18 Best Summer Cocktails with Vodka

June 06, 2023 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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The sunny season is in full swing, and what better way to beat the heat than with an inspired lineup of summer vodka cocktails? Whether you’re lounging by the pool, hosting a backyard get-together, or simply seeking a refreshing sipper, The Mixer UK’s got you covered.  

Embark on a flavour-filled journey with us as we unveil 18 sensational vodka cocktails that are tailor-made for summer. From zesty fruit infusions to tropical libations to transport you to paradise, these drinks are the perfect companions for those lazy, hazy days with friends.   

1. Vodka Tonic  

Refreshing Vodka Tonic served on ice with a rosemary and lime wedge garnish

One of the best summer vodka cocktails for folks who like to keep things super easy, the Vodka Tonic is a simple, sophisticated drink that can be kept low-key for casual occasions or dressed up with a variety of fun garnishes for dinner parties. While gin is the more obvious pairing for tonic water, vodka is excellent for those looking for a crisp and smooth bittersweet drink.  

2. Vodka Soda  

Vodka soda

If you love to keep it light, one of the best summer cocktails with vodka is the low-calorie Vodka Soda. With no added sugar, the spirit is given a chance to really shine, so choosing good quality vodka is important. If you want to add a little sweetness, a touch of simple syrup turns this drink into a delightful Tom Collins 

Learn more: Easy Syrup Variations for Cocktail Making 

3. Sea Breeze Cocktail  

A Sea Breeze cocktail garnished with grapefruit

An easy blend of vodka, cranberry, and grapefruit juice, the bright and breezy Sea Breeze is a cocktail for just about everyone. Its bright, refreshing, and bold cranberry colour sets it apart and makes it a stand-out vodka-based summer cocktail for get-togethers like colour cocktail parties 

4. Pineapple Vodka Cocktail  

Two refreshing Pineapple Vodka cocktails on ice with mint garnish

The sweet, tangy taste of fresh pineapple juice and the crisp, clean flavour profile of vodka create a delicious thirst-quenching drink in the Pineapple Vodka Cocktail. This great summer vodka cocktail can be kept simple or amped up with fresh lime and grenadine. It’s a real crowd-pleaser in warmer months and easy to batch for bigger parties.  

More pineapple inspo: 15 Totally Tropical Pineapple Juice Cocktails 

5. Key Lime Martini  

Key Lime Martini with mint and lime garnish

To make the best Key Lime Martini, you will need vanilla vodka, key lime juice, fresh pineapple juice, heavy cream, and cream of coconut. We love serving it with a Graham cracker rim to lean into all the flavours and textures of the iconic pie that inspired it. 

Love limes15 Sublime Lime Cocktails You Gotta Try 

6. Long Island Iced Tea  

Front image of three homemade Long Island Ice Tea Cocktails with Lemon garnish

The Long Island Iced Tea is a great choice if you’re looking for easy summer vodka cocktail recipes that are simple to make for larger groups ahead of time. These multi-spirit drinks can be quite potent, so stick to the measurements and enjoy them slowly. For a lighter version, you can also take the amount of liquor down a notch and add more cola.  

7. Watermelon Martini  

Two Watermelon Martinis garnished with a lemon wedge and slice of watermelon each, against a blue backdrop

The best vodka summer cocktails for those really hot days should ideally offer some welcome hydration (and a bit of a kick). This is when we turn to watermelon drinks. Full of fruity flavour and deliciously refreshing, the Watermelon Martini is the perfect thirst quencher to savour by the pool, while sunbathing or to serve pitcher-style at a garden party. 

Read next: 11 Watermelon Cocktail Recipes to Impress a Crowd 

8. Vodka Cranberry

Vodka Cranberry with rosemary garnish

For summer cocktails made with vodka that offers a welcome bit of zing, we like to turn to the time-honoured Vodka Cranberry. The taste of the cranberry juice is sweet and tart, and the lime adds a lovely zesty twist, making it very drinkable and the perfect choice for just about any summer gathering.     

9. Moscow Mule  

Virgin Moscow Mule

No list of refreshing summer cocktails with vodka would be complete without mentioning the Moscow Mule. A classic cocktail with a long history, it’s surprisingly not from Russia but, instead, from the United States, originating in 1940s New York. So, what is a Moscow Mule made of? It’s a sublime combination of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer — and guaranteed to deliver a feisty kick!   

More Mules! 13 Delicious Mule Cocktails to Make at Home 

10. Lemon Drop Martini  

Two pretty Lemon Drop Martinis on a glass table, garnished with a sugar rim each

Arguably the best fruity Martini recipe for cocktail newbies who love a lemony zing, the Lemon Drop Martini is a fresh breeze of a drink. Arriving at the party with a perky attitude and a sugary rim, this perfectly easy summer cocktail with vodka hails from the heydays of the 1970s and was named after a zesty candy that was equally popular at the time.     

11. Cosmopolitan  

Front view of the best refreshing Cosmopolitan cocktails

Looking for summer vodka cocktail recipes with a classy vibe? You’re wanting a Cosmopolitan, darling. Bringing together citrus-infused SKYY Vodka, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and cranberry juice, with an orange peel garnish for a touch of elegance, the harmonious Cosmo is a revitalising drink that beautifully balances citrusy sweetness with the invigorating sharpness of lime.    

12. Vodka Iced Tea  

Three Vodka Iced Tea cocktails in tumblers with lemon and mint garnish

Simple, delicious, budget-friendly, and very satisfying, our Vodka Iced Tea recipe features unsweetened black iced tea, but feel free to play around with different flavours and garnishes to make this summer vodka-based cocktail your own.  

It’s tea time! Easy Tea Cocktails for Chilled Celebrations 

13. Vodka Sidecar  

Vodka Sidecar cocktail with sugared rim and lemon garnish

Sometimes you just have to lean into a complete classic. This is when we like to pour a Vodka Sidecar. A great cocktail for sweet and sour fans, this zesty spin on the traditional version of the drink layers Grand Marnier orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice over vodka. Add a sugared rim and you’ve got all the makings of a gorgeous drink.  

Learn more: Grand Marnier vs Cointreau: Everything You Need to Know 

14. Blue Hawaiian Long Island Iced Tea  

A pretty & playful Blue Hawaiian Long Island Iced Tea

If you are keen on a fun, refreshing drink with an island-style vibe, you’ve got to try our Blue Hawaiian Long Island Iced Tea recipe. Featuring a bright cerulean colour thanks to the inclusion of blue curaçao, it looks as lively and boisterous as it tastes. Even though it features a longish list of ingredients, it also comes together very easily, which makes it perfect for beginners.     

15. Screwdriver Cocktail  

Bright orange Screwdriver cocktail

Vodka and orange juice served over ice is also known as a classic Screwdriver cocktail. This is a very popular drink, and it makes sense – fruity juices are known to be a good pairing for vodka. Serve these refreshing orange cocktails as a cheeky start to brunch, or poolside with friends on a hot day.  

You might also like: 11 Zesty Orange Juice Cocktails for Every Occasion and Season  

16. Strawberry Shrub Cocktail   

Strawberry Shrub Mocktail  

A shrub drink calls for a non-alcoholic syrup made with concentrated fruit, sugar, and vinegar. The syrup can be used in mocktails or in cocktails that call for an acidic fruity twist. The Strawberry Shrub cocktail adds vodka to the mix for a berry-forward drink filled with fantastic fruity flavours.   

17. Blue Martini  

Blue Martini with a lemon twist garnish

Slightly sour with strong tropical notes, the Blue Martini is an easy party drink that your friends will love. To make one, you’ll need a good quality vodka, blue curaçao, sour mix, and fresh pineapple juice. Use an orange peel, fresh pineapple wedge, or maraschino cherry to garnish.  

18. French Kiss Cocktail  

French Kiss Cocktail surrounded by fresh oranges

The French Kiss Cocktail is a delicious reminder that life can be sweet and spicy all at once. It’s a gorgeous combination of zesty orange juice overlayed with delightful hints of star anise, fennel, coriander, and mint, laced with the sweetness of grenadine.   

Watch: vodka 101


Vodka is a versatile and refreshing spirit that is perfect for summer. Its neutral flavour profile makes it an excellent base for a wide range of cocktails, from classic favourites like the Vodka Tonic and Moscow Mule to fruity and tropical drinks like the Strawberry Shrub or the Cosmopolitan. Whether you prefer your vodka mixed with soda, juice, or in a signature cocktail, it's sure to provide a cool and refreshing experience during the hot summer months.

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