Ask a D.C. Expert: Best Summertime Vodka Cocktails

July 31, 2014 7:00 AM

There’s nothing quite like a delicious adult beverage to keep you feeling refreshed and cool in the summertime heat. Vodka is perhaps one of the most versatile alcoholic beverages as it’s easily mixed with everything from orange juice to a shot of espresso. Here, Master Mixologist Brittany Winslow from the Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington Village shares her version of popular vodka cocktails, perfect for your summertime barbecue or a relaxing evening at home.

Brittany Winslow
Master Mixologist
Capitol City Brewing Company
4001 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, VA 22206
(703) 578-3888

Brittany Winslow started her customer service career at the age of 15 when she decided to work at a recreational park. She fell in love with interacting with a wide variety of people and helping others. Soon after, she decided to work at a restaurant. Starting as a host, she worked her way up to become a server and then a bartender. At Capitol City Brewing Company, Winslow became the bar manager within six months. She has now mastered the art of mixology for a year and a half and loves “being able to create delicious flavors with all different types of alcohol.” Winslow loves to make all different types of drinks, with vodka being her most favorite due to the variety of flavors. Here, she provides her own version of popular vodka cocktails.

Related: Best Bars With Ladies’ Nights in Washington, D.C.

Sangria Roja


  • 4 oz of Malbec
  • .5 oz Absolut Citrus vodka
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 oz of orange juice


Combine ingredients in a pitcher. Mix well and serve with ice. Enjoy this fruity drink with a grilled steak, charred vegetables, a spicy burrito or chips and guacamole.



  • 1.25 oz of Cachaca
  • 2 limes
  • .5 oz of simple syrup
  • 3 oz of soda water


Cut limes into wedges. Remove the white flesh to avoid bitterness. Muddle the limes in a glass and then add ice cubes. Combine the remaining ingredients. Stir and serve this drink alongside a plate of tapas, flautas or fried plantains. Note: if Brazilian Cachaca is hard to find, consider replacing that ingredient with vodka to make what is known as a Caipiroska! 

Chocolate Cake


  • 1.25 oz of Frangelico
  • 1 oz of Absolut Citrus vodka
  • 2 lemons freshly squeezed


Combine ingredients and serve in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Serve this sweet treat with a sweet dessert like ice cream and pie or frozen yogurt.

Related: Best Bars with Board Games in Washington, D.C.

Le Fizz


  • 1 oz of Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 oz of St. Germain
  • splash of lime juice
  • .5 oz of soda water


Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake to mix well. Serve in a chilled champagne glass. Serve with a delicious pasta dish or bakery treats like bread and jam.



  • 1.25 oz of Milagro tequila
  • 3 oz fresh orange
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon of agave nectar
  • .5 oz of soda water
  • splash of lime juice


Combine ingredients. Serve with ice in a tall glass. Add a lime or grapefruit wedge as a garnish. Enjoy this drink with fajitas, grilled chicken or steak salad or quesadillas.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

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