17 Popular Drinks To Mix With Vodka, Ranked

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

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. 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, which is based on our own years-long experience of enjoying and experimenting with various, tasty vodka-mixer combinations. Without further ado, here are the best drinks to mix with vodka on a night out or while making cocktails at home.

17. 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.

16. 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. 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.

15. 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.

14. Pomegranate juice

We know cranberry juice is a classic choice for vodka, but there's another red juice out there that's just as good and tends to have a bit more depth: pomegranate juice. Similar to the cranberry, this is another fruit that shows up when the weather turns cold, so it's a great alternative for those holiday punches. But unlike the cranberry, which tends to be on the tarter side, pomegranate juice has both a tart bite and a subtle bitterness on the finish. This combination of those two flavors adds an unexpected depth to cocktails that makes you want to imbibe them over and over again.

But the real reason we're such huge pomegranate fans is because of all the health benefits. The fruit not only helps with digestion and improves endurance, according to UCLA Health, but it's also full of antioxidants that may help with brain function (something we all need after a cocktail or two). While you could absolutely pick up one of those cute bulbous bottles at your favorite grocery store, we believe fresh is always best. Now, we know that removing and juicing those little red pearls can be a bit of a pain, but a plastic syringe makes it totally painless and gives you the perfect amount of juice for any drink.

13. Apple juice

If you're looking to give your cocktail an autumn spin, no juice is better suited than apple. While apple juice is significantly sweeter than pomegranate or cranberry, it still gives the essence of fall while being a truly refreshing thirst quencher. If, however, you find the clear apple juice just too sweet for your palate, you could spice it up by going with an unfiltered apple cider instead. Depending on the vodka you choose, those spices will meld quite well and take the cocktail to a whole other level. 

But we don't just reach for the apple juice when we want to turn our Moscow Mule into a delicious fall treat. We like it for its medley of health benefits, as well, particularly of the fresh-pressed variety. Not only is fresh apple juice a great source of hydration support, similar to pomegranate juice, but it's also another great choice for helping to maintain brain health, per MedicineNet. The copious amounts of vitamin C typically found in this delectable elixir may also help reduce the risk of certain cancers, regenerate skin cells, and heal wounds. With all of these benefits, it's no wonder the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," caught on.

12. 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.

11. 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.

10. 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.

9. 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. Sprite

Who doesn't love the classic Shirley Temple? It's a sweet drink that's full of equal amounts of fizz and nostalgia. Want to whip one up? Then you're going to need a bottle of Sprite because you just can't make this classic kids' drink without it. But we're talking about vodka. Well, it turns out you can't make the adult version of this mocktail, the Dirty Shirley, without it either. The boozy version of the vintage mocktail not only cuts the sweetness, but it also allows you to enjoy the classic drink in a 21-and-over atmosphere.

If you're not up for a Dirty Shirley though, you could simply cut the grenadine and still have a mighty fine cocktail. Coming from the same company that makes Coca-Cola, Sprite provides a sweet and sour tang that easily masks the strong liquor, while the bubbles make it a nice, refreshing option on a hot day. But unlike its darker sister soda, this clear fizzer lacks caffeine, which means adding a couple of ounces to your drink won't keep you up all hours. 

7. 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.

6. Spindrift sparkling water

If you like simplicity, there's nothing simpler than adding a splash or two of sparkling water to your vodka. But unlike basic soda, which provides that delightful fizz and nothing else, Spindrift comes in a variety of flavors to further enhance your drink. Do you like lemon or grapefruit juice? Spindrift has it. Want something a little sweeter? There's pineapple and strawberry. If you prefer something a little more herbal, there's even a cucumber option. With so many different flavors — of vodka and Spindrift alike — you could potentially try a different combination each time you use this mixer and never have the same drink twice. (You also might discover your new favorite tipple.)

But our favorite thing about choosing Spindrift over plain sparkling water is that the company uses real fruit juice that you can actually taste with every sip. That means if you're looking for a subtle hint of lemon, raspberry, or lime in your vodka soda, you can forgo the extra step of juicing and adding it because it's already right there in the can. That real fruit juice also means there's no artificial aftertaste to ruin your cocktail. For that reason alone, you should consider having a few cans of Spindrift on hand for the next time you're in the mood for a sparkling vodka soda.

5. 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 tastier 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.

4. 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.

3. Espresso

Espresso is that glorious elixir that's constantly sought after morning, noon, and night. It's so popular, in fact, that we can't even begin to count the number of shops worldwide that brew up shot after shot every day. While it's a great pick-me-up first thing in the morning, it's also the perfect choice for a cocktail. After all, there wouldn't be an espresso martini without it, not to mention the number of after-dinner drinks that start with a shot of the brown stuff. Why is it such a popular choice? Its strong flavor, of course.

Espresso's distinct bitter notes tend to meld beautifully with the subtle flavors of your favorite vodka no matter if it's flavored or plain. The dark liquid also tends to elevate the whole cocktail into something stunning. And because it has more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee, you're guaranteed that extra jolt to keep you going after a long day. Don't get us wrong, coffee is a great addition as well, but if you're going for some of the more classic coffee cocktails and are a die-hard when it comes to that unmistakable flavor, espresso is absolutely the way to go.

2. 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.

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.


We've been enjoying vodka cocktails for years, from the martini to the vodka soda and even the newer Dirty Shirley. Based on those numerous years of imbibing and trying different combinations, we were able to narrow down the long list of mixers to these juices, tonics, and sodas. Each one brings its own special something to the drink and turns a plain glass of vodka into a delightful cocktail that can be enjoyed at home or the next time you're out and about.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.