Watch CBS News

Ask A Baltimore Expert: Best Summertime Vodka Cocktails

Vodka is very cocktail-friendly alcohol that can blend seamlessly into just about thing you mix it with, whether it be your favorite vegetable juice, freshly muddled fruit, ice tea or soda. Summer is the perfect time to try out some new vodka cocktail recipes. Cool down this summer at your next BBQ party or elegant dinner party with one of these smooth and refreshing vodka cocktails created by local Baltimore bartender Florentina Duran from LB Tavern at The Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Florentina Duran
LB Tavern
The Lord Baltimore Hotel
20 W. Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 539-8400

LB Tavern has a modern atmosphere and offers patrons hand-crafted cocktails and local Baltimore craft beers. Bartender Florentina Duran not only offers patrons quality drinks but also some great enthusiasm and conversation. Florentina offered some wonderful advice for you to use at home and some great vodka cocktails for you to enjoy during the summer heat.

CBS: What do you feel is the best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

Florentina Duran: The best piece of advice for a home enthusiast would be: don't be scared to step outside the box. Some of the best cocktails I've ever made were from ingredients I never thought would go together.

CBS: In your opinion, what are the most important elements when creating a recipe from scratch?

FD: It's important to start with a base spirit and start adding flavors from there. Know that if it is too tart, you'll want to add something sweet; if too sweet, add something that's tart or bitter.

CBS: What are your favorite mixers with vodka for the summer?

FD: My favorite mixers for vodka for the summer are elderflower liquor and iced tea.

CBS: When at home, what do you like to drink?

FD: When I'm at home, I drink beer and whiskey, preferably Jameson.


Strawberry Cooler


  • Strawberries
  • .5 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Elderflower liquor
  • .25 ounce fresh lemon juice


  1. Muddle strawberries in .50 ounce simple syrup and add ice.
  2. Add the 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of Elderflower liquor and .25 ounce fresh lemon juice.
  3. Shake and serve In Collins glass.

Ginger Arnold Palmer


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce ginger liquor
  • 2 ounce brewed ice tea
  • 2 ounces of lemonade


  1. Combine the 2 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of ginger liquor. Add 2 ounces of brewed ice tea and 2 ounces of lemonade.
  2. Stir and serve in a Collins glass with a lemon.

Related: Best Barbecue In Baltimore


French Riviera    


  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • 1 ounce of Chambord
  • .5 ounce lemonade
  • champagne floater


  1. Combine in a martini glass the 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of Chambord, .5 ounce of lemonade and champagne floater.
  2. Serve with a twist

Related: Best Creative Burgers In Baltimore

Jessica Lemmo loves to write about Baltimore's great restaurants. From food service to the atmosphere, you can be sure Jessica will cover the entire restaurant experience. She especially likes finding her readers great discounts. Her work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.