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You don’t have to know how to make fancy drinks to throw a great party. Actually, if you can make a few École du Bar de Montréal classic cocktails, you could be the life of the party!  With that in mind, here are three essential vodka cocktails you should know.  Consider experimenting with different ingredients to learn to make your own cocktails.


It seems somewhat appropriate to start this list with a drink that many tend to drink as they start the day. The Bloody Mary is more often associated with brunch than with late night binges but it is, in fact, one of the most popular vodka cocktails. As such, it is a must know for bartenders and lushes alike.

More than just vodka and tomato juice, the Bloody Mary often tends to also have black pepper, [celery] salt, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish.  Some people opt to add soy sauce or cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or other similar mixtures.  Finally, the garnish tends to be thick lemon wedges and 1 whole celery stick. Again, the garnish can also vary according to bartender preference.


While vodka may be commonplace today, it was not so much the case before World War II.  The history of this drink serves to explain great marketing of the popular Russian spirit during a time when such associations were a bit sensitive. The story tells that the owners of Smirnoff vodka, a company called Heublein, teamed up with the Cock ‘n’ Bull Tavern, in Hollywood, to design this drink. It was simple and tasty and came to be known as the beloved Moscow Mule.

The vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice mixed cocktail—in a copper mug—became extremely popular among the Hollywood crowd, of course.  While it expanded across the country, the popularity did not last for long.


It may not have the kind of classic, bold reputation that the others on this list have, but the truth is, a real Cosmopolitan is strong and sophisticated, just like a real margarita and a real side car.  All sours consist of fresh citrus juice (or muddled citrus) and triple sec, along with its resident liquor.  The Cosmopolitan, then, is basically vodka (or citrus vodka), muddled with lime and shaken with triple sec.  It should only be colored with cranberry juice (not necessarily flavored with it).

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