Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Vodka is America’s most well-loved spirit — in fact, the entire country downed 79.6 million 9-liter cases in 2020 alone. We love it because it has a subtle flavor that can suit a variety of palates, not to mention that it’s also pretty cheap to boot.
It’s also one of the best alcohols to mix into cocktails because it’s flavorless and won’t clash with the other mixers in the drink.
So, if you’re ready to say goodbye to shots and say hello to classic vodka cocktails, here are the best vodka drinks to order at a bar.
Top 20 Popular Vodka Cocktails To Order At Bars
20. Vodka Tonic
The Vodka Tonic is one of the most basic vodka cocktails to order at a bar.
It’s made by combining one part of vodka with two parts of tonic water, served in a Highball glass with lots of ice.
You can also add fresh lime juice, but it’s not necessary.
This is a safe and refreshing cocktail to order if you’re unsure which one to go for. It’s also got low calories to boot.
19. Lemon Drop Martini
The Lemon Drop Martini is for people looking for something lip-smackingly tart.
This classic vodka cocktail combines vodka, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup and is garnished with a lemon slice and Maraschino cherry.
We find that it’s the perfect balance of sweet and sour, and you’ll definitely enjoy sipping on it on a night out.
18. Vodka Soda
Like the Vodka Tonic, Vodka Soda is made by mixing vodka and soda water.
It’s one of the best vodka cocktails to order at bars, especially because some establishments are known to make this in batches you can order for yourself and your friends.
17. Vodka Cranberry
The Vodka Cranberry is one of the most popular vodka cocktails you will love ordering at bars.
However, some people find cranberry juice too overpowering, and the vodka doesn’t do much to mask its tartness.
The best way to combat this is to use fresh cranberry juice in this classic cocktail, which is naturally sweeter.
16. White Russian
The White Russian is a sweet and creamy cocktail that could also double as dessert, making it the perfect drink to order after a romantic dinner date.
Some people think it’s a complicated drink, but it’s actually pretty straightforward: simply combine cream and coffee liqueur and add vodka. 
You can use milk as a cheaper alternative, but we find that a White Russian made with milk tends to be a bit thin.
It’s better to use high-quality cream or half-and-half for the best vodka cocktails with a rich sweetness.
15. Black Russian
Many consider the Black Russian to be White Russian’s older brother.
It’s made by omitting the cream part from the latter, which leaves you with only vodka and coffee liqueur.
Some bars add a Maraschino cherry as the proverbial cherry on top. But what vodka is made in Russia?
14. Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is a classic vodka cocktail often paired with brunch, but you can definitely order it at a bar.
It’s a cocktail on the savory side, made with more unconventional mixers like tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and horseradish, and served with celery salt and a celery stick.
The Bloody Mary is one of those classic vodka cocktails everyone knows and is one of our personal favorites because of its depth.
Order one for yourself the next time you’re out, so you know what we’re talking about.
13. Vodka Spritzer
The Vodka Spritzer is another simple vodka cocktail made by combining sparkling water and vodka.
Some bars add other fruits and herbs, like lemon, mint sprigs, and cherries, to their Vodka Spritzer.
This is one of the best drinks to order at a bar because it’s highly refreshing yet tame at the same time for those just starting to get into vodka cocktails.
12. Vodka Sidecar
If the cocktail drink has the word “sidecar” in it, you can expect it to have orange flavors in the mix.
Likewise, the Vodka Sidecar uses simple ingredients like vodka, orange liqueur, and lime juice, garnished with an orange slice.
Judging from the ingredients alone, you can expect it to be deliciously tart, so if that’s up your alley, this is the drink to go for.
Here are more simple mixed drinks to order at a bar.
11. Sea Breeze
As the name suggests, the Sea Breeze is best sipped when you’re enjoying the breeze by the sea (pun intended).
However, it’s just as good and refreshing if you were to order it at a bar. This cocktail drink contains cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, and vodka, served in a rocks glass with lots of ice.
Some people consider this cocktail closely related to Cape Coddler (made with vodka and cranberry) or Bay Breeze (made with vodka, pineapple, and cranberry).
10. Moscow Mule
Contrary to the name, the Moscow Mule didn’t originate from Moscow, Russia, but in Los Angeles in the 1940s.
The name Moscow Mule originated from Americans associating vodka with Russia and is made by mixing vodka, ginger beer, and lime. 
This classic vodka cocktail is traditionally served inside a copper mug, which helps keep the ginger beer fizzy for longer.
The Mudslide is very similar to a White Russian, but it uses Irish cream liqueur instead of heavy cream.
This creamy cocktail drink can also be served shaken with ice or blended like a smoothie.
The Irish cream adds a light, floral touch to this cocktail drink, courtesy of Irish whiskey.
The Cosmopolitan is one of the world’s most popular vodka cocktails, largely thanks to Sex and the City.
This feminine and classy drink is made by combining cranberry juice, lime, triple sec, and vodka served in a dainty cocktail glass.
We find that this drink is perfect for ordering during Happy Hour when you’ve just finished work with your office girlfriends.
Here are more drinks to order at a bar for women.
7. Vodka Gimlet
The Vodka Gimlet uses simple ingredients you’ll probably find in your pantry, but it’s still a great idea to see how the local bar serves theirs.
You only need two ingredients to build this delicious cocktail: good quality vodka and fresh lime juice, and garnished with a lime wedge.
6. Vodka Collins
The Vodka Collins is the perfect drink for hot summer nights and just about any time you go to the bar.
This cocktail drink is made with vodka, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda and served in a Highball glass with lots of ice cubes.
One of the things we love about this drink is how it’s sweet and tart at the same time.
5. Vodka Sour
The Vodka Sour is made by combining vodka, lemon juice, sugar, and an egg white inside a cocktail shaker, for a deliciously frothy drink.
If the bartender knows what he’s doing, he’ll probably do a dry shake, so the frothy egg white sits beautifully on top.
The Madras is an excellent choice for people looking for something tangy and flavorful.
It mixes vodka, orange and cranberry juice, and club soda, garnished with an orange slice.
The only way to get the best glass of Madras is to use fresh ingredients.
3. Espresso Martini
Combining coffee and martini sounds like a dream come true for people who are fans of both beverages.
Thankfully, that dream comes to fruition with the Espresso Martini. This is made by combining vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso, garnished with a few coffee beans. It’s served to you in a dainty martini glass.
We love how this elegant cocktail appeals to the late-night crowd looking for an after-dinner dessert drink (us included).
2. Berry Vodka Smash
The Berry Vodka Smash is one of the best vodka cocktails you can order at bars.
It features the flavors of mint, berries, lemon juice, and sugar alongside the quintessential vodka.
It helps to muddle the fresh mint leaves, so their natural juices are extracted and incorporated into your drink.
It’s best to order this during not-so-busy nights at bars, so the bartender has time to muddle the mint leaves.
The Screwdriver’s simplicity makes it one of the most popular vodka cocktails. It’s made with only two ingredients: orange juice and vodka.
Of course, with only two ingredients, their freshness and quality can make or break the entire drink.
It’s best to use quality vodka for this refreshing drink and to avoid using pulpy orange juice, which can result in an unpleasant mouthfeel.
Is there a low-calorie vodka drink to order at a bar?
Yes, plenty of low-calorie vodka drinks are available at a bar. Gin and Tonic, Vodka Soda, and Vodka Spritzer are vodka cocktails with very few calories for people watching their weight.
On the other hand, vodka cocktail recipes that use fruit juices, soda, and cream mixers pack on the calories, so watch out for those.
How much does a vodka drink usually cost at a bar?
On average, most vodka cocktails range anywhere from $5 to $15 at a bar. That can be a steep price, especially if you’re familiar with making vodka cocktails from scratch.
But hey, if you’re having fun with friends at a bar, that already is a priceless experience.
Our favorite vodka drink to order at a bar is the Screwdriver, made by mixing two very common ingredients: vodka and orange juice. The simplicity of this fruity drink makes it fantastic and perfect for you and your friends as you dance the night away.
Other fantastic vodka mixed drinks include the Espresso Martini, Bloody Mary, and Cosmopolitan, all with varying flavors of creamy, savory, and tangy.
You’ll notice that establishments carry plenty of vodka mixed drinks because this spirit has a subtle and versatile flavor that will complement many different mixers.
Unlike more flavorful spirits like whiskey or gin, vodkas are made for cocktail building.