A chaser is a drink taken immediately after taking a shot to limit the burn and ethanol taste left over in your mouth. Whether you like shots or not, it’s important for you to know the best chasers and worst chasers for vodka. Why, you ask? At any given party, there’s always going to be someone there to twist your arm into taking shots. Or, you’re going to end up playing some game where the loser takes a shot, and we all lose every now and then.
When it’s your time to take a shot, there should be plenty of chaser options around the house. Of course, you don’t need to chase a shot of vodka with anything, but depending on what vodka you have available, you might really want to. So, we’re going to put together a list for you of some of the best chasers for vodka and some of the worst chasers for vodka.
The Best Chasers
Below is our list of the best chasers you can use for vodka shots. All of these are common drinks in refrigerators or at parties.
Lemonade is probably the single best chaser you can use for a shot of vodka. There’s a reason that, at any given bar, there are multiple vodka cocktails that use lemonade as a mixer. Not to mention, it really doesn’t matter what kind of lemonade you choose. Whether it’s raspberry, pink, blackberry, blueberry, or some other form of lemonade, it’s the best vodka chaser out there. Much like whiskey and coke, vodka and lemonade are meant for each other.
There are so many different soda options out there, and so many of them are great to chase vodka with. Whether it’s 7-Up, Sprite, Mist Twist, Sierra Mist, or some other lemon-lime soda, it will compliment the taste of vodka – especially any flavored vodka – and eliminate any burn that comes with the shot. We do have one general rule of thumb at Barrel and Brew, though. Clear liquor, light mixer. Dark liquor, dark mixer. So, while you are welcome to use Coke, Root Beer, or Dr. Pepper, we recommend you save that for dark rum and whiskey.
Any Type of Fruit Juice
While lemonade is technically a juice, here we are talking about 100% juice, whereas lemonade is a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, and water. Cranberry, pineapple, orange, and apple juice all are perfect chasers for vodka. There’s strawberry flavored vodka, lemonade flavored, mango flavored, pineapple flavored… I mean, any fruit you can think of, there is a flavored vodka out there for you. That’s because fruit and vodka pair very well. Next time you’re taking a shot of unflavored vodka, find a little fruit juice to go as a chaser.
My absolute favorite vodka mixed drink is a John Daly. Named after the famous golfer who faced many problems due to his drinking habits. It’s vodka, lemonade, and sweet tea. We’ve already discussed how good lemonade is as a chaser, but tea is right there with it. You can use green tea, iced tea, or sweet tea, although, sweet tea is my personal favorite. If you have Tito’s vodka around, you can do a Tea-to’s shot!
Now, hear me out on this one. You’re at a party or get-together, so there is likely plenty of beer around. Perhaps, you already have a beer in your hand, and now you are being coerced into a shot. You don’t want to take the shot without a chaser, but you’re not ready to grab at the orange juice. Or maybe there aren’t any chasers out on the table. Well, you do have a beer in your hand, and it’s really not a bad option as a chaser.
A beer is a great chaser for a vodka shot for two reasons, then. First, it’s almost always available. If you already have one cracked, or are planning to do so, then you can’t go wrong with just chasing with beer. Second, maybe you don’t want to be the person to ask for a chaser. You have a little too much pride to chase a measly shot, but this vodka isn’t your favorite. Chasing a vodka shot with beer may just be your best option.
The 4 Worst Vodka Chasers
There are a lot of good options to chase vodka with. The best part is that most of those options are regularly found in fridge’s around the world. Now, we’re going to cover drinks that you should not chase vodka with. We’re going to try to keep it as reasonable as possible as well. For example, we aren’t going to mention raw egg yolk as the worst chaser because, well, why would anyone think to try that as a chaser.
You should not chase any shot with milk, let alone a shot of vodka. Now why would anyone try to chase vodka with milk? Maybe there’s nothing else in your fridge, and you think you have no other options. I’m here to tell you that there are other options available. Namely, take the shot without a chaser, or don’t take the shot at all! Milk may stop any burning, but the mixture of those flavors makes milk a terrible vodka chaser.
No, chasing a bad shot with a better shot is not a good idea. Yes, people out there actually do this. Imagine, for whatever reason, you are preparing to take a shot of vodka that you find repulsive. In this same scenario, there is another vodka that you really like. Chasing the bad vodka with the good vodka is a bad idea for so many reasons.
First, taking back-to-back shots can be dangerous from an alcohol poisoning standpoint. Second, the “good shot” isn’t going to take away any of the burn or the alcohol flavors from the bad shot. It’s simply going to add to them.
This is more of a controversial or 50/50 take on chasers. Water can be a really good chaser or a very bad chaser. Let me explain. Water is going to bring out some of the flavors in vodka, not dull them. So if you have a shot you like, water may enhance the flavor. If it’s a shot of vodka you don’t like, or a very fruity vodka, water can make those flavors overpowering. It’s similar to drinking vodka with a splash of water or over ice, and similar to drinking whiskey with a splash of water.
The reason I have water as one of the worst chasers is because the quality of vodka I typically shoot, especially at parties. If I am to drink vodka with a splash of water, it’s going to be high quality vodka. Most of the shots of vodka I take are cheaper, so the water doesn’t do any favors. The most positive thing about using water to chase your vodka is that it’s the healthiest thing you can do. However, water is still a chaser I would be weary of.
Gatorade is a common vodka chaser, especially when it comes to teenagers and college students. There are many drinks out there that are worse chasers than Gatorade, but it’s still not good. Now, you don’t have to take my word for it. There are many people out there that like and use Gatorade as a chaser. I am not one of them.
It’s decent enough to certainly try it, so you’ll have to figure out on your own if Gatorade is a good chaser or not. After all, my dislike for vodka and Gatorade may come from drinking it too often in college.
The 5 Best Chasers for Vodka Summary
If you’re drinking good vodka or some of the 35% abv flavored vodka, you may not need a chaser at all. Too often, however, we are coerced into taking shots by the ‘party person’ who won’t leave you alone until you join them in a toast. If that time arises and you have no good vodka options, you may find some peace in chasing your shot with one of these 5 best chasers for vodka.
With that being said, it’s important that you don’t grab just anything to chase vodka with. There are many good options, some better than others, and a couple bad options that you’ll wish you avoided. At the end of the day, if there’s a bad vodka shot you don’t want to take, simply don’t take it.
What’s important is that you have fun and enjoy the alcohol you’re drinking. I understand that drinking bad or disgusting alcohol can be part of the fun, especially when you’re young and it’s not you drinking it, so this list is to help you find a chaser that’s going to at least make you enjoy the shot a bit more. Or, at least, hate it a little less!
If you want to read about two of the best vodkas out there, check out our post, Tito’s vs Ketel One Vodka.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vodka Chasers
Below is a FAQ about chasing vodka. Many of these are covered in the article above.
What Is a Chaser and Why Should I Use One?
A chaser is a drink you take immediately after taking a shot or pull of liquor. You should use one if the shot you are taking is a little rough or not as enjoyable as you’d like. A chaser will limit the burn and cover up the ethanol flavors of alcohol.
What Is the Best Chaser for Vodka?
This is a subjective question and depends on what you like and prefer. Ultimately, clear soda, fruit juice, and lemonade are the most popular chasers. My personal favorite is lemonade.
Can You Chase Vodka with Coke?
Yes, you can. Coke is a decent chaser and mixer for vodka. However, from a personal standpoint, I typically stick to clear sodas and liquids with clear liquors. If you’re interested in a vodka coke mixed drink, check out A Couple Cooks Recipe.