Are you a fan of canned vodka seltzers? With this simple refreshing recipe, you can make your own vodka seltzer drinks at home. They're a delightful alternative to the store-bought version, giving you full control over the flavor and sweetness levels. Plus, they're a healthier, low-calorie summer cocktail option that's just as bubbly and perfect for celebrating summer!
Vodka seltzer season has arrived! To be fair, since vodka seltzer drinks became super popular a few years ago, their season never really left.
Perfect for anyone who wants a light daytime drink but doesn't love beer or the calories it can sometimes pack, ready made vodka sodas have become all the rage with pretty much every big alcohol brand and brewery coming out with their own range of flavors.
I'm excited to bring you this homemade vodka seltzer recipe for when you want to whip up your own cocktails at home.
❓What are vodka seltzers?
Vodka seltzers are canned drinks that have exploded in popularity over the past few years. They're the bubbly sibling of the traditional vodka cocktail and are typically a mix of vodka and sparkling water, often with a splash of natural fruit flavor.
It seems like every liquor brand and brewery has their own version with the most popular being White Claw and Truly. And the flavors run from the basic like lime or cherry to the super unique like blueberry mint and watermelon cucumber.
They're light, crisp, and refreshingly effervescent and have been a big hit at parties and gatherings over the past several years.
Plus, if you're watching your calorie count, these drinks can be a great choice - they often have less sugar and fewer calories than other mixed drinks.
Of course, you can also make your own vodka seltzer drinks from scratch and you can make them in any flavor you want!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
You'll love this recipe if you're a fan of vodka seltzer drinks, but like the idea of making your own at home where you can control the amount of alcohol and flavor combination.
It's also great if you're having a party and want to serve a big batch of cocktails without cans... Plus, it's certainly more cost efficient.
You can even use this recipe to set up your own vodka seltzer bar at your next summer gathering!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this cocktail, though it's really up to you what you include in terms of fruit and flavoring.
Of course, the main ingredients in a vodka seltzer are:
- Seltzer Water (also known as soda water or sparkling water)
- Freshly squeezed citrus, fruit, fruit juice, flavored vodka, or simple syrup (see below for how to add flavor to your drinks)
I also recommend adding some fruit garnish... Something you don't get in the store-bought version of the vodka seltzer.
💧 Can I use club soda?
You might be wondering, what the heck is the difference between seltzer water and club soda? Not to mention soda water and sparkling water!
Well, let's get the easy part out of the way first. Seltzer water, soda water, and sparkling water are generally the same thing (though soda water occasionally includes sodium bicarbonate/baking soda in it).
Seltzer water is literally just carbonated water, so it tastes the most natural and is best for adding flavor to.
Club soda is carbonated water that's infused with minerals like potassium sulfate, sodium chloride, or sodium bicarbonate. These can give the water a bit of a salty taste, though it may not be super noticeable to everyone.
You certainly can use club soda in your vodka seltzer recipe if that's what you have on hand, but I think seltzer water tastes a little more natural and pure.
🍓 How to add flavor
There are lots of different ways you can flavor your vodka seltzers, depending on what you have on hand at home. Here are some ideas:
- Citrus: Citrus is a great ingredient for making vodka seltzers since it keeps the drinks low-calorie and adds delicious flavor. If you like lime, lemon, orange, or grapefruit vodka seltzers, you can just squeeze some of the fresh juice in.
- Puree or muddled fruit: Another option is to puree fruit or muddle it into the vodka. You can do this with strawberry, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, pineapple, mango, cucumber, and more. You can remove the muddled fruit before serving and just leave the juices behind if you prefer.
- Juice: You can also add a splash of juice to your vodka seltzers. This will add more calories than citrus or fresh fruit, but you don't need to add a lot to get the flavor.
- Muddled herbs and spices: For getting mint, basil, thyme, or rosemary flavor, you can simple muddle the herbs into the vodka. You can remove the muddled herbs before serving. You can do the same thing with jalapeño peppers or habanero peppers if you want a vodka soda with a kick!
- Flavored or infused vodka: If you want to add flavor to your vodka seltzer without additional ingredients or calories, you can use flavored vodka or you can infuse your own vodka. This is a great tutorial on how to infuse your own vodka.
- Simple syrups: Simple syrups are also a great way to add flavor to your vodka seltzers, but note that they'll add sweetness and sugar, too. Check out my collection of simple syrup recipes for all kinds of fun flavors!
🥃 How to make a vodka seltzer drink
Now that you know what you need for your homemade vodka seltzer drink, you're ready to whip it up!
Part of the beauty of making your own cocktails at home is that you can make them as strong or as weak as you want to. And as fruity and sweet as you want to.
That said, I believe true vodka seltzers are meant to be just lightly flavored, so here are the amounts of each ingredient I like to use:
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces seltzer water
- .5-1 ounce fresh citrus, fruit puree, juice, or simple syrup
I recommend starting with ½ ounce of all these flavorings and then adding more if you desire. I sometimes like adding 1 ounce of citrus and juice, but find syrups and purees are a little sweeter and stronger.
But you can also add even more if you choose!
Just remember that the flavor in vodka seltzers are typically very light and you generally just get the essence of the ingredients.
If you're muddling flavoring ingredients, I recommend adding a small amount of fruit to the vodka (a few berries, a couple small pieces of pineapple or mango, a couple herb leaves, etc.). Strain out the muddled ingredient (you can leave it if your prefer) and then add in the seltzer water.
If you're using flavored vodka, you can keep the ratios the same or add more vodka to your preference!
I like to add lots of fruit garnish, too! My vodka seltzer pictured here is really just a lime vodka seltzer, but the fruit garnishes make it extra pretty and more fun.
🫐 Flavor ideas
I've given you lots of flavor ideas throughout this post, but here's a full list to get your mind working!
I'm sure you can think of even more flavors you'd love. And don't forget, you can also combine any of the ingredients for fun new flavors!
How to make a big batch
If you're serving vodka seltzers at a party, you may want to make a big batch of them. This is easy to do, but note it's easiest to make the batch just one flavor.
For a big batch that serves about 12, I recommend:
- 3 cups vodka
- 4 ½ cups seltzer water
- ¾ cup fruit juice/citrus juice
I recommend mixing the drink up right before your guests arrive as the carbonated seltzer will eventually get flat.
Taste it after you make it and add more flavoring if you want.
Of course, you can also set up a vodka seltzer bar! Just have a table with a bottle of your favorite vodka, a few bottles of seltzer water, and various citrus juices, fruit juices, and syrups, along with whole pieces of fruit and herbs. Oh, and be sure to have plenty of ice.
I also recommend putting up a little sign with instructions for how to mix the homemade vodka seltzers.
🍸 More vodka drinks
If you're looking for more drinks to make with a bottle of vodka, I've got you covered! Here are some of my favorite vodka cocktails:
- Blueberry Vodka Lemonade
- Bubblegum Cocktail
- Triple Grapefruit Fizz
- Raspberry Vodka Lemonade
- Spicy Vodka Blackberry Smash
- Rock Candy Cocktail
- Sweet Fig Cocktail
- Cucumber Basil Lemonade
- Espresso Soda Cocktail
- Blood Orange Habanero Cocktail
- Dirty Shirley Cocktail (from Gastronom Cocktails)
The key to making the perfect vodka seltzer at home is really just to experiment and find the flavor options and levels you like best.
And to have fun with it! Because the whole reason we're making homemade vodka seltzers is to have a little delicious fun, right?
What's your go-to flavor of vodka seltzer?
- 2 oz. vodka (or flavored vodka*)
- .5-1 oz. freshly squeezed citrus, fruit juice, or simple syrup
- 3 oz. seltzer water (also known as sparkling water or soda water)
- Fruit for garnish, optional
- In an ice-filled cocktail glass, mix together vodka and citrus, juice/puree, or syrup. I recommend starting with ½ ounce of citrus, juice/puree, or syrup, tasting, and adding more if desired. If using real fruit or herbs, muddle a little bit into vodka to release juices and remove muddled remains (if desired).
- Add seltzer water to drink.
- Garnish with fruit as desired.
- * You can also use flavored vodka in place of regular vodka to add flavoring into your vodka seltzer.
- For tons of simple syrup flavor options, see my syrup collection.