I don’t like to mix vodka, but it’s best to leave the shot glass at home when drinking at social gatherings. Luckily, I have quite a few friends who like to mix to help me along by suggesting good mixers to go with my vodka. In the spirit of VodkaBuzz, I’m going to compile a list of non-pretentious mixers that work well with vodka.
Mix your favorite vodka with sweet tea and lemon (Ice Pick) or lemonade (John Daly). The Ice Pick and John Daly are on different ends of the same spectrum. Sweet tea is easy to make, and, here in the South, we usually have it on hand. Since lemonade is a little more difficult to come by, I tend to make more Ice Picks than John Dalys. If you want premade mixers, pair your favorite tea and lemonade from the grocery store. If you want to DIY, you need:
To make your tea, put 3 tea bags in the mason jar and fill it with cold water. Hot water sits in your hot water tank, and can pick up minerals, so use cold. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and let it sit for at least another 7. Help the steeping by swishing the bags around in the hot water. Put 1 1/3 cup of granulated Splenda or sugar into the 1 gallon pitcher, and pour in the tea after it has steeped long enough. Don’t forget to squeeze the bags out into the pitcher before you throw them away. Stir tea with the sugar or Splenda while it is still hot to help it all melt in. Once it’s mixed, put a bunch of ice into the pitcher, then fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water.
From there, you can toss in a shot or two of vodka and fill the rest of your glass with iced tea and add lemon to taste. I use RealLemon because it’s easier than keeping fruit around. You can also use lemonade if you keep it on hand. I sometimes use Crystal Light Lemonade since it’s easy to make and low sugar / low calorie.
Orange juice (preferably Simply Orange Juice) and pomegranate juice (preferably Pom Pomegranate Juice) play nice together. Add a shot or two of vodka to a glass, then fill most of the rest of the glass with orange juice, then float pomegranate juice on top. Pomegranate has a very tart flavor, so play around with your mixture to find something that is right for you.
Crystal Light Powders are really convenient and provide a lot of variety. All you do is drop a packet of powder in a 2-quart pitcher, fill it with water, and mix it up. It’s easy for parties, and you can pre-mix with vodka to save on serving time. I’ve had the best luck with:
Orange juice (preferably Simply Orange Juice) and Sugar-free Red Bull tastes like an orange julius. You can get the ingredients at a gas station in a pinch, too. Usually a shot or two of vodka in a glass with the rest mixed at 1/4 Red Bull to 3/4 orange juice is pretty good, but you should play around with the ratios to find out what works best for you.
I tend to mix with things that are on hand or are easy to get. Here are a few easy mixers that are good with vodka.