Vodka has received a bad rap in recent years as mixologists have campaigned for drinkers to reach for gin, tequila, rum and other lesser-known spirits instead. Some say it’s boring, but vodka is highly mixable and can be enjoyed neat when chilled. While Cosmos and Appletinis may have been popular drink orders when Sex and the City was on the air, there’s more to vodka than sweet-as-candy cocktails. Here are the best bars in NYC serving vodka. By Selena Ricks-Good.

Russian Vodka Room

265 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY
(212) 307-5835

It’s obvious by this bar’s name what goes on here, but that doesn’t mean there’s no sense of mystery at the Russian Vodka Room. Pull up a seat at the dimly-lit bar and it’s likely you’ll hear Russian accents in the crowd while a live pianist plays in the background. Choose from more than 50 different vodkas, including house infusions featuring flavors ranging from strawberry to garlic, pepper and dill. Get there in time for happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily and enjoy shots of flavored vodka for $3.50 and martinis for $5.


(credit: File photo/Clipart)

281 Lafayette St.
New York, NY
(212) 226-4696

With a vodka menu spanning 21 countries, this romantic underground bar is perfect for pairing vodka and caviar–or even combine the two with a caviar vodka martini. House-infused vodkas include flavors such as fig and spiced cranberry. Settle into a red leather sofa under the Moscow decor, and after a few drinks, you’ll understand why pravda means “truth” in Russian.


(credit: File photo/Clipart)

9 Doyers St.
New York, NY
(212) 406-0400

Famous for setting absinthe on fire, many of this Chinatown speakeasy’s cocktails are actually made with vodka. The menu is divided into a “prescription list” to help cure what ails you (stress relievers, pain killers, stimulants, health and beauty), and most of the drinks feature house-infused spirits, syrups and tinctures. Try the Heatherette (thyme and rosemary-infused vodka, honeydew melon, agave nectar and green tea) or the Jasmine Sour (jasmine-infused vodka, ginger juice, candied ginger essence and egg white) and feel your worries slip away.

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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.