Vodka Cherry Limeade

This cocktail is the perfect sipper on a Southern summer day.

vodka cherry limeade in pitchers and glasses
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist:Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

This recipe for Vodka Cherry Limeade is a simple, crowd-friendly cocktail that still delivers big on flavor and potency.

In terms of flavor, it packs a one-two punch of sweet and tart. Plus, it gains a beautiful red hue from the maraschino cherry juice; be sure to save some cherries to garnish this pretty drink.

What Is a Cherry Limeade Made Of?

"Cherries and limes pair beautifully, and a spiked limeade makes a super refreshing and easy drinking summer cocktail," says bar manager/owner of Simple Goodness Soda Shop Belinda Kelly of the evaluation of this warm-weather winner made with vodka, lemon-lime soda, simple syrup, maraschino cherry juice, and lime.

The delicate flavors of this beverage all blend together well, creating a multi-faceted cocktail that can be deceptively strong. Consider yourself warned—the vodka in this drink disguises itself quite well, and you may start to feel it soon after downing a glass.

Which Vodka Works Best?

Vodka cherry limeade can feature whichever vodka you prefer—or whichever vodka you happen to have on-hand. That said, if you're looking for a vodka that will particularly complement the other flavors in this cocktail, consider one of these versions recommended by pro bartenders and cocktail experts:

  • Corn-based vodka: It's sweeter than grain or potato vodka. Popular corn-based brands include Tito's, Prairie Vodka, and Deep Eddy.
  • Deep Eddy Lime Vodka: It's easy to assume that using a flavored vodka in a vodka cherry limeade would result in an overly-sweet and cloying drink. But the Deep Eddy Lime Vodka (which is made in Central Texas) has a refreshing lime flavor that won't overwhelm.
  • Absolut Vodka: The clean, neutral flavor of Absolut Vodka can be a great choice for a vodka cherry limeade. Plus, this wheat-based Swedish vodka can be purchased at a very reasonable price, which makes it a great candidate for a large-batch cocktail (more on that later).
  • Grey Goose Vodka: For an especially fancy-feeling Vodka Cherry Limeade, add premium Grey Goose Vodka from France. This vodka is very smooth and clean, which allows it to bolster the flavors of the limeade without distracting from them.

Which Soda Works Best?

We've also asked our bartender sources to recommend the best citrus sodas for vodka cherry limeade, and their suggestions are as follows:

  • Sprite: This easy-to-find and well-known lemon-lime soda is great for this cocktail. It's worth considering that Sprite is sweeter than many competitors, so keep that fact in mind when mixing your cocktail.
  • Squirt: Squirt has an most intense citrus taste for a citrus soda. It's also a slight departure from the recipe as-written, because Squirt is a grapefruit soda rather than a lemon-lime soda.
  • Cherry Seltzer: Instead of using a lemon-lime soda (or a citrus soda of any kind), consider a cherry seltzer (like Polar Black Cherry). You'll still get citrusy notes from the lime juice in the cocktail, but the cherry seltzer gives the maraschino juice some extra oomph.
vodka cherry limeade ingredients
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist:Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

How To Make Vodka Cherry Limeade

This recipe begins by measuring out four ounces of vodka, which equals 1/2 cup. Next, you'll measure out 1/4 cup of juice from a jar of maraschino cherries. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime (which should equal about 2 tablespoons) into a small bowl or cup. Finally, measure out 1 tablespoon of simple syrup. If you don't have pre-made simple syrup available, you can make your own.

Add the ingredients to a pitcher and stir to combine. Then, pour in the soda and give the mixture a gentle stir (don't overmix, as this can lessen the carbonation).

Fill two glasses with ice and pour the Vodka Cherry Limeade over the ice. Garnish with lime wheels and marachino cherries.

overhead shot of a pitcher of vodka cherry limeade
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist:Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

How To Turn This Recipe Into a Big Batch Cocktail

Although the recipe only produces two servings, it can be easily adapted into a party punch. You can simply multiply the recipe by the number of servings you want.

Editorial contributions by Taylor Tobin.


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka

  • 2 cups lemon-lime soft drink (from 1 [2-liter] bottle), chilled

  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice (from 1 [10-ounce] jar cherries), plus maraschino cherries with stems for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup

  • Lime wheels


  1. Mix ingredients:

    Stir together vodka, soft drink, cherry juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a small pitcher.

    stirring together vodka cherry limeade in a pitcher

    Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist:Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

    Serve over ice, and garnish with cherries and lime wheels.

Additional reporting by
Taylor Tobin
Taylor Tobin

Taylor Tobin is a freelance food and lifestyle journalist based in Austin, Texas. She has been covering home cooking and home bartending for over five years, with bylines in publications like Eater, HuffPost, Insider, Allrecipes, Wine Enthusiast, and The Spruce Eats. She's an avid home chef who's always eager to try new recipes, and she's constantly inspired by the culinary traditions of the exciting city of Austin, which she calls home. 

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