The distilled spirit that is usually clear and lacking of any distinct taste or aroma, vodka has a fairly neutral flavour – making it an ideal spirit to pair with a multitude of ingredients. Despite its wide array of varieties, the crisp and clean taste of this liquor can be combined with the following list of ingredients for desirable results.
When it comes to neutral liquors, vodka tops the list since it is often celebrated for its versatility. Forming the perfect foundation for a myriad of flavours to shine, the spirit lends itself to be elevated – hence helping craft the perfect drinking experience. Whether you enjoy it with a splash of soda or with the intensity of more fruity, spicy notes, it is important to pick your mixer or combination of ingredients with utmost care. Certain flavours play better with vodka than others, so here are a few ideal options for what kind of flavours to pair with your vodka and make it shine.
With most spirits, citrus is a solid ally. Fruits like lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange, are classic choices when it comes to enhancing the flavour of vodka. Their zesty and tangy profiles complement vodka's neutral taste exceptionally well. A twist of lemon or orange rind or a splash of fresh juice can brighten up a vodka cocktail instantly. The citrusy notes provide a refreshing quality, making it an ideal choice for those who appreciate a crisp and upbeat drink.
Berries are often thought of as a sweet flavour, but they can add a unique tart edge to a drink as well. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries bring a touch of natural fruit burst along with a visual delight with their vibrant colours. A great way to use berries with vodka is to create a berry infusion. Simply add fruits to the spirit and seal them in an airtight bottle for a few hours or days, allowing the vodka to absorb their enticing flavours. The result is a subtly sweet and fruity concoction that pairs wonderfully with vodka's smoothness and can be enjoyed on the rocks or with a splash of soda.
Although vodka lacks the botanical nature of gin, it does provide a perfect base to explore the use of herbs in a cocktail. Fresh herbs like mint, basil, and rosemary can be muddled and then infused into vodka to give it earthy, aromatic notes. These herbal infusions can be used in various cocktails to impart complexity and depth.
Pump up your vodka with a bit of warmth, just add a little…spice! Though they may seem more suited to the savoury world, spices can actually be a cocktail game-changer. Things like cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper can add a touch of heat and complexity to your vodka drinks. A dash of cinnamon syrup or a slice of fresh ginger can transform a plain vodka cocktail into a spiced masterpiece. Just remember to use these ingredients wisely, as going overboard will overpower the spirit and make the drink too potent.
Though the Caribbean may be known for its rum creations, there’s plenty of room to play with these flavours in a vodka cocktail too. Pineapple, coconut and mango, are some tropical fruits that pair wonderfully with the spirit and bring a touch of island life to your glass. Whether you’re sipping them by a beach (or just wishing you were), a tropical-inspired vodka cocktail like a vodka-based Piña Colada or a Mango Tango cocktail can transport you to a tropical getaway with every sip.
Although it may seem a little strange at first to be adding vegetables to your drinks, when done right, they can add a delicious and unique edge to a vodka cocktail. Things like cucumber, tomato and celery lend a new twist to your vodka creations. A cucumber-infused vodka can be the foundation of a crisp and refreshing cucumber martini, while tomato juice combined with vodka gives birth to the classic Bloody Mary, known for its rich and savoury profile.