Vodka is my preferred hard alcohol beverage, since it lacks most of the hangover-causing impurities that whiskey, tequila and rum posess, and also because it is comparitively tasteless, so it mixes well with other fluids in order to create innocuous-tasting drinks that will get you seriously drunk in short order. This is a good thing if, like me, you enjoy the effects of hard alcohol but not the taste.

In short, this node is dedicated to the beverages which the Noders of E2 have discovered mix well with vodka. My personal list goes as follows:

  • POG. That is, Passion-Orange-Guava juice. The stuff that comes in half-gallon cartons and has a cute little furry creature emblazoned on it. This is, from what I've discovered, by far the best vodka mixer of all time. The stuff is amazing! I've put up to five shots of vodka in a glass, with an equal or slightly greater amount of POG, and not been able to taste the vodka. Understand that I was stone-cold sober at the time. Unfortunately, I was also stone-cold sober when I finished drinking the glass. My tolerance must have really gone up in the last two years.
  • Sprite. I have a number of friends who swear by this one. I find that Sprite and Vodka (nicknamed "rocket fuel" by the folks at Freak Manor) ends up tasting like lime-flavored soda water with a bit more of a kick than I'd necessarily like. Not as good as POG, but it works.
  • Coke. What can I say? Cola mixes well with just about anything.
  • Vodka, straight. Every once in a while, you feel a small spot of masochism come on.
  • Redbull. I've had Redbull, and I've had vodka, but I haven't actually had them together, so this is strictly secondhand... but I can imagine that they'd go well together, and the caffeine of Redbull would go a long way to counteract the sleepiness that alcohol induces, allowing one to party harder and longer. If that's your thing.
  • Kahlua and cream. This drink is known as the "White Russian". Odd, considering White Russians are usually some shade of brown (depending on the Kahlua-to-cream ratio). Tasty, if you like thick, sweet drinks. I prefer my alcohol a bit lighter than this, personally, as creamy alcoholic drinks make me a tad nauseous. I can't get away from them, though, as they're my girlfriend's favorite drink.
I'll post more vodka mixers as I discover them, and if you can think of any, please node 'em below.

Cream soda can work very well with vodka, but only if you get the amounts just right. I don't know the exact mixture needed, I usually go by the mix 'n sip method.

One thing that does not go well is pixy stix. Bolstered by my successful addition of cream soda (one of my favorite beverages, which I thought never got the popularity it deserved), I wanted to add another secret passion of mine in order to make a super drink. This sensation would taste great while still geting you totally smashed, I planned on calling the drink "the 'thrax". Unfourtunatly it was a horrible tasting mess that ended up wasting a bag of pixy stix, a liter of cream soda, and lots of vodka.

Never again will I try to fly too close to the sun

Here are three fine UK-based mixtures for vodka for you to enjoy:

  • Lemonade. This is my chosen poison. Known elsewhere as lemon soda, if mixed properly with nice vodka it produces an eminently drinkable, pleasant beverage that will mess you up quickly or stealthily. I have found Tesco's cloudy lemonade to be far better than 'normal' lemonade', if only because you can add more vodka without tasting it. This is mostly down to how much vodka you add to the glass. Personally, I have maybe an eighth of a pint glass (depending on my mood) of Smirnoff Blue Label or Stolichnaya Vanil and top the rest off with the lemonade. I usually pour a bit of lemonade in first, so the vod doesn't just sit at the bottom of the glass.
  • Irn-Bru. The most popular soft drink in Scotland, Irn Bru mixed with vodka is something of an acquired taste. Definitely mix and sip, as a combination of cheap vodka and Irn Bru (always buy Barr Irn Bru, not inferior supermarket brands) will have a harsh, chemical taste. This, in fact, is why I cannot drink Irn Bru and vodka, as a night with a budget version of the mixture left me in considerable pain. Nevertheless, it was a very addictive, pleasant drink for when I fancied a change from lemonade.
  • Cheap, rubbish lager. If the establishment you're in doesn't sell anything nice like Grolsch or Beck's or anything Czech; when you're forced to drink horse piss like Carling; then vodka can rescue you! Simply order a pint and a single or double. Drink some of the pint, dump in your shot(s) (NB: it is illegal for the barkeeper to do this for you) and swoosh it around to mix. Drink. Yes, you're still drinking crap, but soon you'll be too pissed to care.

Please enjoy responsibly!

My friends asked me if I wanted to drink with them. Normally, I would have said no. I've seen underage drinking screw up too many people. But this was just a couple guys in a basement. What the hell? I said yes. Let me introduce the participants in this fiasco:
Joe, Kaleb, Jon, and I were old friends. (Meaning we had known each other, three, maybe four years, tops.) We were a heady eighteen. The four of us were headed off to college to be the programmers of the greatest games the world had ever seen. (Less than two years later I am already laughing at how naive we were.)

The drink of choice that evening was vodka. We mixed this vodka with what had been our drink of choice every other evening since we had known each other: Mountain Dew. I took the first illegal drink of my life. (I had drank fairly often with family before.)

Mountain Dew mixes well with Vodka.

There were a couple incidents of drunken stupidity. Joe, who drank at least twice as much as everyone else, fell down the stairs. Twice. He also stood in the middle of one of those round, braided rag rugs (the ones that look like big spirals) and spun around until he got dizzy and fell over. Kaleb tried to trick pour, and instead poured precious alcohol right onto the floor. We hit him.

Mostly, though, we just shot the breeze all night. As we drank, we laughed about stupid things we had done in high school. We looked forward with joy and trepidation to college. We relaxed. We had one last fling with childhood before the realities of being responsible for ourselves punched us square in the jaw. We had a good time.

I mix well with Vodka.

Basically a base chemical

Vodka is the simplest, the most utterly unsophisticated alcoholic beverage of them all -- consisting of essentially nothing else than a mixture of 40 % ethanol (C2H5OH) and 60 % water (H2O). Of course, there may be minute amounts of impurities in the brew, but they are truly minute, mind you. Still, for the sharp-sensed connoisseur these impurities can conceivably serve as distinguishing marks for different brands of vodka (though I have my doubts …) –- traces of residuals passed over from the distillation, impurities picked up from storage vessels, ingredients in the local water used, etc. But in the case of vodka (as opposed to more sophisticated boozes like whiskey and brandy) these additives are for all practical purposes very close to being nonexistent. What we are dealing with here is just a simple chemical preparation: a 40 % solution of ethanol in water. Period.

The Vodka Belt -- ethnic vodka-mixing

So the question of what mixes well with vodka should essentially boil down to clear-cut chemical considerations. But interestingly, there seems to be an ethnical side to vodka-mixing too. The name is derived from Russian, so we may assume that vodka mixes well with Russians. In fact, it seems to mix rather well with a number of other peoples living in the colder northern regions of Europe as well -– Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles – people living in the so-called “vodka belt” of Northern Europe. Here people are not enjoying alcoholic beverages for their exquisite taste and mild intoxicating effects. No, what these people are after is getting dead drunk as fast as possible, completely stoned in full Russian style, particularly on a Friday and/or Saturday night. So for the originators of vodka the stuff was never meant to be a tasty beverage to be mixed in sophisticated ways for culinary enjoyment. Rather, it was (and is) just an unpretentious chemical agent for getting pissed and paralytic as efficiently and cheaply as possible, like greased lightning.

Sugar and salt

Ethanol is a hydrophilic organic solvent, i.e. it mixes readily with water and various water solutions. Hence vodka may be diluted with whatever watery beverage you desire to use, in whatever proportions. Sugar has limited solubility in ethanol, but the 60 % water in vodka helps to dissolve appreciable amounts. If too much sugar is added, then un-dissolved crystals will remain. Skilled manipulation of the solubility properties at different temperatures of 40 % ethanol may result in the formation of large, nice-looking sugar crystals in the bottle.

If small quantities of some saline solutions are added to vodka, then precipitates of the salt may form, because many inorganic salts have limited solubility in ethanol. I have no idea why anybody would want to add small amounts of strong salt solutions to vodka, but now you are at least warned. (Well, come to think of it, I have no idea why anybody would like to mix vodka with anything, but this is of course beyond the scope of this writeup.)

The chemical secret of Pernod

On the other hand, the organic solvent properties of ethanol may dissolve organic oils and fats even in the presence of 60 % water. Small quantities of diluted water emulsions of oils (e.g. milk) may clear up when added to vodka. The solvent power of 40 % ethanol is actually used in the preparation of the French aperitif Pernod. Here Star anise oil is a chief ingredient in Pernod, forming a clear, yellow solution. But when water is added, then the ethanol becomes diluted to such a degree that it can no longer hold the oil in solution. Instead a whitish “precipitate”, i.e. an emulsion of small un-dissolved oil drops appears, making the water-Pernod mixture look like yellowish milk.

Idiosyncratic, but pedestrian

Taste is idiosyncratic, so mixing vodka, an essentially tasteless (pun intended) 40 % ethanol solution, with various other beverages may possibly elicit new sensations in the taste-buds. But as for me, a resident of the “vodka belt” of Northern Europe, I have a rather contemptuous attitude toward this completely pedestrian booze. I don’t feel that it mixes well with anything, least of all with people.

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