Vegan Vodka Cocktails – in this post I wanted to share you with everything you need to know about the most popular vodka cocktails if you are vegan. I’ll be showing you if Vodka is vegan and going into detail on whether the classic vodka cocktails are: (a) vegan; and (b) if not vegan – how you can easily make them vegan. The cocktails I will discuss include the Bloody Mary, White Russian, Vodka Sours, Vodka Hot Chocolate, and the Screwdriver (spoiler alter – most of these cocktails are not traditionally vegan). Vodka is the most popular drink in the USA, with Vodka brands Smirnoff and Tito’s taking the top two spots for all brands of liquor sold in the US (Statista). Smirnoff alone sells two and half million cases of vodka in the USA. So, when it comes to cocktails, it is no surprise that Vodka is the go-to liquor in some of the most popular cocktails around the world. Before we get into the cocktails let’s start with the most important question – can you even get vegan vodka cocktails?
What Vegan Vodka Cocktails Are Available?
There are plenty of amazing vegan vodka cocktails that can be made including the following:
– vegan Bloody Mary;
– vegan White Russian;
– vegan Vodka Sours;
– vegan Vodka Hot Chocolate; and
– vegan Screwdriver.
The tricks to making the above cocktails vegan include using vegan Worcestershire sauce, vegan plant-based milk, and Aquafaba instead of egg.
Can You Drink Vodka If You Are Vegan?
What about Vodka – is the liquor itself vegan?
As a general rule, most vodkas are vegan, so vegans can drink most vodkas. The main non-vegan vodkas to watch out for are creamy flavored vodkas (such as caramel, coconut, chocolate, etc) as they can contain dairy. Similarly, honey and iced tea flavored vodkas can contain honey.
Unflavored or fruity flavored vodkas are almost always vegan. You can read more about which vodkas are not vegan in the post I wrote about it – Is Vodka Vegan? Hidden Surprises To Know About In Vodka.
Vegan Vodka Cocktails
In this post, I will present you with five of my favorite (and some of the most popular) vegan vodka cocktails available. A lot of fruity vodka cocktails are vegan as-is, so I wanted to present you with five vegan vodka cocktails that aren’t normally vegan and show you how to make them vegan.
If you are wondering why the “Martini” isn’t on the list, that is because a Martini is traditionally made with Gin. It is also better stirred not shaken (sorry). If you want to know why you will have to check out my Vegan Gin Cocktails post here: How To Make Vegan Gin Cocktails (Fizz, Sours, G&T, Martini & Negroni).
I have included links to all the relevant ingredients in the recipe section for each drink.
1. Blood Mary
I dedicated a whole post to Bloody Marys and how you can make them vegan, so it is a cocktail I am familiar with. A traditional Bloody Mary is made from seven ingredients: Vodka, Lemon Juice, Tomato Juice, Pepper, Salt, Tabasco, and Worcestershire Sauce.
A traditional Bloody Mary is not vegan.
The main reason for this is the use of Worcestershire sauce in the cocktail. This condiment is made from fermented anchovies. In fact, both the leading brands, Lea & Perrins and Heinz Worcestershire sauces contain anchovies.
However, there are vegan versions of Worcestershire sauce available. My favorite is 365 Worcestershire sauce. It is at a great price point and is easily available from Whole Foods Market or via Amazon.
If you want to learn more about Bloody Mary’s and other alternatives to Worcestershire Sauce, check out my post: Vegan Bloody Mary – Everything You Need To Know To Make The Best Vegan Bloody Mary.
Vegan Bloody Mary Ingredients
– One One-shot (1.5 oz) of vodka. I personally recommend using Tito’s vodka. You can buy a bottle of Tito’s from Amazon here. Tito’s is a vegan-friendly brand and directly addresses on its website the fact they do not use any animal-derived ingredients or processes and they do not carry out animal testing. It’s also smooth, easy to buy almost anywhere, and is a great price. I have included Amazon links to the ingredients.
– Half a cup (4 oz) of tomato juice
– 0.5 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
– Two dashes of Tabasco
– Two dashes of vegan Worcestershire sauce
– One pinch of pepper
– One pinch of celery salt
Vegan Blog Mary Recipe Instructions
Pour the above ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, pour into a tall glass and garnish with a celery stick. If you like you can also garnish with a lemon or lime wedge or olives. There are just two non-vegan garnishes to avoid – shrimp and bacon.
2. Vegan White Russian
It’s the drink of “The Dude”. Okay, if you have ever watched the Big Lebowski you will have heard of the White Russian.
A traditional White Russian is made from three ingredients: Vodka, Cream, and Kahlua.
Unfortunately, two of these three ingredients are not vegan. The cream is obviously not vegan; however, this can easily be replaced with a plant-based cream. I like to use coconut cream instead (it is thick and creamy, and the coconut taste doesn’t come through too strongly thanks to the use of coffee liquor).
You can, however, use a different alternative such as thick oat milk, cashew milk, or soy cream depending on ln your preference.
The second non-vegan ingredient is Kahlua – a coffee liquor. Kahlua is lactose-free but not vegan according to Barnivore. Some rummaging on the internet seems to confirm this is due to bone char concerns (i.e. bone char is used to process the sugar in Kahlua).
I did manage to find a vegan alternative – Kamora which you can buy on Instacart here.
In terms of vodka, most unflavored vodkas will be vegan. I recommend Tito’s. If you want to turn the coffee notch up in your White Russian and use coffee-flavored vodka, then just be aware that some coffee-flavored vodka can be not vegan. Examples include Cutwater Horchata Vodka. You can read more about vegan coffee-flavored vodkas in “is vodka vegan” – Is Vodka Vegan? Hidden Surprises To Know About In Vodka.
Vegan White Russian Ingredients
– 2 ounces vodka (you can get Tito’s on Amazon here).
– 1-ounce Kamora (you can buy Kamora on Instacart here).
– 1-ounce coconut cream (I love this organic unsweetened coconut cream which you can buy on Amazon here). If you don’t like the taste of coconut then this extra creamy Califia oat milk from Amazon is also a great option.
Vegan White Russian Recipe Instructions
Pour Vodka and Kamora into a glass. Add ice. Then pour the coconut cream in. Stir gently to get the swirl effect.
3. Vegan Vodka Sours
Sours cocktails tend to be most associated with whiskey. They are also often made with amaretto, gin, or Pisco.
But how about the often-overlooked vodka sours?
A traditional vodka sour will be made from vodka, simple syrup, egg whites, and lemon juice.
The difference between a vodka sour and a whiskey/amaretto/gin/pisco sours is the vodka really makes way for the sweet-sour combo and really lets the sweet-sour vibe shine.
Traditionally sour cocktails are not vegan as they contain raw egg white. The raw egg white gives sour cocktails a smooth texture and a foamy top. But egg white obviously isn’t vegan – plus it poses a food borne illness risk from raw eggs (and can also have an unpleasant smell). Step in Aquafaba.
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is chickpea juice. The starch and protein in the juice act as a great replacement for egg white in cocktails. If you would like to read more about how great Aquafaba is, you can read about it in the whole post I wrote on sour cocktails – How To Make Vegan Whiskey, Gin, Amaretto & Pisco Sours.
Vegan Vodka Sours Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons Aquafaba (this is the equivalent of one egg white). I recommend draining the juice from a tin of unsalted chickpeas like these on Amazon)
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce maple syrup (I personally think a maple syrup with a delicate flavor like this one from Amazon works best)
- 2 ounce vodka (you can get Tito’s from Amazon here)
Vegan Vodka Sours Recipe Instructions
Pour the Aquafaba into a cocktail shaker and dry shake for 30 seconds to foam up. It is important to dry shake (i.e. without ice) as this allows the protein in the Aquafaba to foam rather than be diluted by the ice.
Then add the remaining ingredients plus ice and shake for a further 30 seconds. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a vegan maraschino cherry like this one from Amazon. Unlike a lot of maraschino cherries, these ones do not contain cochineal (aka crushed bugs) for a red hue.
4. Vegan Vodka Spiked Hot Chocolate
Fancy a vegan vodka cocktail to curl up with on a cold evening? Then you must try this vegan vodka spiked hot chocolate.
The traditional version of this drink would involve mixing a hot chocolate with some vodka of your choice. The non-vegan issue with this cocktail obviously is that most hot chocolates are not vegan due to the presence of dairy. However, it is possibly one of the easiest drinks to make vegan yourself.
Vegan Vodka Spiked Hot Chocolate Ingredients
- 1 cup oat milk – this Califia one from Amazon is extra creamy
- 1 tablespoon cacao – I love this one from Amazon, but cocoa works just as well
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract – you can’t go wrong with McCormicks (it’s gluten free too)
- 1 shot vodka – Tito’s on Amazon
- A dollop of vegan whipped topping from Amazon
Vegan Vodka Spiked Hot Chocolate Instructions
Heat the oat milk, cacao, and maple syrup together. Pour into a cup, followed by a shot of vodka (you don’t want to add the vodka while heating as you may evaporate some of the alcohol).
The final step is to cover it with a dollop of vegan whipped cream. This vegan whipped cream from Amazon is one of my favorites to use.
You buy it frozen and must take it out of the freezer to thaw before using it. But to be completely honest it is great frozen too (like ice cream). I also enjoy putting a frozen spoon of it into a hot drink to melt. YUM.
5. Vegan Screwdriver
“Hang on” I hear you say, “I thought a screwdriver was just made from unflavored vodka and orange juice – how on earth is that not vegan”.
Well believe it or not if you made your screwdriver from Platinum 7x, Todka, Broken Shed, Pucker, Pinnacle, Svedka, Fleischmann’s, Silent Sam’s, Sobieski, or New Amsterdam vodka and used an orange juice listed as “vitamin D3 fortified” or “heart-healthy” then your screwdriver would definitely not be vegan – in fact, it would contain fish (from the heart healthy orange juice) among other non-vegan things.
Crazy I know. You can read more about it here – Is Vodka Vegan? Hidden Surprises To Know About in Vodka and Is Orange Juice Vegan? Revealing Why You Need To Know.
So, if you want a Vegan Screwdriver, make sure to pick a vegan vodka and either squeeze the orange juice yourself or choose 100% orange juice and your screwdriver will be vegan.
Vegan Screwdriver Ingredients
- 1.5 ounces vodka (Tito’s can be bought on Amazon)
- Fresh orange juice to top – such as this freshly squeezed one which can be bought via Amazon
Vegan Screwball Recipe Instructions
Fill a high tall glass full of ice. Add the vodka and then fill with orange juice right up to the rim. Garnish with an orange slice. A screwdriver is traditionally served with a side of fried eggs. Obviously, skip the eggs.
Vegan Vodka Cocktails – The Final Sip
Vegan Vodka Cocktails – what exactly have we learned from this post? Well, for starters we know that most vodka is vegan (with the few exceptions of creamy or honey-based vodkas), and that even when it comes to vodka cocktails you need to double-check if your drink is vegan. Just take the humble Screwdriver. It is Orange Juice and Vodka mixed, but even that has the potential to not be vegan if the wrong orange juice (yes, orange juice) is used. As for the other cocktails I listed – all in their traditional forms are not vegan. Yep, all of them are not vegan. Even (and it breaks me to say this) “The Dude’s” favorite drink – the White Russian. The good news is that tradition is made to be broken and with a few simple tweaks and selecting vegan-friendly items you can ensure your vodka cocktail is vegan. So, yay, you can be like “The Dude” – just a “Vegan The Dude” or would it be “Vegan Dude” without “The”?
…now you know.
Beverage makers may change ingredients and/or manufacturing processes. Always double-check ingredients before purchasing any beverages.
Please Drink Responsibly.
Like What You Are Reading
Need to know more? Think your favorite beer or wine is vegan? How about your favorite Vodka, Tequila, or Gin – think those are vegan? Time to find out – check out some of my other articles:
- What Alcoholic Drinks Are Not Vegan? The Complete Guide
- Vegan Non-Alcoholic Beers – The Best Available In The USA
- Over 100 Of The Best Vegan Wines
- The Best Cheap Vegan Wines Under $5
- The Best Vegan Wine Subscriptions and Vegan Wine Gifts
- Best Vegan Organic Wines (And How To Know What To Look For)
- Best Vegan Sparkling Wines For Every budget You Need To Know
- 13 Of The Best Vegan Red Wine By Grape Varieties
- 15 Vegan White Wines – Best Pinots, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnays & Bubbles
- 10 of the Best Vegan Rosé Wines
- 5 Vegan Boxed Wines You Need To Try (& Those To Avoid)
- 10 Vegan Wines At Trader Joe’s You Need To Try
- 10 Vegan Wines at Whole Foods Market You Need To Know About
- Vegan Wines at BevMo You Need To Try
- The Best Vegan Wine at Sprouts For Vegans
- 97 Vegan Wines at ALDI You Need To Know About
- Introducing the 10 Best Vegan Wines at Walmart
- 15 Vegan Wines at Target You Need To Try
- 10 Vegan Wines at Costco You Need To Know About
- Why is Wine Not Vegan – How to Know the Truth?
- Is Champagne Vegan? Revealing the Truth Behind the Bubbles
- Is Alcohol Vegan? How to Know the Truth
- 10 Vegan Tequila Brands – Vegan Tequila Brands You Need To Know
- Is Liquor Vegan? How to Actually Pick Vegan Liquor
- Is Whiskey Vegan? How to Actually Pick Vegan Whiskey
- Is Tequila Vegan? How To Really Pick Vegan Tequila
- Is Gin Vegan? How To Really Tell Vegan Gins Apart
- Is Vodka Vegan? Hidden Surprises to Know About in Vodka
- Is Rum Vegan? Surprises You Need To Know About In Rum
- Is Brandy Vegan? How To Always Pick Vegan Brandy
- 10 Vegan Vodka Brands You Need To Know About
- Vegan Bloody Mary – Everything You Need To Know To Make The Best Vegan Bloody Mary
- How To Make Vegan Whiskey, Gin, Amaretto & Pisco Sours
- How To Make Vegan Gin Cocktails (Fizz, Sours, G&T, Martini & Negroni)
- Vegan Beers UK – How To Pick Vegan Beer In The UK
- 10 Vegan Beers at Trader Joe’s You Need To Try
- What Beer Is Not Vegan? Beers You Need To Avoid
- Is Beer Vegan – Introducing the Secrets to Finding Out