The Best Cocktail To Order On A Budget

In this year of rampant inflation, it helps to plan ahead when you're looking to spend a fun night out on the town with friends. It's more important than ever to know the best cheap mixed drinks to order at a bar, especially if you're managing on a tight budget. A few cocktails in and you could be staring down a tab of $75 if you're not careful (plus as the New York Times notes, nightlife across the board is getting more expensive).

Sure you could always switch to beer and find an affordable domestic for $3-$5, but not everyone enjoys the taste of a brew, and if you want quality craft beers those generally don't come inexpensively either considering that like wine, beer prices have risen (per Yahoo! News). When considering cheap cocktails, there are the staple selections such as margaritas and rum and Cokes, but they can be high in sugar and calories and more health-conscious bar patrons might prefer to avoid them. In the end, there can be only one best cocktail to order on a budget, and it's one you may not have considered before.

Toast to your wallet and your health with a vodka soda

Cocktails don't get much easier to mix than the vodka soda, which consists of an ounce and a half pour of vodka (go with a bar's well brand for the lowest price point) blended with 10 ounces of soda water, garnished with a lime or lemon wedge for a little citrus kick (per South Bend Tribune). A vodka soda has the added benefits of being low in calories, carbs, and sugar. And unlike actual soda, soda water is hydrating, and that slice of fruit on the glass provides a small boost of vitamin C.

Obviously, the health benefits are relative since you are drinking booze after all, but you could be doing a lot worse with your alcoholic choice. If you want to take it a step further, you can even order a vodka soda with gluten-free vodka brands such as Tito's, Blue Ice, or Crystal Head (via Byrdie). Though once you move further away from an establishment's house vodka your expenses will rise accordingly and the whole cocktail on a budget approach starts to go out the window.

Also, if you're worried about buying vodka because you think it might support a certain vodka-loving nation, no need to fret. Only 1.2% of U.S. vodka imports come from Russia. Major brands such as Absolut, Skyy, Svedka, and Grey Goose all hail from other countries (via USA Today).