It’s made from grains, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets and grapes and imported from Poland, Russia, Finland and Sweden – the crystal clear liquid that is vodka is one of the most versatile spirits on the planet. Monday, October 4 is National Vodka Day and we’ve got a tumbler full of ways beyond the olive to help raise a glass.

For a Michelin-starred experience, try the Aux Fleurs at Pasjoli in Santa Monica. A frosty mix of vodka, hibiscus ginger and lemon, it’s the perfect mate for a steak tartare or concombre et radis starter at the cozy French restaurant awarded their first star this week.

The Delilah at Bar Magnolia (Courtesy Hotel Figueroa)

Bar Lubitsch features a Moscow Mule with Reyka Vodka, ginger syrup and lime juice and the rooftop bar at Perch is serving a My Fair Lady – Reyka Vodka, Crème de Peche, cranberry and lime juice. L’antica Pizzeria da Michele’s romantic “Meet me in Kyoto” cocktail features Sakura Tea infused Rain Vodka, lime and lemongrass. The Centennial Cocktail in the lobby lounge of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows launched this summer to celebrate their landmark 100 years with vodka and topped off with some bubbly. It features AMASS Vodka, lemon, rosemary simple syrup, champagne, and garnished with rosemary (created by Miramar’s own Emily Russell). The Delilah at Bar Magnolia at Hotel Figueroa is just as delightful to the eyes as the taste buds. It’s a mix of Absolut Elyx, fresh watermelon juice, chareau, lemon, maca infused simple syrup, aperol, mint, orange bitters and garnished with a mint bouquet, gold dust and dehydrated lemon wheel. Over at Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co., they’re serving a Boozy Agua Fresca with pineapple, cucumber mint and vodka as well as a Boozy Vodka Horchata.  For lovers, E.P. & L.P. is offering Kickstart My Heart, made with Grey Goose Vodka, watermelon, agave, lemon and rhubarb.

 

If you’d rather raise a glass at home, try these recipes:

Spa Girl Cocktails Main Squeeze Martini: 

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 oz. Spa Girl Cocktails Cucumber Vodka

¾ oz. Lemon Juice

½ oz. Ginger Syrup or Domaine Canyon liqueur

4-5 Mint Leaves

 

HOW YOU DO IT: 

Muddle mint with ingredients.

Shake over ice. 

Serve straight up with edible flowers.

In honor of the holiday, Spa Girl Cocktails is offering 15% off all online orders when using the code REBECCA on October 4th. 

Espresso Martini (Courtesy Grey Goose)

Grey Goose Espresso Martini

 

There’s no denying this cocktail has reentered the zeitgeist as nightlife’s new favorite. The energizing espresso pairs with coffee liqueur and vodka to keep you buzzing into the morning.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz. Grey Goose vodka

1 oz. Single Origin Espresso

3/4 oz. Coffee Liqueur

pinch of Salt

Method: Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three coffee beans.

Vodka cocktails courtesy of Death & Co, DTLA’s celebrated speakeasy:

 

For a classic with a twist:

 

Reef Break

  • 1.75 oz Suntory Haku Vodka
  • 1 oz Lustau Fino Sherry
  • 0.25 oz El Dorado 3yr Demerara Rum
  • 1 tsp Giffard Passion Fruit liqueur
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon syrup
  • 0.5 oz Water

Method: pour frozen batch

Glassware: nick & nora 

Garnish: Grapefruit twist 

Origin: Tyson Buhler, Death & Co Los Angeles

 For something adventurous to satisfy your inner tiki:  

 False Alarm

  • 1.25 oz Cimarron Blanco Tequila
  • 0.5 oz St. George Green Chile Vodka
  • 0.25 oz Clairin Sajous
  • 0.75 oz Papaya syrup
  • 0.75 oz Lime juice
  • 1 dash Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Method: Shake

Glass: Pilsner glass w/ crushed ice

Garnish: Lime Wheel

Origin: Matthew Belanger, Death & Co Los Angeles

Aurora (Courtesy Chrystal Head Vodka)

Add Canada to that list of imports. Multi-award-winning Crystal Head Vodka was created by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who designed the spooky skull bottle as a symbol of life, reflecting power and enlightenment. Perfect for your Halloween table, the additive-free spirit is filtered through layers of Herkimer Diamonds and comes three expressions of vodka: Original, made from locally sourced Canadian corn, Aurora, crafted from English wheat and Onyx, which is crafted from Blue Weber Agave sourced from a single farm in Mexico.  

Ketel One has teamed up with Padma Lakshmi to share some of her tips for hosting and pairing snacks for National Vodka Day. What are her tips for amping up your martini game at home? 

Lakshmi says to experiment with different brines and try stuffing your own olives with your favorite bleu cheese: 

“Rather than just adding olives, I spiked up my martini by adding pickled jalapenos and some of their pickling liquid. This pickling liquid comes in handy for all sorts of uses, by the way, not just for cocktails, so don’t throw out the bottle and its juice just because the jalapenos are finished. It’s good in dressings, soups and sauces.”

Reef Break (Courtesy Death & Co.)

 

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