On National Vodka Day, raise a glass to one of the world's most popular alcoholic beverages. It is true that vodka is often associated with Russia, and some of the world's best and most expensive vodka is produced there, but it is made in many other countries as well. Coming from the Slavic word for ‘little water’ the spirit is usually made by mixing water with fermented and distilled grains or potatoes. As its popularity grew, people also started to add flavourings and colours to the mix.

It’s thought to have been around as far back as the Middle Ages and was first distilled by monks somewhere between the 8th and 8th centuries. It has variations that come from Poland as well as Sweden. It became known as vodka only in the 14th century when  Genoese ambassadors brought vodka to Moscow to present it to the Grand Duke in 1386 but it wasn’t until the Russian revolution in 1917 that it spread further throughout Europe. 

Also Read: Vodka Origin: All You Need To Know About This Alcoholic Beverage

After World War II the popularity spread further throughout the world, especially in North America. People innovated around this neutral, odourless and colourless alcohol to create exotic flavour and aroma combinations. Purists still believe its best taken neat though but its lack of distinctive flavours is exactly what contributed to its popularity since it can act as a perfect base for almost any cocktail. And the best part is, you don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to make awesome vodka cocktails.

In celebration of this beloved spirit, here are 3 fun vodka recipes for you to try at home.

Sea Breeze

Fruity and tart, this is the best drink for a hot summer’s day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice

Method

  • In a highball glass filled with ice, combine vodka with cranberry juice and grapefruit juice.
  • Add a splash of sparkling water if you like.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit slice. 

Vodka Gimlet

Classic Gimlets are made with Gin, but this is a modern twist on an old favourite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup

Method:

  • Fill a shaker with crushed ice. 
  • Shake the vodka with the lime juice fresh lime juice and simple syrup. 
  • Strain the cocktail into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Espresso Martini

When you need an extra jolt, this cocktail comes to the rescue.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 1 freshly brewed espresso
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur

Method:

  • Combine the vodka with the espresso, syrup and coffee liqueur. 
  • Shake together with ice cubes.
  • Strain into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans.

And there we have it, three simple 3-ingredient cocktails that you can make at home. Happy Vodka Day, cheers!