11 Summer Vodka Cocktails That Will Make You Feel Like You're On Vacation

Chardonnay Creamsicle Punch
Photo: Carson Downing

Shake up one of these summer vodka drinks to make any hour happier. Featuring seasonal ingredients like fresh basil, berries, rhubarb, cucumber, and melon, these refreshing summer vodka cocktails will help you stay cool—and in good spirits—no matter how far the mercury rises. Shaken or stirred, you can't go wrong as long as you're eventually sipping on one of these summer cocktails with vodka.

01 of 11

Strawberry-Basil Smash

Strawberry-Basil Smash
Matt Armendariz

Have a bounty of basil in your herb garden? Smash it fresh strawberries, sugar, and a generous dose fresh lemon juice for a sweet-tart summer cocktail with vodka that tastes like summer in a glass. Everyone can finish their serving with a little—or a lot—of chilled sparkling water depending on how strong they prefer their cocktails.

02 of 11

Rhubarb Cocktail

Rhubarb Cocktail in talk glass with stalk of rhubarb and lime wedge
Jacob Fox

If you lean toward drier wines and prefer less-sugary cocktails, this is the summer vodka drink for you. Instead of a standard one-to-one ratio or water and sugar, we start this easy seasonal sip with a fresh Rhubarb Syrup that is made with a five-to-one ratio for just enough sweetness to balance out the tang from the lime and rhubarb. Ginger lends zip and club soda brings the sparkle. All of the above team up to make this one bevvy that looks like it came straight from a fancy cocktail bar.

03 of 11

Cherry-Ginger Mule

Cherry-Ginger Coolers
Blaine Moats

Instead of standard lime and ginger beer, stoke your mule with fresh cherries, warmly-spiced fresh ginger, and refreshing mint. That unexpected combo stars in this summer vodka cocktail that just needs lime juice, ice, vodka (naturally) and a vigorous dance in a cocktail shaker to become glass-ready. Top it all off with a splash of sparkling water and more mint, and enjoy from a copper mug for the complete pub-style mule experience.

04 of 11

Chardonnay Creamsicle Punch

Chardonnay Creamsicle Punch
Carson Downing

"Great for a batched cocktail for a group," a BH&G reader raves, this summer drink with vodka is like your favorite white wine spritz taken to a whole new level. In addition to the Chardonnay and seltzer, this easy party drink recipe features citrus or regular vodka and lemon juice. Oh yes, we can't forget the two secret ingredients that impart the creamsicle vibes: freshly-squeezed OJ and Vanilla-Thyme Syrup.

05 of 11

Honeydew-Coconut Cocktails

Honeydew-Coconut Cocktails
Karla Conrad

For a frothy, flavorful summer vodka drink, turn to this island-inspired option. It starts with a blended mixture of melon (honeydew or cantaloupe, choose your favorite!) and cream of coconut for a rich base. Pineapple juice, melon liqueur, vodka, and lime juice round out the line-up. Just add one of our best seafood recipes and you'll practically feel like your toes are in the sand!

06 of 11

Basil Lemon Drop

Basil Lemon Drop
Andy Lyons

You might want to make a double batch of this summer cocktail with vodka for your next soiree. One BH&G home mixologist says I "made it for my party last week. I almost didn't get any, it went so fast!" Luckily, it's a breeze to mix up another round: Simply muddle fresh basil in the bottom of a pitcher, then stir in a party-starting amount of vodka, some fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice. Easy to make and easy to love!

07 of 11

Grape Jello Vodka Cocktail

Grape Jello Vodka Cocktail
Matthew Clark

Transport all of your party guests back to college (after they turned 21, of course) with this playful summer vodka cocktail concept. Inspired by Jell-O shots, we recommend making these cocktail cubes with grape gelatin, lemon-lime soda, and vodka. Then allow them to chill out in a baking dish, slice small cubes, and serve in a cocktail class for a more grown-up experience that will still make everyone giggle.

08 of 11

Vodka Lemonade

Vodka Lemonade
Mark Peterson

Here it is, the mother of all summer vodka drinks! Like the grown-up sibling of your school summer break go-to lemonade recipe, this simple and remarkably refreshing option is what we crave on the most scorching days of summer.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you're worried about your drink getting watered down by plain ice, freeze cubes of lemonade to keep your vodka cocktail cool.

09 of 11

Gimlet

Gimlet
Peter Krumhardt

This chic bar drink is a hit any month of the year. But due to its simplicity and easy-sipping factor, we tend to shake this up more as the mercury rises. Sweetened lime juice, vodka, and ice (yes, that's it!) are the building blocks of this almost-too-easy summer drink with vodka.

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Blood Orange Spritzer

Blood Orange Spritzer
Courtesy of Camille Simmons

A mix of sparkling blood orange juice, bitters, and vodka is the base of this summer cocktail recipe. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice keeps the drink from being too sweet and adds a burst of fresh flavor.

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Rose Collins

Rose Collins
Andy Lyons

This floral vodka cocktail recipe is flavored with rose syrup and a homemade sour mix. Add it to a tall glass with vodka, Campari, and club soda. To garnish, top with a slice of lemon that's been sprinkled with coarse sugar.

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