Vodka Bleh: Juice Up Your Tired Cocktail

Vodka is sort of the "high school boyfriend" of liquors: it's usually your "first" and you feel comfortable and safe with it, but then you notice your more ambitious friends looking so much happier with others that you start to think that while staying with vodka forever may be easy, it may also be holding you back from other experiences best had while you're still young.

Don't worry; you've still got plenty of time to make that kind of important life decision. But in the meantime, simply adding one more ingredient to your usual Vodka [insert mixer here] can help you and your "boyfriend" experiment a bit without having to break up.

The funny part about vodka is that everyone drinks it, but many people don't even like the taste; they just order it because it mixes with anything, it's relatively low in calories, or because they can't think of a better option.

Cranberry Vodkas and Screwdrivers are known as "training wheel" cocktails, but somewhere down the line calorie counting kicks in and everyone's drink becomes the dreaded "Vodka Soda." Unless you're drinking top shelf (and you're probably not) Vodka Sodas taste like rubbing alcohol, especially once the ice melts.

If you're in a love-hate relationship with the Vodka Soda, consider upgrading to a Vodka Press by adding some lemon-lime soda (i.e. Sprite) to the mix. It's scarcely more caloric (use diet if you must) but tastes worlds better.

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you can turn your Vodka Soda into a Vodka Collins by adding sweet and sour mix. Then garnish that sucker with a cherry and orange slice.

More of the typical Vodka Cranberry type? Then add a little pineapple juice and you've got yourself a Bay Breeze; or add grapefruit juice instead for a Sea Breeze.

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Adriane Goetz