The Vodka Limonata: A Two-Ingredient, GOOP-Inspired Summer Cocktail

pen and palate vodka limonata

illustration: tram nguyen

Inventing drink names is difficult. The impulse to be precious or twee is irresistible, and in this case it’s a particularly hard trap to avoid because the drink at hand is one we can imagine Gwyneth Paltrow sipping lazily from the bow of her yacht, all boat-necked St. Martin shirt and perfect white short-shorts. Which is to say, it’s a drink that’s refreshing, minimalist, ideal in warm weather, and made with ingredients that are just overpriced enough to for me to consider them “sophisticated.” Anyway, for this recipe I had to resist with all my might a name that was very cutesy, because I am almost 30 and I think it’s time to cultivate mature habits. Maybe I will improve at naming things as our GOOP-inspired cocktail series progresses.

This drink has two ingredients: San Pellegrino Limonata soda and the artisanal vodka of your choosing. I discovered it at a dinner party my boyfriend and I hosted not long after moving into our new apartment, when one of the couples in attendance brought a bottle of Brooklyn Republic Vodka as a housewarming gift. This vodka made a deep impression on me because its bottle was slightly smaller than your average vodka bottle and had a beautiful illustration on it, both indications of true class. (It also tasted pretty good.)

It was winter and I was serving a shepherd’s pie, so we were drinking red wine with dinner. But we inevitably ran out of that and moved to the vodka, because it was the only other type of alcohol I had in the house and it was a Sunday night, when wine stores close early. In addition to having no other alcohol, I also had no mixers, and so the couple that brought us the vodka then generously volunteered to go to the bodega to procure some of those, too. I tried to insist on going myself but the couple would not hear of it, and also I was doing some dishes/talking at length about my childhood. (I forgive you for thinking I am a terrible host, because I’m thinking it too.) So off they went. They returned with a six-pack of outrageously overpriced San Pellegrino Limonata sodas, guessing it might taste better than cranberry juice, and thus we discovered this perfectly crisp and yuppie-friendly beverage. I can’t take full (any?) credit because technically it was my guests’ idea.


Makes 1 drink

San Pellegrino Limonata

Insert 1 (preferably) enormous ice cube into the classiest tumbler you have. Add 1 shot of fancy vodka. Fill the rest of the glass with Limonata. Enjoy*

*Be careful not to enjoy too much. This drink tastes like candy, so the booze part can be deceptive.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. I also followed the link from Design Sponge. So glad I did! The pictures are covetable and the words delightful.

  2. My son, who ate lemons as a child, loves San Pellegrino Limonata…a bit too sour for me. But I knew immediately when I tried it that it’doesn’t be perfect with vodka. I was right. FANTASTIC!

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