mask vodka's intensity.

Thankfully, the options are pretty abundant when it comes to making vodka-based drinks and cocktails. From cranberry juice to Coca-Cola, vodka can be both enhanced and masked with certain mixers. While every person has their own preference, there is no denying that some mixers are better than others. Hence, this ranked list! Without further ado, here are the best drinks to mix with vodka on a night out or while making cocktails at home.

1. Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice is one of the most classic and consistent mixers when it comes to vodka — and for good reason. It balances out the bitterness of vodka without being too sweet thanks to its tartness. Cranberries are naturally very sour, but when they are made into juice, sweeteners are added to take the edge off the tart taste. 

Another great thing about choosing cranberry juice as your vodka mixer is that it may have some great health benefits. In addition to being a great source of vitamins E and C, cranberry juice is also said to aid in digestion (via Healthline). It is also full of antioxidants, allowing you to enjoy a buzz — when combined with vodka — while reaping some solid health benefits. If you want to add another layer to your cranberry vodka, simply throw in a splash of soda water for some carbonation and a festive bubbly feel.

2. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola has one of the most unique and sought-after flavors. This bubbly soda has an interesting history — the original formula contained actual cocaine, making it incredibly addictive. While this ingredient has been removed for obvious reasons, many still find that a crisp can or bottle of Coke is beyond refreshing. It is both earthy and sweet, and the fizzy carbonation easily masks stronger flavors like those found in vodka.

If you're looking to add a little sweetness to your concoction, cherry-flavored Coke is a great option. However, if you do not have a cherry-flavored Coke on hand, simply throw in a splash of grenadine for a similar effect. It's an easy mix that anyone can whip up at a moment's notice. If you are a fan of this fizz, a cool and crisp Coke with a splash of vodka is sure to satisfy your craving and quench your thirst. That being said, always remember to drink plenty of water.

3. Pineapple juice

Craving something on the sweeter side? Pineapple juice is a consistent, dependable, and refreshing go-to as a mixer for vodka. Pineapple juice takes a standard cocktail from refreshing to tropical thanks to its fruity and sweet nature. Pineapple juice is also pretty clean and pulp-free, ensuring a consistent texture. Like many other fruit juices, it also has a few health benefits that are worth noting.

Though it certainly has a decent amount of sugar in it, pineapple juice is also full of antioxidants and high in manganese and vitamin B (via Healthline). That said, the pineapple juice that is most often served at bars and nightclubs is made from concentrate. So, while you may still reap a few of these key nutrients' benefits, it is not as pure as fresh pineapple juice. When it comes to making fruity vodka cocktails at home, stick with fresh-squeezed pineapple juice when possible, both for your own enjoyment and health.

4. Orange juice

There's no denying that orange juice is one of the most popular mixers when it comes to any alcohol. However, when it comes to vodka, this classic combination results in a fruity cocktail called a screwdriver. Similar to a mimosa, screwdrivers rely on the bright and citrus-forward flavors of orange juice. However, unlike mimosas, screwdrivers use vodka rather than champagne, resulting in a less bubbly yet stronger cocktail.

Though some prefer to keep things more mellow at brunch, the screwdriver is still refreshing enough to be enjoyed during the day. If you are making screwdrivers at home, use fresh orange juice rather than store-bought for an even sweeter and more decadent drink. One of the best things about using orange juice as a mixer is the fact that you have control over how strong your drink tastes. The more orange juice you use, the more masked the vodka will be.

5. Tomato juice

When combined, tomato juice and vodka create one of the most beloved brunch cocktails in existence. The Bloody Mary is a savory drink that has a dynamic flavor profile thanks to a variety of spices and sauces. However, the tomato juice is the star of the show. Between the acidic taste and thicker texture, tomato juice does a great job of diluting the vodka, making it easier to drink and enjoy.

According to Healthline, tomato juice is a great source of vitamin C and is also packed full of antioxidants, making this tasty mixer a healthier choice. While Bloody Mary mix tends to have other ingredients like soy sauce, Worcestershire, and tabasco, those who prefer less spice might enjoy the simplicity and savoriness of plain tomato juice. For extra flair, garnish your tomato juice and vodka with crispy bacon or a stalk of celery. Pickles also add an additional flavor layer thanks to their sour nature.

6. Ginger beer

Ginger beer is a nonalcoholic beverage that is aromatic and slightly spicy. As the name suggests, it is made from ginger, giving it that potent zest that ginger is known for. Since it is also carbonated, ginger beer does a great job at neutralizing the intensity of vodka, adding a new layer of texture and taste to the drink. In fact, ginger beer and vodka are the basic ingredients in a popular cocktail known as the Moscow Mule.

The only other ingredient needed in a Moscow Mule is lime juice, which is easy to acquire at a bar or nightclub. Even just one lime wedge squeezed into your cocktail will give it the zest that it needs. They are typically served in a copper mug, and sometimes include a sprig of mint (though this is not necessary). One of the great things about this cocktail is that it's simple to make yet full of flavor.

7. Grapefruit juice

Craving something similar to orange juice but with a bit more of a tart kick? Grapefruit juice is a great option. Mixing it with vodka typically results in a cocktail known as the Greyhound. It's a nice middle-ground for drinkers who like cocktails that balance sour and sweet flavor profiles. A Greyhound can be enjoyed during the day thanks to its light and refreshing nature, making it a very popular option for brunch.

Grapefruit juice is much more tart than orange juice, so expect an acidic and puckering mouthfeel that might be a bit too intense for some. It is also considered to be a bit bitter. However, if you enjoy sour flavors, grapefruit juice is a great go-to that is available at most bars and nightclubs. Even if you prefer orange juice, grapefruit juice is a solid alternative for when you want to switch things up and try something new.

8. Soda water

Those who don't mind the taste of vodka will appreciate a simple mix of soda water and vodka. Though it doesn't provide the same effect when it comes to taste, sparkling water is a healthier alternative to soda and still provides the carbonation that many people crave. That being said, if you don't enjoy the taste of vodka or liquor in general, soda water shouldn't be your top pick when it comes to mixers.

If you find that you enjoy a very dry drink that is alcohol-forward, it doesn't get simpler than soda water and vodka. Without altering the taste, soda water adds a new texture to your drink, making it more enjoyable without adding too many calories or sugar. Unlike tonic water, sparkling water is nothing more than carbonated H2O, so it is a great drink for those looking to have a good time while still being mindful of what they consume.

9. Lemonade

Lemonade is a sweet and slightly sour mixer that can mask the taste of vodka with ease. If you're craving something even sweeter or fruitier, pink lemonade is a great option that also makes beautiful cocktails thanks to its pretty color. While you can easily buy your preferred lemonade at the store, a freshly made version enhances the natural flavors in the drink and results in a more dynamic and tasty sipper. Best of all, it is super easy to make. In fact, all you need are lemons, sugar, and water.

Spiked pink lemonade (or regular lemonade) is easy to drink. But if you prefer a dryer cocktail, this probably isn't the right choice for you. Since most store-bought lemonade is packed full of artificial sugar, this mixer can also lead to a hangover that's worse than most. However, it is refreshing and fruity, and there is a sense of nostalgia that comes with it, making it a fun cocktail for parties or outdoor gatherings.

10. Iced tea

If you're looking to quench your thirst with something that is more flavorful than water, a cool iced tea should do the trick. Since iced tea can be pretty mellow when it comes to potency, this probably isn't the best choice for those who prefer a zero-vodka taste. However, if you don't mind the taste of vodka, or simply prefer a stiff drink that is on the lighter side, iced tea mixed with vodka is a great option.

Something to consider when ordering or making your own iced tea cocktail is the level of sweetness. While some iced teas are made sweet, others are unsweetened, and that can really affect the overall taste of your cocktail. If you run into a situation where you want a sweet iced tea but your only option is unsweetened tea, throw in a splash of grenadine for a little more sugary flavor.

11. Red Bull

Typically served at clubs, Red Bull and vodka is an energy-inducing drink that is full of flavor. In addition to masking the flavor of the vodka, Red Bull also gives you that extra boost that is sometimes necessary for a long night out. According to Liquor.com, Red Bull takes center stage when mixed with vodka since it is so strong, making this a great option for those who truly don't want to taste any alcohol in their drink.

In addition to being incredibly simple to make at home, vodka Red Bulls are also super easy to order at a bar or nightclub. It's a glass of vodka with a can of Red Bull throw into the mix, which is pretty tough for even the most novice of bartenders to mess up. Of course, ice is a must — don't expect to enjoy a vodka Red Bull served at room temperature.

12. Tonic water

Tonic water, while a common mixer (hello, gin and tonics!), isn't quite a popular as some of the other vodka mixers found in this list. That's because it doesn't do much to mask the taste of vodka. On top of that, it can contain added sugar and carbohydrates. When it comes to taste, tonic water is slightly bitter due to the quinine (a bitter compound found in the bark of the cinchona tree) that is added to it. Some other tasting notes that are common include herbal and spice flavors. These notes have made tonic water a popular mixer for spirits like gin, hence the popular gin and tonic cocktail.

Since vodka has fewer botanicals in it than gin, it does not always mix well with tonic water. Regardless, some people prefer the added flavors (along with the carbonation) as opposed to carbonated, yet flavorless, soda water. According to Healthline, it also has a higher sugar content than sparkling water, but not as much as soda and other fruit juices.