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Flatiron Martini at Suffolk Arms
Photograph: Liz Clayman

The best new vodka cocktails in NYC

See how top New York City bartenders are shaking and stirring new life into the once-maligned clear spirit

Written by
Dan Q Dao
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In the early years of New York's cocktail revolution, bar pioneers shunned vodka in favor of whiskey and gin, adhering strictly to the ethos of pre-Prohibition boozing. Now, a new crop of drink shakers at bars in NYC are giving spirited proof to vodka's bona fides with creative ingredients and newfangled presentations, dispelling the much-perpetuated myth that the clear spirit is flavorless and dull. From an Asian punch sipper to a Chemex-dripped Bloody Mary, these are the best cocktails with vodka in New York.

RECOMMENDED: See more cocktails in NYC

Best new vodka cocktails in New York

The Northside at Belle Shoals
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Williamsburg
At this Southern-twanged juke joint, head bartender Jimmy "Jimbo" Palumbo taps into the clear spirit’s ability to spotlight other subtle flavors. Iceland’s Reyka vodka and caraway-shot Brennivín aquavit are neatly soothed by splashes of cucumber and lime. $12
Star Anise at Mace
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Greenwich Village
Bar veteran Nico de Soto flexes his knack for spice-forward elixirs in this sophisticated tipple offsetting heady star-anise–infused Reyka vodka with bright rose-and-pomegranate shrub, sour verjus and bubbly champagne. $16
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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Lower East Side
At his recently-opened solo project, Giuseppe González celebrates a long history of vodka innovation with an entire page of the spirit's greatest hits. This iconic stir, first created by the bartender's erstwhile mentor Julie Reiner in 2003, triples up on citrus with a bitter-tart mix of Grey Goose L'Orange, Lillet, Cointreau and orange bitters. $13
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Village Bicycle from Slowly Shirley
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Village
Offered with either Dorothy Parker gin or Aylesbury Duck vodka, this aperitif from Jim Kearns zeroes in on traditional Eastern flavors with a blend of muddled kaffir lime, ginger and floral Giffard lychee liqueur rounded out by Dolin blanc vermouth. $16
Isla de Sol at the Bennett
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Tribeca
True to it's name (it translates to "island of the sun" in Spanish), Meaghan Dorman's shaken cocktail evokes a sunny escape with chilled hibiscus tea and bright Wolffer Estate verjus offsetting Hangar One vodka and a splash of Giffard Creme de Peche in a Collins glass. $15
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  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • Lower East Side
At this neon-lit Southeast Asian newcomer, bar man Andrew Borgia offers an emerald-hued refresher that tames Tito's vodka with fresh green melon and lime juices and matcha-infused honey over crushed ice. A dusting of bee pollen sourced from local keeper Andrew's Honey crowns the top, and a dollar of each drink goes towards the New York Beekeepers' Association. $15
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