My favorite cocktail when I’m not in the mood for fussing is a Vodka Soda, combining a great vodka with sparkling water. I’ve elevated it just a notch with this Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda but it’s still a light and delightful cocktail.
After months of indulgence, I think everyone tries to cut back in January; many deciding to forgo alcohol altogether during ‘dry’ January. Instead of dry, I go light and this simple Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda enhanced with a fruity sparkling water adds a nice flavor boost while keeping calories low.
Our theme for this month’s Progressive Eats is ‘Making Favorite Recipes Healthier.’ They only way to make a cocktail healthier would be to substitute the sugar and honestly, I would rather drink straight water than try to include an artificial ingredient for the one constant in most cocktails…sugar. I decided instead to add something to a cocktail already low in sugar and make it a bit more special.
I’m doing that by way of using a new favorite, Spindrift Sparkling Water. It’s not a clear sparkling water with a hint of flavor, no, this brand adds real fruit juices to their sparkling water and it shows. Easy to source too; I found them at Target.
The ones I’ve used have varied from 6-8% juice in the 12 oz can, so it’s not heavy but it is discernible and best of all, the berry and mango choices have a beautiful color. It’s the only reason I’ve never found a plain Vodka Cocktail all that appealing; it is so visually boring.
For the record, this Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda is not a sponsored post and no one is paying me to say how much I love their product. I simply thought this brand of sparkling water sounded great so I tried it and I’m hooked.
So while the water does matter in this Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda, this is one of the few mixed drinks where I think the quality of your liquor matters even more. Normally if I’m making a margarita, a smash, or a mojito, decent mid quality is good enough, the amount of other ingredients will add together to make a fine cocktail.
For the most part, the premium stuff should be saved for simpler cocktails where the quality needs to shine, like in this Raspberry Lime Vodka Cocktail.
For this cocktail I’m going to urge you to consider something more premium when the quality can make all the difference. Personally I love Ketel One Citroen Vodka. Ketel One Citroen flavored vodka begins with Ketel One Vodka, infused with the essence of four different types of citrus lemons, and two types of limes to enhance the freshness.
Perfect for a cocktail that is primarily about the vodka with a hint of citrus from a lime and lightly flavored with a sparkling water.
I spent many years with the same thoughts that a lot of people have; vodka is vodka, not much difference between the two. And then I was invited to a vodka tasting by the owner of Ketel One. Honestly I didn’t expect the differences in vodka to be so unique. Some were unique in their harshness, some unique with their blandness but Ketel One was unique that it was simply the best.
Whether is was the plain vodka or a flavored one, the efforts of the distillers making this vodka was evident. So smooth, no harshness, a good clean flavor. And even more evident in the flavors.
Several brands had a distinct artificial taste once they started flavoring them, but every time in a blind taste test, I could single out the Ketel One. It’s a great vodka with a real true citrus edge. Ketel One has been making vodka for 325 years and it shows!
Again, not a paid advertisement, simply my own take. They do not make a wide range of flavors, limiting them to two I love, Citroen and Oranj. Yes, both are always in my liquor cabinet.
I might have a reputation among friends as ‘the cocktail maker’ but truth be told, I don’t make a specialty cocktail every time someone drops by. I have two good friends on my street and we are all super conscious of taking precautions to protect ourselves and our families from Covid-19. They are younger than me, so everyone knows that I’m the one at more risk, so we always meet here, and only after their families have been isolated for a couple of days.
It’s not hard for the moms and kids; everyone is working and doing school from home, but they both have husbands who are outside all day; one a construction manager and the other a game warden, and we have to make a determination of risk there. Saturday night seems to be our safest best and about once a month, we get together to catch up and have a cocktail, or two.
Sometimes it is super spur of the moment…we’ll have texted each other about something else and one of us mentions…’hey, isn’t it time for drinks?’ I’m always game, we always meet here (no kids!), and we always just pull together something quick.
I have some delicious Cranberry Wine that’s great with ginger beer, I was also sent a Rhubarb Simple Syrup from Simple Goodness Sisters which we’ve combined with vodka and a plain sparkling water that we loved, but seriously the easiest thing ever? Vodka and Soda.
The only differential I’ve found between myself and friends when it comes to a Vodka Soda is the lack of sweetness. I drink a lot of water so when I enjoy this cocktail I’m fine with the slight tartness without sugar but one of my friends was not.
Even if keeping things light, a half teaspoon of sugar or simple syrup made all the difference for her. Considering a teaspoon of sugar has only 15 calories, adding it still does not elevate this cocktail to the same levels as most others that often have a sweet liqueur plus juices and simple syrup; it all adds up.
Ready to give up January Dry and lead into February Frivolity? Give this a try; I enjoy them all year long. If a Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda doesn’t float your boat, try another flavor of the Spindrift sodas.
They have several flavors I love including Strawberry, Blackberry, Pineapple, Mango and the basic Lemon and Lime. I think the only two I haven’t tried are Grapefruit and a Tea/Lemon version but I’ll get to them…soon.
Join me with this light but still beautiful and delicious cocktail and as always…Cheers!!!
PIN IT! ‘Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda’
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is about making favorite recipes healthier, and our host is Susan who blogs at The Wimpy Vegetarian.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. The host for the month chooses the theme and members share recipes on that theme suitable for a delicious meal or party. Then you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. So come along and see all of the delicious and inspired dishes!
Healthier Versions of Favorite Recipes
- Raspberry and Lime Vodka Soda – Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili – The Heritage Cook
- Vegan Sloppy Joe Sliders – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Baked Crab Cakes – Healthy Delicious
Raspberry Lime Vodka Soda
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1 lime wedge
- 4 oz. Spendrift Raspberry Lime Sparkling Soda or your favorite flavor, Chilled
- ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar or simple syrup optional
- Add vodka and juice from lime wedge to a glass and stir until well combined.
- Fill glass with ice and pour chilled water into glass and stir.
- Taste and correct if necessary with a small amount of sugar.
- Garnish with squeezed lime wedge.