Screw the Screwdriver. For National Vodka Day (October 4), look beyond your old favorites and celebrate with something new and different...and simple! Here are five vodka cocktails to try, each containing three or fewer ingredients.
5. Salty Dog. Though often confused and conflated with its close friend the Greyhound (vodka and grapefruit juice), the Salty Dog is ultimately superior to the former because of the genius addition of a salted rim. This element creates a lovely sweet-savory juxtaposition with the juice. It also makes your hangover worse.
4. Sea Breeze. There are many recipes for the classic Sea Breeze cocktail, but one of the simplest produces a crisp, straightforward drink that's not too sugary. Containing both cranberry and grapefruit juice, the Sea Breeze is not for the faint of tart, but if you're not adverse to puckering a bit as you swallow, it's terribly refreshing.
3. Tea Tini. Okay, this drink technically has four ingredients if you count the sugar on the rim, but, well, if you're too lazy to add it, I'm sure it will still taste pretty good. The Tea Tini is what plain sweet tea becomes after a long, shitty day: still sugary but with a bit of an edge and a sour bite.
2. Harrington. Bartender Michael Bowers best described the Harrington when he said, "It's a really delicious drink and a really clever way to turn vodka's greatest weakness -- its neutrality -- into a great strength." Indeed, the Harrington lacks the unpleasant herbal twang common to drinks too heavy on green chartreuse, and instead presents a cooler flavor laced with a fleeting sweetness.
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1. Harvey Wallbanger. After drinking a Harvey Wallbanger, you realize the Screwdriver suffers for being tragically incomplete. A mere splash of Galliano tempers the overbearing citrus vodka and orange juice by imparting a more mild vanilla flavor. Just don't enjoy this cocktail as much as its namesake, Harvey, a very thirsty bloke who allegedly rammed his noggin repeatedly against the wall after a few rounds.