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Celebrate National Vodka Day

Celebrate National Vodka Day

This year, National Vodka Day falls on a Wednesday, so we’ve put together a few vodka cocktail recipes to help get you over that hump.

And now for a brief history lesson! Vodka was initially distilled in Poland around the 11th century and was originally used as medicine and an ingredient in gunpowder. Since early production methods were crude, vodka often contained impurities, so to mask these the distillers flavored their spirits with fruit, herbs, or spices. Interestingly enough, we still have flavored vodkas, but for a completely different reason – they’re delicious.

So, before you go making a vodka soda and calling it a day, check out your nearby Spec’s and get the ingredients to try out these delicious vodka cocktail recipes.

The Dalmatian
For Black Pepper Syrup:
14 cup crushed black peppercorns
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

For the Cocktail:
112 oz black pepper simple syrup
112 oz. Karlsson’s Gold Vodka
3 oz fresh grapefruit juice

Make the black pepper syrup: Place sugar, water and peppercorns in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Once sugar is dissolved take off the heat and let cool. Leave the peppercorns in the syrup to lend it a stronger flavor; strain them out when it is spiced to taste. Chill. Make the cocktail: Combine the simple syrup, vodka, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about a minute; strain into an ice-filled glass.

Pear Haymaker
For the Ginger Syrup:
14 cup sliced, peeled ginger
1 cup sugar

For the Cocktail:
4 oz vodka
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 pear, chopped, peeled, and cored
Ginger ale, to top

Make the ginger syrup: Combine sliced ginger, sugar, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain out ginger solids and discard, reserving syrup in an airtight container. Divide chopped pear between two 12 oz tall glasses; muddle in each glass with a wooden muddler. Pour 2 oz vodka over the pears in each glass, and fill with ice. Add ½ oz. ginger syrup and ½ oz lemon juice to each glass, stir to combine, and finish with ginger ale to top.

St. Dill Martini
2 oz vodka
1 oz of kosher pickle brine
Splash of dry vermouth
10-12 mustard seeds
Whole baby kosher dill pickle, for garnish
A large fresh sprig of dill, for garnish

Place the vodka, pickle brine, vermouth, and mustard seeds into a shaker over ice and shake well. Skewer the dill pickle and add it to a chilled cocktail glass. Strain the martini into the glass and garnish with the dill sprig.

Polish Apple Pie Cocktail
112 oz. Żubrówka vodka
Unfiltered apple juice

Pour vodka into highball glass over ice. Add apple juice to taste. Enjoy!


Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.

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