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Craft Cocktail Vodka Recipes


Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer, Jay Sanders, Curtis Hayes

What better way to feature a variety of FUN vodka craft cocktail recipes that you can easily make at home than by enlisting some of my favorite and best bartenders around the city?!

Get ready to meet 5 of Kansas City’s best and brightest craft cocktail connoisseurs, each elevating Kansas City’s local lifestyle one wildly delicious drink at a time, and their featured cocktail incorporating our very own Kansas-made Till Vodka!

In the case that you are not familiar with TILL, well, first of all, you are missing OUT! And secondly, it's one of the first locally made spirits I was introduced to when we moved here, which on some level I have little doubt triggered my extreme love and appreciation for supporting and shopping local. 

Beautiful bottle aside that would complement any home or restaurant bar, TILL is a partnership between local farmers sourcing the Kansas wheat that gives it its distinct flavor profile.

You may also be familiar with the trending #KCHeartland on social media, and Till Distilling Company lives and breathes this simple sentiment as it “represents the passion and honest values of the heartland from which it comes.”

I journeyed around Kansas City to meet first hand with 5 of our local experts who certainly know better than this amateur bartender how to use TILL in a variety of ways, all with completely different tastes, looks, and feels. Whether it was Darrell Loo playing directly off the “creamy" notes of TILL, or Miko Richardson adding all the glitz and glam turning the vodka from clear to pink, blue, and finally purple, each displayed their unique ideas on infusing one of Kansas City’s best local products to come out of the west-side of State Line Road into our home bars and restaurants.

Read on more for how KC-based bartending gurus Jay Sanders, Diana Condori, Curtis Hayes, Darrell Loo, and Miko Richardson show off their creative recipes and mixology skills to bring this amazing Midwest, farm to cocktail, award-winning vodka to life!   

Bartender: Jay Sanders / @jay.drinker

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“A rich, full-bodied take on a coffee cocktail.”

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 oz toasted coconut-infused vodka
  • .75 oz J Rieger Caffe Amaro
  • .75 oz Almond & Macadamia Nut Orgeat

Recipe Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice. 
  2. Double strain over a cold brew ice cube.

Toasted Coconut Vodka Ingredients

  • 750 ml Till Vodka
  • 1/2 cup slightly toasted coconut flakes

Toasted Coconut Vodka Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients
  2. Allow to sit together and infuse for 2 days

For the Orgeat

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup macadamia nut milk
  • 2 tbsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp orange flower water
  • 1/3 cup cognac

Orgeat Instructions

The ice is easy; just follow your favorite cold brew coffee instructions for making a cup of coffee, and pour it into an ice cube or sphere mold and allow it to freeze.

  1. Brew your favorite cup of joe
  2. Mix in all ingredients
  3. Pour into an ice cube or sphere mold at freezing temperatures
  4. Wait for it to freeze

Bartender: Diana Condori / @dianacondori_tikid

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"This cocktail is a tropical escape in a glass. With hints of pineapple, passion fruit, coconut and Till Vodka to balance and bring all these wonderful flavors together, it's the perfect summer backyard party drink!" 

Recipe Ingredients

  • .5oz lime juice 
  • .75oz passion fruit 
  • 1oz pineapple juice 
  • 1oz coconut cream 
  • 1.5oz Till Vodka 
  • Garnish: Mint and Orchid

Recipe Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice. 
  2. Pour into a glass of choice

Bartender: Darrell Loo / @asiandarrell

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“The cocktail is made to showcase the creaminess of Till Vodka; it is refreshing and easy to create at home!”

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1.5oz Till Vodka
  • .5oz Campari
  • .75oz Ginger and Galangal Syrup
  • .5oz Fresh Lemon Juice 
  • Topo Chico Twist of Grapefruit flowered Sparkling Water
  • Kubler Absinthe
  • Mint

Recipe Instructions

  1. Rinse a Collins glass with Kübler Absinthe, discard the excessive liquid and set the glass aside 
  2. Add 3-4 mint leaves in a shaker tin, gently muddle it with a muddler
  3. Combine Till Vodka, Campari, lemon juice and syrup in the shaker tin. Add ice, and shake it gently. 
  4. Double strain the cocktail into the Collins glass, add ice and top it with Topo Chico Twist of Grapefruit flowered Sparkling Water. 
  5. Garnish the cocktail with orange peel and fresh mint. Ready to serve!

Bartender: Miko Richardson / @shotsbymiko 

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"Reminiscent of childhood but boozy for adults."

Recipe Ingredients

Garnish Prep: 

  • Blue Bombs 
  • 2 Ice ball molds 
  • Blue Brew Glitter 
  • Sweetened Lime juice 
  • Water 

Recipe Instructions

  • Mix ¼ of a teaspoon of Brew Glitter in 2 oz of lime juice with 2 oz of water. Mix well. Pour mixture into the ice ball molds and freeze. 

Candied Raspberries:

  • Take 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of water and ½ cup of light corn syrup and add to a pot
  • Cook until the mixture reaches 300 degrees via a candy thermometer
  • Upon reaching 300 degrees, place the pot into an ice bath until the mixture stops bubbling and then remove the pot from the ice bath
  • Carefully dip the raspberries into the mixture, covering them completely, allowing the excess sugar to drip off
  • Cool on wax paper sprayed with oil for easy removal later. 

Lime Wedges: Cut a lime into 4-6 wedges and set aside

Raspberry Syrup: 

  • Add 16oz of fresh raspberries and ½ cup of granulated sugar to a pot with ½ cup of water
  • Cook down until the mixture has reduced to a very thick syrup
  • Cool
  • Strain the skins and seeds out into a glass container and seal. 

Recipe Instructions

  1. Place the Blue Bomb into the glass.
  2. In a shaker, add 2.5oz of Till Vodka and 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters with ice & shake vigorously for 20 seconds
  3. Strain the mixture into the glass with the Blue Bomb
  4. Add candied raspberries and fill with coconut water
  5. Add raspberry syrup down the side of the glass to create a layered look, as the syrup will go to the bottom of the glass
  6. Garnish further with fresh raspberries and a lime wedge on the side. 

As the Blue Bomb melts, it will release color and edible glitter into the glass changing it from a pale pink vodka drink to a layered visual similar to a bomb pop alongside the addition of the glitter. Once mixed, a refreshing beautiful purple drink will remain with the Blue Bomb continuing to add color and glitz to the drink to be enjoyed.

Bartender: Curtis Hayes / @trife666life

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"A really damn-complicated vodka-old fashioned with sexy foam."

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2oz Till Vodka 
  • 1oz Mango Strawberry Juice
  • .75oz Oleo-Saccharums

Recipe Instructions:

For this cocktail, I wanted to keep the flavors simple and intense. To showcase the vodka on its truest form, I froze the water used to proof the vodka down, removed the frozen water, and then used clarified strawberry and mango juice (about 250 ML of juice) to reconstitute the vodka. 

Next, I made an Oleo-Saccharum with lime and orange. Oleo-Saccharums are made by peeling the said citrus, letting the peels sit in sugar (over night, days, weeks), and then using the juice of the fruit to emulsify the sugar. It ends up tasting extremely deep, full, and bright, thus adding an additional layer of flavor to the already bright mango and strawberry juice.

You’ll notice I stirred this cocktail, which was intentional; I didn’t want the syrup to capture the oxygen bubbles and ruin the mouthfeel that the Oleo-Saccharum provides.

Lastly, the foam is an equal parts blend of Fino Sherry, White Port, and simple syrup (1:1), stabilized with sucro (stabilizer derived from sucros) and Versawhip (soy protein).

Stir, top with white port fino foam! 

And there you have it; 5 of the best Midwest bartenders showing their unique takes on crafting creative Till Vodka cocktails that can be enjoyed at home or wherever Till is served near you.

Whether you are Kansas born and raised, a Kansas City local lover, or a connoisseur of the many profiles of distilled vodka, Till is a hidden gem of a liquor that is a MUST to add to your arsenal of spirits!