Distilled three times, and sometimes more, and known to be one of the purest spirits, vodka sure is a strong drink. Depending on the type and brand, vodka can vary from fruity and flavorful to plain aggressive, but no matter the brand, vodka creates a burn that you cannot avoid.
Some find the vodka burn exhilarating and like to test their limits, but some simply cannot take it as well as others. Luckily, there are numerous vodka serving alternatives to enjoy the kick of vodka, avoiding the unpleasant sensation created by the burn.
In addition to serving it chilled or as a cocktail, you can have vodka with a chaser. A chaser is a drink served after a shot of a stronger alcohol. For example, a tequila chaser is a lemon slice.
A vodka chaser is a drink used to tone down the burning sensation and possible bitterness left by the shot of vodka. So what are the best chasers for vodka?
A good vodka chaser tones down the burning and bitterness of the vodka, but it also alters the aftertaste left in your throat.
The best chasers for vodka act as a chaser to milden up the aggressiveness of the vodka but also to prepare your throat for the next shot. So, the chasers that leave an aftertaste and somewhat layer your throat until your next vodka shot are the best ones.
It is essential to mention that a vodka chaser doesn’t have the same meaning everywhere. In some parts of the world, a vodka chaser is simply a smaller shot of the same vodka, so you get a regular shot and a smaller shot of the same drink as a chaser.
In the UK, a chaser is a shot taken after beer, and in the Philippines and Canada, a chaser is, by default, a sweet-tasting drink taken to tone down the bitterness of the shot.
A vodka chaser can be any drink you like that goes with vodka. Now, what goes with vodka is different for everyone, as we all have different tastes and preferences. However, still, there are drinks that have been universally regarded as good chasers for vodka.
Also check: 25 Best Vodka Drinks To Order At a Bar
Best Chasers for Vodka
Since it would be a shame to let a good vodka go to waste just because you don’t have the necessary information on how to enjoy it, in this article, I will list the best chasers for vodka, which will help you use your vodka the right way.
1. Olive Brine
Olive brine is an excellent vodka chaser and definitely worth the try if you don’t like the vodka burn, but you still like to add some edge to your shot. The olive brine is very much noticeable and exceptionally delicious and tones down the burn immediately after, which follows the salty and very specific olive taste.
Moreover, the olive flavor tends to linger on in your throat, making the next shot milder, so you get a vodka chaser and a vodka entrée at the same time.
The saltiness in the olive brine creates a mouth-watering feeling that additionally mildens the vodka burn, so if you are a fan of olives, you will most certainly enjoy this vodka chaser.
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2. Sweet Wine
A sweet and fruity wine may be just what you are looking for in case you don’t like the bitterness and sharpness of vodka, especially the cheaper kinds. A sip of sweet wine, red or white, is the ideal way to battle the glass-like intensity of the vodka.
However, if you are having a lower-quality vodka, make sure you are having a high-quality wine, as drinking two low-quality alcohols won’t turn out well, so you need to balance.
I would recommend having a berry-tasting wine, red or white, with a dry finish. Don’t use ice in this combination, as it would dilute the flavors, which is a shame as wine followed by vodka creates a fantastic aftertaste.
3. Sparkly Water with Lemon
Sparkly water with lemon has become the universal drink, and it fits all purposes, from boredom and lack of creativity when you want a drink, and you don’t know what you want to search for the best chaser for your vodka drink. You can add a few ice cubes to this vodka chaser, and don’t worry; the taste won’t be reduced as the water is carbonated, so if anything, the ice will intensify it.
Sparkly water and lemon act as a buffer between vodka shots. The tingly sensation created by the sparkly water, enhanced with the acidity of lemon, acts as a powerful suppressant of the vodka burn, leaving you with a fresh sensation and a sour and sweet lemony aftertaste.
Tonic has a very similar effect as the sparkly water with lemon but is noticeably more carbonated and, therefore, sharper. However, the tonic sharpness is nothing compared to the vodka sharpness; taking a sip of tonic is an excellent vodka chaser.
The vodka shot creates a very similar sensation as the tonic chaser afterward. Still, since the tonic is significantly milder and gentler, it will do nicely covering up the vodka burn.
You can add a few lemon and orange drops to your tonic glass or drop a lemon and an orange slice inside to add some natural sugars to your drink. You will feel a fun, bubbly sensation in your throat, followed by an irresistible combination of the natural sweetness of the lemon and orange slices mixed with the edginess of the vodka.
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5. Clear Soda
Clear soda drink is an excellent vodka chaser, mainly because it is bubbly and frothy, which helps tone done the unwanted vodka aftertaste.
Chances are, after your clear soda sip, you will feel the bubbles the most, so the burning or tingling sensation will be replaced with a bubbling sensation in your throat which mildens the sharpness your vodka shot may have had.
I’d recommend maintaining your clear soda temperature with a few ice cubes so as not to allow it to get warmer, as it will significantly diminish your enjoyment.
Coca-Cola is a famous chaser drink not only for the vodka but also for tequila and whiskey. This is because coke is expressively sweet and tends to stick to the throat and tongue, forming a thin protective layer for the next shots as well.
The sweetness of the Coca-Cola is a very desired sensation after a vodka shot and combined with the bubbles, it is an absolute slam dunk, especially if you are a fan of the “Negro” candy flavor. In fact, “Negro” is the name for the vodka and Coca-Cola mix in the Balkan countries, as the “Negro” candy is produced in Subotica, Serbia.
The Coca-Cola’s consistency is thick and sticky, much like syrup which means that this chaser will form a film on your throat, making it ready for the burn of the next shot, in addition to making the previous one sweeter.
7. Ginger Beer
Having a strong ginger flavor with a spicy finish, ginger beer is definitely not for everyone, as it has a very particular taste. If you are a fan of ginger beer, then you will definitely love it as a vodka chaser, as the vodka sharpness intensifies the ginger flavor of the beer and increases its spicy effect.
If you are not a fan of ginger beer, you shouldn’t waste your time experimenting with it as a vodka chaser, as you will likely despise the taste. Ginger beer is a lot of things, but it definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; you either love it or hate it.
Ginger ale is a milder version of ginger beer, so if you are reluctant about ginger beer, I’d recommend you try chasing your vodka shot with ginger ale and see how it goes.
Still, whether you choose ginger beer or ginger ale, prepare for a mild ginger hotness.
8. Cranberry Juice
Since cranberry vodka is so popular, it is no wonder that cranberry juice is listed as one of the best vodka chasers. The cranberry and vodka flavors are extraordinarily compatible, which is why they often go in the same glass.
The sour and sweet taste of the cranberry juice pairs incredibly well with the sharpness of the vodka, whereby the cranberry juice tames the vodka and the vodka intensifies the cranberry flavors.
As a vodka chaser, the cranberry juice does an excellent job, as it leaves its signature cranberry flavor but also amplifies the strength of the vodka aftertaste without allowing the burn to linger much longer.
9. Iced Tea
The cheerful and refreshing iced tea is definitely one of the universal vodka chasers that have little to no haters and a bunch of loyal fans. Its beauty lies in its simplicity, making it that much loveable. A sip of chilled iced tea after a shot of the ever-angry vodka is the perfect way to tame the vodka and leave only its pleasant features, especially if you are having vodka with a fruity note.
Iced tea is known as a sugary-sweet drink that is very desirable when it comes to mildening up the vodka edginess, and I highly recommend it as a vodka chaser. You will get a tender, water-like sensation in your throat, followed by the gradually intensifying gentle sweetness of the iced tea.
10. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is an excellent choice as a vodka chaser. Fruit juices are primarily sweet and very flavorful, so they will tame even the wildest, most aggressive vodka. If you are a fan of the candy-like tastes, opt for green apple or an orange juice.
Pineapple juice is for you if you like dim and sweet flavors with a refreshing note, and if you like a kick and a wildly sour sensation, go with grapefruit juice.
The best thing about chasing vodka with fruit juice is that it works perfectly well with freshly made juices, so you don’t need to run to the store if you have the fruits and the juicer at home.
The fruit juice vodka chaser is exceptionally suitable for fruity vodka flavors, and it works even better with chilled vodka.
11. Black Tea with Honey
Although, in theory, it sounds a little unusual to have tea as a vodka chaser, in practice, it works. Pour yourself a cup of black tea and sweeten it up with some honey, and sip after each vodka shot.
You can have your tea hot or cold, though I recommend having it somewhere in the middle, not too hot, but not cold either. Having a sip of hot tea after a shot of burning vodka may make things even worse. On the other hand, the cold tea after the vodka shot may be virtually invisible, as the cold would significantly reduce the flavors and aromas of the tea.
A few drops of lemon juice may also improve your vodka chasing experience, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
12. Maple Syrup
Sweet, thick, and sticky, maple syrup is definitely a vodka chaser that is worth giving a chance. Mix the syrup with some water and lemon juice and enjoy the sweet and sour, honey-like flavor layering your throat, making your vodka shot not only bearable but amazingly enjoyable.
This is one of those vodka chasers that stay with you after you’ve had it, so prepare each vodka shot to taste different than the previous one. I highly recommend maple syrup as a vodka chaser as it will produce a strong candy-like sensation in terms of flavor as well as texture.
13. Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce and vodka are a well-known pair that create the famous Bloody Mary cocktail, so it is only logical to have tomato sauce on this list as one of the best vodka chasers. There’s something about the vodka taste and how it pairs with the tomato sauce that makes them an irresistible combination to have in the same, as well as in different glasses.
A nice big sip of tomato sauce after a shot of vodka is like mixing a Bloody Mary directly in your mouth. Both vodka and tomato sauce have their own aggressive styles, which mix up perfectly, creating an incredible balance between the burning sharpness of the vodka and the tingling sourness of the tomato sauce.
14. Pickle Brine
As strange as it sounds, pickle brine is an excellent vodka chaser. Since vodka originates from Russia and Poland, where it is primarily cold and pickled food is very famous and extremely common, it is often paired with pickle brine and with a good reason too. The pickle brine is sour and salty at the same time, creating something similar to the effect of the lemon and salt combination in the case of tequila.
So, you can think of the pickle brine and vodka combination as the Eastern European version of tequila, salt, and lemon. Even though you may be reluctant to try this combo, it is most certainly an excellent idea.
The good old lemonade is an evergreen classic that we just cannot leave out of this list. You can use store-bought lemonade, but homemade works even better, as it has that all-natural flavor and intense but sweet sourness.
Take a sip of lemonade after each vodka shot and enjoy the playfulness of the strong vodka and the sweet and tame lemonade. You will be left with a delicious aftertaste combining sour, sweet, fresh, and sharp.
What Is the Best Thing To Mix Vodka With?
Vodka is known for its ability to mix with a lot of drinks and, therefore, it is a famous part of many cocktails. To say that there is one drink to mix vodka with would be rudely inaccurate as there are so many delicious options.
If you like contrasting tastes, you can mix the aggressive and sharp vodka with sweet and gentle fruit juices, such as orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and similar, as well as syrups such as simple syrup and maple syrup.
If you are a fan of mixing sharpness with tingling drinks, creating a pleasant though somewhat burning feeling in your throat, then you should go for a carbonated drink, such as soda, seltzer water, Sprite, Seven Up, Bitter Lemon, Schweppes, or another soda-like drink you have available. Also, a simple sparkly water and lemon will do the trick.
If mixing sweet and sharp, then your choice should be a cola drink. Its syrup-like consistency mixed with the carbonated bubbles, combined with the typical and expressive cola sweetness, will undoubtedly be a treat for your taste buds.
In summation, it boils down to what you like and prefer, as there are options for everyone’s taste.
Is Coke a Good Chaser for Vodka?
Coke is an excellent chaser for vodka. The sweet and bubbly coke mixed with the edgy vodka creates a new and original taste you will definitely want to experience many times after.
The candy-like flavor produced by the vodka and coke will amaze you with its refreshing chill, almost menthol-tasting whiff intertwined with the warm, toned down, burning sensation.
The thick, syrup-like consistency of the coke creates a thin layer over your throat that not only alters the taste of your current shot but is also very creative with each following shot of vodka.
If you combine cola with a cheaper kind of vodka, the menthol-tingling sensation will be more expressive, while with a higher quality vodka, which is usually somewhat fruity, you can expect a more refined cola and vodka taste.
What Should I Drink after Vodka?
What you drink after vodka is a vodka chaser and choosing the right vodka chaser is a very subjective matter, as not all vodka chasers will result in a taste you will like. Since vodka is meant to be enjoyed, you should choose a vodka chaser you genuinely love.
Generally, it is best to pair vodka with a chaser that complements its taste, so if you are having a shot of fruity vodka, you should pair it with a fruity chaser, such as a lemonade or fruit juice.
If you are having a cheaper kind of vodka, pair it with something expressively sweet, like syrup or cola, and add a piece of lemon or orange.
If you are having a regular vodka, but of higher quality, which tends to be aggressive but in a good way, with an intense burn, go for a lemonade as a vodka chaser.
In any case, pickle and olive brine are versatile choices for any kind of vodka you may be having, and they are maybe the safest choice when it comes to vodka chasers.
Is Apple Juice a Good Chaser for Vodka?
Since there is an apple-flavored vodka, it is no wonder that apple juice is an excellent vodka chaser. Not only is apple juice and an excellent choice to chase vodka, but it is also a renowned ingredient for vodka mixing.
If you like mixing sharp and sour with a note of sweetness, go for the apple juice to chase vodka. I would recommend you choose the green apple flavor, as it pairs best with vodka, though other kinds work well too.
Take a nice big gulp of apple juice after your shot of vodka and enjoy the flavors. This vodka chaser works with both the more expensive as well as, the cheaper kinds of vodka, as the apple flavor is strong enough to mask the vodka features you may not like.
Is Cranberry Juice a Good Chaser for Vodka?
Cranberry vodka is one of the most popular vodka mixes, so it is to be expected that cranberry juice is one of the best chasers for vodka.
The cranberry juice has a gentle, sweet, sour, and expressively fruity flavor, which lingers on in your throat long after you have had your vodka shot. You can also enrich your vodka shot by adding a slice of orange to your glass of cranberry juice and letting it release its magic.