Vodka, History & Best Cocktails

Vodka is the popular spirit option for most cocktails, largely due to its neutral flavor. When you’re drinking, you want to savor the flavor of the drink, not the taste of the liquor itself. If a spirit has a strong taste, it can overpower other ingredients that are used in a cocktail. Fortunately, this is not a problem that vodka has, which is why it is the popular option.


Vodka has an interesting history that spans back centuries.


The first production of vodka occurred towards the end of the 8th century, and the first two countries that produced vodka were Poland and Russia.

Out of the two, Poland was the first to create vodka within the 8th century, but it was very much unlike the vodka produced in the present time. The vodka they produced was distilled, but instead of water, the Polish used wine, which produced a spirit that was similar to cognac and brandy. Three centuries later, Poland began to produce vodka as we know it today, but it wasn’t produced for consumption; instead, Poland used vodka for medicinal purposes.

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In the 9th century, Russia made its first steps towards a vodka recipe, but Russians didn’t distill their vodka until 1174 when the first Russian distillery was born.

As the centuries passed and methods evolved, distilleries were able to perfect their craft and eliminate impurities.


Vodka wasn’t introduced to the United States until World War 1 when consumption became mainstream outside of Europe. The spirit quickly became popular amongst American soldiers, and its popularity then spread to America.

As more people began to drink vodka, it became a primary ingredient for cocktails, and it maintains its status even today.

Flavored Vodka

The concept of flavored vodka wasn’t introduced to the market until 1986, but now the majority of vodka brands offer flavored options.

The alcohol industry began to evolve once flavored vodka became popular. Bars and clubs began to list happy hour times and drinks that featured flavored vodkas. As more time passes, vodka will continue to evolve, and it will likely always be a primary staple in the alcohol industry.

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Best Cocktails With Vodka

Vodka is a neutral spirit that plays well with others, and this makes it perfect for mixing cocktails, whether in bars or at home. There are pre-made vodka drink delivery options available and many cocktails that contain vodka. 


The Appletini became a popular vodka cocktail option in the 90s. The drink is light and sour, and sipping it is similar to biting into a juicy green apple. 

The Appletini only contains a few ingredients. 

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. apple schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. calvados
  • ice
  • green apple slices, garnish

Before preparing the cocktail, put a martini glass in the freezer to chill beforehand; this will help keep the martini cold without the dilution of ice. Combine the calvados, schnapps, and vodka into a cocktail shaker filled 2/3 of the way with ice and shake well. Strain into your chilled glass and garnish with your apple slices.

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Bloody Mary 

The Bloody Mary cocktail contains more ingredients than the usual cocktail, but it is delicious and commonly used to treat hangovers.


  • 1.5 oz of vodka
  • 2 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 shake of hot sauce of your choosing
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • A singular stalk of celery
  • 2 green olives for garnish, spirit with a toothpick or cocktail pick
  • 3/4 cup tomato-vegetable juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Into a cocktail shaker, add all of the ingredients except for the celery, olives, and salt, and shake well. On a small plate, place the salt and press the moistened rim of the glass into it. Pour in your drink and garnish with celery and olives.

There are many other recipes that incorporate vodka, but the two mentioned above are two of the most common. Because of its versatility and clean taste, many choose to add vodka to their cocktails.

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