A classic cocktail gets a contemporary makeover
Sometimes you can’t beat a classic cocktail. There’s a few great reasons why the simple, delicious Vodka Soda has been popular for generations – it’s easy to prepare, doesn’t take a lot of special know-how and tastes super refreshing. In honour of the winter that won’t end in my part of the world, I bring you my take on this eminently sippable beverage. The twist: blend flavoured white balsamic with the vodka before topping with soda. I recommend white balsamic as it will preserve the cocktail’s characteristic clarity whereas a dark balsamic will make it muddy-looking (though delicious). The balsamic adds a subtle richness of flavour without detracting from the drink’s signature crispness. I recommend using premium vodka; my current favourite is Bob’s Super Smooth which is made from whey rather than potatoes, grain or corn used in traditional vodka. Like the name implies, it is indeed very smooth and ideal for a drink that tastes balanced and bright.
- 2 ounces (4 tbsp / 60 mL) vodka
- 1 ounce (2 tbsp / 30 mL) flavoured white balsamic *
- Handful ice cubes
- Soda water to top
- fruit to garnish (optional)
* I used a Cara-Cara orange and vanilla white balsamic and it was terrific; next up I’m going to try mango.
- Put the vodka and balsamic in a cocktail shaker along with 3 – 4 ice cubes. Shake until blended and chilled, about 1 minute.
- Pour vodka-balsamic mixture and ice cubes into a lowball glass. Top with soda and garnish with fruit if desired.
- Close your eyes, take a sip and imagine you’re somewhere warm.
Makes 1 cocktail