Ask A Minnesota Expert: Best Summertime Vodka Cocktails

July 31, 2014 6:00 AM

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Finally, summer has arrived in Minnesota. With all of the outdoor activities planned, surely there is some time left to relax. Relaxing usually entails sitting outside by the pool or one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. With a cold beverage in hand, it is easy to see why Minnesotans suffer through the long winter in order to make it to summer. Why not pick the perfect beverage to go with the perfect day? Mixologist Jessica Wassenaar has some recommendations for refreshments. So put down that cheap wine cooler and enjoy a premium vodka cocktail along with your daily dose of Vitamin D.



Jessica Wassenaar
Mill Valley Kitchen
3906 Excelsior Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 358-2000

Jessica Wassenaar has been mixing drinks for the past eight years. Her favorite cocktails include many of the classics and entail simple recipes. Within her repertoire of summer cocktails, vodka is a favorite spirit to use in many seasonal recipes. Because of its versatility and popularity, vodka tends to bring out the flavor of summer without overpowering the rest of the ingredients. Aside from vodka cocktails, Jessica recommends a glass of the perfect wine to accompany any summer day. Visit Jessica behind the bar at Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park for a vodka drink or a delicious summer wine.

Related: Best Bars With Local Brews In Minnesota

Pear Lemonade

Lemonade is the ultimate drink of the summer and a versatile mixer for a summer cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Grey Goose La Poire
  • 1/2 ounce Disaronno Amaretto


Pour ingredients over ice and top with lemonade in a collins glass.

Pomegranate Martini

Although the martini craze ended about 20 years ago, the pomegranate martini remains a popular summer cocktail. And who can forget the added antioxidant benefits of the pomegranate?


  • 1 1/2 ounces pomegranate vodka
  • 1 1/2 Parma liqueur


Mix ingredients and shake and strain into a martini glass.

Raspberry Lemonade

More tart and less sweet than the pear lemonade, raspberry lemonade features the best berries of the season.


  • 3 raspberries
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 2 ounces lemonade
  • 1 1/2 ounces Grey Goose


Muddle raspberries, mint and lemonade in a collins glass. Add ice, vodka and top with soda water.

Related:  Best Bars For Business Drinks In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on

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