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Cocktails

Master the Vodka Classics

September 13, 2022

Story: Punch Staff

photo: Eric Medsker

Cocktails

Master the Vodka Classics

September 13, 2022

Story: Punch Staff

photo: Eric Medsker

From the Pornstar Martini to the Cosmopolitan, here are the classic vodka cocktails to know.

With a 1990s drinks revival in full swing and a wealth of new bottles capturing the spirit’s nuances on the market, vodka cocktails are finally getting their due. The Dukes’ Martini is having a moment stateside, the equally adored and reviled Espresso Martini continues its reign and bartenders are putting sophisticated spins on everything from infamous “one and ones” to chaotic college cocktails.

To fully take part in the vodka renaissance, here are the vodka classics to know, from boozy, stirred drinks to fruit-forward throwbacks.

Dukes Martini Cocktail Recipe
Recipe

Dukes’ Martini

Murderously dry and cold and cherished by some as the definitive expression of the Martini.

Grapefruit Cooler Pegu Club
Recipe

Grapefruit Cooler

A grapefruit-flavored vodka makes the base of this bright cocktail.

Espresso Martini Recipe
Recipe

Patrick Smith’s Espresso Martini

Vanilla liqueur adds a fulsome, candied quality to this version.

Valentino Vodka Negroni Cocktail
Recipe

Valentino

A cocktail recipe that begins with a Negroni template but swaps gin for vodka and departs from the equal-parts ratio.

Pornstar Martini Cocktail Recipe
Recipe

Pornstar Martini

The British-born modern classic.

Recipe

Moscow Mule

A vodka-based buck made with ginger beer.

Recipe

White Russian

A variation on the classic that calls for both new and old-school coffee liqueurs and amaretto-spiked whipped cream.

Frozen Fruit Ice Cubes
Recipe

Sarah Morrissey’s Cosmopolitan

A textbook example of the citrusy classic.

Bloody Mary Recipe
Recipe

State Street Bloody Mary

A Sriracha-tinged take from the author of a book on the Bloody Mary.

Vodka French Martini
Recipe

French Martini

The French Martini combines vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice.

Vesper Vodka Martini Recipe
Recipe

Jelani Johnson’s Vesper

A vodka-forward rendition of James Bond's Martini of choice.

Recipe

Long Island Iced Tea

A modern update from Columbia Room's Paul Taylor.

Cape Codder Recipe
Recipe

William Elliott’s Cape Codder

This riff on the vodka-cranberry gets added depth from a dash of Angostura and a soda water topper.

Pineapple Martini
Recipe

Pineapple Martini

A pioneer of fruit-forward 'tinis.

alabama slammer cocktail
Recipe

Dale DeGroff’s Alabama Slammer

Dale DeGroff's take on this '70s and '80s Roll Tide! rallying cry of a drink.

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