10 Vodka Cocktails To Try This Summer

When the thermostat hits 80 degrees and you're itching to break out your two-piece, there's one thing you need to complete the warm-weather trifecta: a pool party beverage menu featuring the best summer vodka drinks.

Why vodka? Besides the obvious answer, which is, "Why not?", I'd offer the reasoning that vodka's versatility and (relative) drinkability makes it the perfect cocktail companion, and I'm ready to back up that claim with 10 tasty, inventive drink recipes that you'll be pouring until September. Vodka is a classic; it's never out of style, and in the summertime, it just feels right. Once the fall solstice graces us with its presence, we change up the selection, but for now, I am willing to bet these light and lovely libations are going to be staples of your summer roster, no matter how big or small the gathering they are served at.

Let's do some quick math: If you play your cards right, you've technically got a new drink every week of summer. Ten exciting vodka bevs every seven days? Sounds like a challenge all your friends will be up for. So grab a trendy pool float and a rocks glass — you're about to enjoy some delicious cocktails.

1. Rosemary Blackberry Limonata

Nothing screams "summer" quite like blackberries and a sparkly mixer. Bright, happy, but not cloyingly sweet, if adult lemonade stands were a thing, this limonata would be the #1 seller.

Image and Recipe: The Little Epicurean

2. The Bootleg Cocktail

If you want a mellow cocktail, look no further than the cucumber drink. It's probably the only fruit that makes you feel like you're rolling in a field of freshly cut grass. The only thing better than that? Getting your drink on sans bug bites.

Image and Recipe: Cookie and Kate

3. Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

Watermelon is a classically summer treat, which makes it a perfect complement to the cucumber in this drink. This vodka cocktail is sippable and addictive. Unlike the watermelon of your childhood, this version doesn't require you to spit out any seeds.

Image and Recipe: Cookie and Kate

4. Raspberry Coconut Punch

Raspberry and coconut sounds like an unlikely pairing, but they're really perfect foils. Coconut tends to be heavy and overpowering; raspberry has a zip that balances it perfectly. Vodka, well. Vodka because reasons.

Image and Recipe: Averie Cooks

5. Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade

How could we compile a summer drink list without blueberries? Besides the awesome aesthetic contrast between the muddled and whole fruit, taking a bite of a plump, fresh berry in between layers of vodka and agave is just what you need to keep cool in the heat.

Image and Recipe: The Little Epicurean

6. Mango Coconut Water Tropical Martini

Coconut water is pretty much my go-to hangover cure. Can you get a hangover if you're already preventing it the day before? Just like the old "does a tree fall" philosophical conundrum, we'll probably never know the answer to either.

Image and Recipe: Averie Cooks

7. Citrus and Spice Smoothie

While the original recipe doesn't call for vodka... why wouldn't you? This creamy citrus concoction is reminiscent of a day at the beach in the Sunshine State (holla, hometown), and the spice adds a complexity that pulls this beverage back from Predictably Fruity Land.

Image and Recipe: Averie Cooks

8. Ruby Red And Rosemary Honey Cocktail

This is a sophisticated twist on a classically warm-weather flavor. The tang of the grapefruit is softened with the addition of a little honey, and everyone loves an herbaceous cocktail these days, right? Save this one for the day you break out the fancy clamshell floaty.

9. Red Pepper Martini

Garlic-infused vodka with notes of jalapeño doesn't sound like summer right off the bat, but what about when you've had enough coconut and pineapple to swear off piña coladas for at least the next seven weeks? It's time to go bold with a drink that challenges your palate. Check that rim, too. Mmm. Salty.

Image and Recipe: Cookie and Kate

10. Strawberry Smash Cocktail

Sweet, pulpy, and refreshing, this strawberry drink is practically your daily serving of fruit in disguise. Muddle these up to your liking and transport them out to the pool in bulk. A crowd-pleaser in a pitcher.

Image and Recipe: Cookie and Kate

Images: Jens Theess/ Unsplash