How to Make Cheap Vodka Taste Good

Peppered Pineapple Pops
We've all been there. That last bottle of cheap vodka staring back at you from your pantry. You don't know where it came from but don't dare throw it away. Fear not! There are myriad ways to use up that cheap vodka -- infuse it, bake it off, cook with it -- and none of them involve drinking it straight.

15 Ways to Make Cheap Vodka Taste Seriously Good

 

Did you know vodka is low in calories compared to other liquors? That's not the only reason to rescue that bottle of cheap vodka from your liquor cabinet. Vodka is easily transformed into tasty infused liqueurs, makes an ordinary pasta sauce unforgettable, and can be slipped into tasty baked goods and cooling frozen treats.

 

Mask the Evidence: Tomato-Bacon Sipper

Cheap vodka is just like life. Sometimes the best course of action is to embrace it with all its imperfections. You'll hardly notice the vodka in this drink is not top-shelf quality when it stars alongside fresh heirloom tomatoes, crispy cooked bacon, and bold Sriracha in an updated Bloody Mary that truly redefines "hair of the dog."

Mask the Evidence: Pretty in Pink Smoothie

If Sex and the City aired today, the girls would be swapping their cosmopolitans for homemade smoothies to keep with the times. We're pretty sure Carrie and the gang would be head-over-Manolo Blahniks for this fresh watermelon, strawberry, and basil sipper that perfectly masks a playful splash of even the cheapest vodka.

Mask the Evidence: Hot Orange Sipping Tea

The fall-spiced flavors of cinnamon tea and orange liqueur team up to take down the essence of cheap vodka in this easy warm drink that will fill you up on a cool night.

​Infuse It: Limoncello

Thank the Italians for coming up with the most delicious way to make cheap vodka taste good. The secret is to mix vodka with lemon peel for 10 days before combining it with a simple syrup. Faster than you can say buon appetito, you've got a delicious limoncello liqueur that makes a cute gift. (No one will ever know it's not top shelf!).

Infuse It: Ginger-Infused Vodka

There's no denying that cheap vodka has a certain bite to it. Enter ginger -- a feisty, peppery root that's destined to bring even the worst vodka to its knees. The best part? After a few days, you've got a cocktail-ready infused vodka that tastes just like it came from that artisanal grocery store your book club has been raving about.

Infuse It: Vanilla Bean Liqueur

Good things come to those who infuse vodka. That's how the saying goes, right? The hardest part of our super easy liqueur is waiting a month before you try it. In place of that harsh, cheap vodka taste, you'll have the bold, rich flavors of real vanilla bean ready to add to tropical martinis or warm toddies.

Cook It: Cheesy Pasta-Stuffed Shells

This perennial triple-cheese, double-pasta recipe favorite starts with vodka sauce. To make vodka sauce from scratch, saute an onion in 1/2 cup butter and add 1 cup vodka, letting it cook off for 10 minutes. Add two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes, then add 1 cup heavy cream and cook for another 30 minutes. High five! You've just used up an entire cup of cheap vodka and turned it into scrumptious vodka sauce goodness.

Cook It: Martini Brisket

Cheap wine gets all the credit in the world of cooking, but it turns out cheap vodka is the little liquor that could. Paired with vermouth, a splash of vodka gives ordinary brisket a martini-flavor kick in the pants. Don't forget the olives!

Cook It: Cranberry-Lime Relish

We won't tell anyone if you swap out Mom's traditional cranberry sauce for this hot little number next Thanksgiving. A touch of vodka helps marry the lip-smacking flavors of cranberries and fresh limes for one zippy side dish.

Bake It: Very, Very Berry Cheesecake

What to say to all the cheap vodka haters? Bake, bake, bake it off, bake it off. Berry vodka not only helps thin out the blackberry-raspberry puree used in the filling and topping, but it also infuses traditional cheesecake with a touch of berry deliciousness.

Sweeten the Deal: Chocolate Martini

Nothing says I love you like hiding bad vodka in your honey's drink. Since this creamy dessert cocktail is heavy on the chocolate liqueur and light on the vodka, we advise investing in the former and using up your cheapest variety for the latter. Chocolate-drizzled martini glasses add a fun finishing touch that almost makes up for your ulterior motives.

Enjoy a delicious summer drink by learning how to make a berrytini. The refreshing cocktail includes fresh blackberries and should be served in a chilled glass -€“ we show you how to shake it up.

Sweeten the Deal: How to Make a Berry-tini

Gussy up cheap vodka with muddled blackberries, mint, and elderflower liqueur. The fresh summer flavor pairing effortlessly cuts that vodka tang. Be sure to serve in a chilled glass with a few floating berries.

Freeze It: Tiramisu Tippers

Is it a drink? Is it dessert? Does it really matter as long as there's vodka in it? Coffee ice cream pairs with coffee liqueur and cream de cacao for an Italian-inspired treat that tastily obscures all traces of cheap vodka.

Freeze It: Raspberry-Pear Sorbet

Late-summer fruits combine to form a refreshing duo in a surprisingly easy sorbet that gets just a touch of vodka. Want to turn it into a boozy granita? Just add a tablespoon or two more of the vodka.

Freeze It: Peppered Pineapple Pops

Cheap flavored vodka can be tougher to get rid of than the plain stuff, but this peppy ice pop is up to the challenge. To start, add berry or vanilla vodka varieties to this tropical punch, which calls for an entire pineapple plus extra juice and a banana. Toss in the optional pinch of ground white pepper, and you've got one heck of a grown-up treat.

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