Vodka Soda

The Vodka Soda is a light, effervescent cocktail made with just two ingredients. Learn the correct proportions for this simple drink to make it the best every single time.

two lime slices float in a clear cocktail.

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Classic Vodka Soda recipe

Sometimes a craft cocktail, garnished to the gills, makes for a stunning supper.

But other times, all you want is a quick and easy cocktail that’s as delicious as it is simple.

The Vodka Soda is just that: a quaffable, two-ingredient tipple worthy of perfecting.

As with any two-ingredient drink, the key to the best Vodka Soda is in quality of ingredients and nailing the ratio.

More two-ingredient drink recipes: Vodka CranberryGreyhoundJack & Coke

limes, a silver jigger and two vodka sodas on grey coasters.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Two-ingredient cocktails like Vodka Sodas are many people’s favorite cocktails, and here’s why.

  • The Vodka Soda is a refreshing drink, perfect for summer or any time of year.
  • With just two ingredients — and a hint of lime if you like, — there are few recipes as simple as this one.
  • Once you master this cocktail, you can modify it with other flavors or enjoy it as is.

It’s a great drink to order on an airplane, at a restaurant, or during happy hour at a bar. They make great pool-side or beachy sippers on a hot day. A little splash of citrus juice makes this highball cocktail so refreshing. 

Many people love this bubbly drink because it is a low-calorie cocktail. 

top view of two vodka sodas next to limes and a jigger.

What is a Vodka Soda?

The Vodka Soda is a simple two-ingredient cocktail made with plain vodka and bubbly club soda.

A subtle spritz of lime juice from a fresh lime garnish is also standard.

The drink can be transformed with flavored vodka, flavored sparkling water, muddled fruit and other garnishes.

Tools & glassware

The Vodka Soda is so simple that you don’t need a cocktail shaker to make it.

You’ll want a jigger to measure the ingredients to a T, to help you nail that ratio. (At least, do it the first time, then tweak to your liking from there.)

For glassware, you can go short or tall. A rocks glass is a great lowball style glass, but you can also use a Collins or highball glass, which are both tall glasses. You may want to double the ingredients for a bigger glass.

closeup of bubbles on lime wedges and the edge of a clear glass.

Ingredients

The Vodka Soda has only two ingredients, so make them great for the best quality drink.

Vodka

With any two-ingredient cocktail, quality matters. Always use the best alcohol you can afford! My go-to vodka brands right now are Tito’s, Deep Eddy, Reyka and Absolut.

A cheap vodka will taste cheap and stand out in your drink — and not in a great way — so stick to the $15-20 range if you can!

If you’d like to know more about vodka, dive into my Vodka 101 crash course.

To give your Vodka Soda more flavor, mix it up with a flavored vodka or even a splash of another spirit. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Elderflower Vodka Soda: ​Add ½ ounce of elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germain, for a fun twist. 
  • Raspberry Vodka Soda: Use raspberry vodka. 
  • Lemon Vodka Soda: Use lemon vodka and a slice of lemon. 
a bottle of fever tree club soda

Carbonated water

There are many names for carbonated water: soda water, club soda, fizzy water and sparkling water.

They’re pretty much the same — just water with bubbles. If you have a favorite brand, start there.

For your Vodka Soda, you can use plain sparkling water or flavored fizzy water to create your flavor combinations.

Similarly, there’s tonic water, à la the gin & tonic. It has a slightly bitter flavor. You can use it instead, but it would then be called a Vodka Tonic.

Garnish

You don’t have to garnish a Vodka Soda, but a lime wedge is classic. You could also go with a lime slice. 

Give it a gentle squeeze as you drop it into the drink to add a spritz of fresh lime juice and lime flavor.

You could also use lemon or orange, but do the same with whatever you use: That little bit of lemon juice or orange juice goes a long way. 

A sprig of fresh mint or other herbs would also work really well. 

closeup of a lime wheel and an ice cube in a vodka soda cocktail.

Variations and substitutions

Mix up the Vodka Soda with your favorite flavors. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use flavored vodka. A fruity vodka, cucumber vodka or vanilla vodka would be a sweet twist.
  • Add a sweetener. Not sweet enough? Add a splash of simple syrup or a flavored syrup like peach syrup or strawberry syrup.
  • Choose a flavored seltzer. A flavored sparkling water, like orange or lime, would be delicious.
  • Muddle some fruit. Squish some fresh berries, other fresh fruit or even fresh herbs in the bottom of the glass to release their juices and essential oils.
  • Infuse vodka. Steep your vodka with herbs, tea or fruits to flavor it, like I do with this Hatch chile vodka.
  • Add a garnish. Garnishes are for more than looks. They add flavor and aroma, a feast for the taste buds. Try fresh rosemary, mint, fresh citrus, berries or edible flowers.
  • Use another spirit. For example, you can make a tequila soda by using tequila. (This is pretty much a Ranch Water.) You can also use gin, rum or whiskey. 

How to make a Vodka Soda

The Vodka Soda is an easy cocktail to put together.

First, get out a rocks glass or highball glass. It doesn’t really matter — just depends on how much drink you’d like!

placing a Collins ice cube into a Collins glass.

Fill it with ice cubes. You could use a clear ice cube that will melt slower than a bunch of small cubes.

pouring vodka into a glass.

Next, pour in the vodka.

pouring club soda into a glass.

Next, top with soda.

a hand adding a piece of lime to a clear glass with a clear drink.

Drop in a lime with a little squeeze to release a spritz of juices.

Best vodka to soda ratio

The ideal alcohol-to-soda ratio for a Vodka Soda is two to three parts soda to one part vodka.

So for example, for 2 ounces of vodka, 4 to 6 ounces would be the place to start. If you want it stronger, go for less soda. For a lighter drink, add more soda.

Tips & tricks

Use the best vodka you can afford. Quality does make a difference.

Start with a 1:2 ratio of vodka to soda, then add more soda if you desire.

Give the lime a gentle squeeze before you drop it in the drink or angle it on the edge of the glass. This releases the oils and juices in the fruit and distributes them on top of the drink, which you’ll both taste and smell as you sip.

two vodka soda cocktails on grey coasters.

What to serve with a Vodka Soda

The Vodka Soda is a great cocktail with so many foods!

It’s light and bright, so pair it with flavorful appetizers like caprese skewers, spinach & artichoke dip or Tuscan white bean dip.

It would also go well with bar snacks like popcorn shrimp, shishito peppers or fried pickles.

Or try it with a fruity dessert like lemon drop cookies, blueberry cake or Dole whip.

a vodka soda next to a silver jigger and limes.

FAQ

What is the best ratio for a vodka soda?

Start with a 1:2 ratio of vodka to soda, meaning you should use at least twice as much soda as vodka. Most people prefer a 1:3 ratio, meaning a quarter of the drink is vodka with greater amount of soda.

How do you make a vodka soda?

Vodka Sodas are easy to make. Add ice to a glass, then top with 2 ounces vodka and 4 to 6 ounces of soda. Garnish with a lime slice.

More vodka cocktails

— Did you make this recipe? —

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limes, a silver jigger and two vodka sodas on grey coasters.

Vodka Soda

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A Vodka Soda is a delicious, easy and refreshing two-ingredient cocktail you can make any time of year.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 to 6 ounces club soda
  • lime wheel, for garnish
  • ice

Instructions

  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the vodka, and then top with soda.
  3. Drop in a lime slice, giving it a little squeeze to release a spritz of juices.

Notes

The ideal alcohol-to-soda ratio for a Vodka Soda is two to three parts soda to one part vodka.

So for example, for 2 ounces of vodka, 4 to 6 ounces would be the place to start. If you want it stronger, go for less soda. For a lighter drink, add more soda.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 8 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

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