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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States


Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

The Drop is your source for all things craft. 

Filtering by Tag: vodka

Fresh 2 Death Cocktail Recipe

Cassie Morris

This fresh and fruity cocktail by our bartender Chris Resnick is refreshing and perfect to sip on in this spring weather. This has been a fan favorite from our spring menu, so now we've decided to share the recipe! Go ahead, give it a try.


By Chris Resnick of Cardinal Spirits

2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce raspberry-mint syrup
Tonic water

To make the raspberry mint syrup, bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Then add 1 small package of raspberries and a handful of mint. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved, then let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass and top with tonic water.

Copper Tone cocktail recipe

Erica Sagon

CoconutLaCroix (11 of 12).jpg

This vodka cocktail has the best backstory. It starts with Claire McInerny, a Bloomington woman who won a year's supply of something she's completely obsessed with — LaCroix Sparkling Water. This was a dream come true for Claire, who will receive 100 cases in a variety of flavors over the year. There's just one flavor she hates: Coconut. It tastes like sunscreen, she says, and inevitably LaCroix will send her some of it. Could we help her love Coconut LaCroix by adding our spirits, Claire wondered?

We invited Claire to our bar to mix Coconut LaCroix cocktails with our bartender Alex Utter, and this drink — cleverly named Copper Tone by a Facebook commenter — is something they came up with together: Bright and fruity with a kick from cayenne ... and definitely no sunscreen. 


Makes 1 cocktail

By Alex Utter and Claire McInerny

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
3/4 ounces passion fruit puree
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce cayenne-honey syrup (recipe below)
Coconut LaCroix Sparkling Water, to taste
Lemon peel, for garnish

Add all ingredients except for LaCroix to a shaker, then add ice. Shake well, then strain into a large rocks glass filled with ice. Top with Coconut LaCroix, then garnish with a lemon peel.

(To make the cayenne-honey syrup, combine 1 cup honey, 1 cup water and a teaspoon of cayenne (more or less, depending on the amount of spice you like) in a saucepan. Heat and stir until honey has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using. Store in refrigerator.)

Old Glory cocktail recipe

Erica Sagon

Looking for that perfect cocktail to serve on the 4th of July? Or any summer weekend, really? It doesn't get much easier — or prettier — than this Old Glory, made with Cardinal Spirits Vodka, muddled berries and coconut water.  

With such light, fresh flavors, a top-notch vodka is key. Our vodka makes this cocktail. It's some of the smoothest vodka around - many people have told us it's the only vodka they'll drink straight.

It's not your average tasteless, odorless vodka. It has character by design. A very light entry with a bright floral finish. We ferment and distill it on site from white grape, and the some of the fruity aroma and flavor intentionally remain in the spirit.


By Stella Snyder of Cardinal Spirits

Makes 1 cocktail

4 raspberries
6 blueberries, plus more for garnish
.5 ounce simple syrup
.5 ounce fresh lemon juice
1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
2 ounces coconut water

Muddle raspberries, blueberries, simple syrup and lemon juice together in a mason jar or large rocks glass. Fill glass with ice, then add Cardinal Spirits Vodka and coconut water. Stir gently, then garnish with a skewer of blueberries. 

Limited-edition Graduation Vodka (and the one vodka cocktail recipe everyone loves)

Erica Sagon

Know someone who is graduating from IU this weekend? Send them out into the real world with a commemorative bottle of a Bloomington-made product. 

We've created a special bottling of our vodka just for the Class of 2016. Bottles are $25, available at the distillery only.

Are you graduating this weekend? Congrats! Treat yourself and take a piece of Bloomington with you wherever your next adventure leads you.

Now, how to drink it? If there's one vodka cocktail you should commit to memory, it's this:

The Moscow Mule. 

It could not be easier to make — it's just vodka, lime juice and ginger beer — no shaking or hard-to-find ingredients, and yet everyone adores how refreshing it is. Make it for your new roommates/friends/coworkers in Seattle or Indy or Minneapolis or wherever your next stop is. 


1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
Ginger beer, to taste
Lime wedge, for garnish

Add vodka and lime juice to a copper mug, then fill with ice. Fill with ginger beer and garnish with lime wedge. 


Erica Sagon

Jalapeños give a welcome kick to this gorgeous vodka cocktail with hibiscus and citrus.


By Stella Snyder of Cardinal Spirits

2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka infused with hibiscus tea, recipe follows
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce blood orange juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3 jalapeño slices
Blood orange slice for garnish

Prepare the hibiscus-infused vodka ahead of time: steep 1 bag of hibiscus tea in 1.5 cups Cardinal Spirits Vodka for a day.  This makes about 12 ounces of infused vodka, or enough for 6 cocktails.

For the cocktail: Add all ingredients except for garnish to a shaker, then add ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of blood orange.


Erica Sagon

Oh, hello, patio weather. Or at least leave-your-windows-open weather. Let's give it a proper welcome to encourage it to stay. We'll toast to the first flickers of spring with this Feathered Friend cocktail that's light and fizzy and refreshing, perfect for brunch or day drinking. 



1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
3/4 fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3-4 raspberries
Champagne or prosecco, to taste

Add all ingredients except champagne/prosecco to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice, then top with champagne/prosecco.

To make simple syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool completely before stirring.


Erica Sagon

At the heart of this cocktail is our Vodka and our Songbird Flora, a nectar-like liqueur that we make with elderflower, hibiscus, jasmine and raspberries. You need Flora. You want Flora. You can't make this drink without Flora. Add a little lime and club soda to keep this drink bright and bubbly. 


Makes 1 cocktail

By Jake Cifuentes of Cardinal Spirits

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
1 ounce Cardinal Spirits Flora
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Club soda

Add all ingredients except club soda to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with ice, then top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.


Erica Sagon

Making cocktails for a crowd this weekend?
This is the only recipe you need.

This punch is the best possible use for leftover poultry herbs, which you're bound to have after Thanksgiving meal prep. Make a little bundle of stray rosemary, thyme and sage, and plunk it in tart cranberry juice with clove-studded citrus and our vodka for a festive punch.

Mix it up tonight, chill, and set it out just before guests arrive on Thanksgiving. 



By Logan Hunter

2⅓ cups Cardinal Spirits Vodka (about ¾ bottle)
1 gallon pure unsweetened cranberry juice
15 cloves
2 oranges, sliced
1 cup sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise, or 1 ounce vanilla extract
Poultry blend herbs (1 sprig each of sage, rosemary, thyme)

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and stir to dissolve sugar. Refrigerate and let chill overnight so that flavors meld. Strain if desired before serving.


Erica Sagon

This Slow Hand cocktail by Cardinal bartender Jake Cifuentes is like a liquid version of Mexican chocolate — rich, smooth, spicy. Even though it's served over ice, it's naturally warming thanks to a kick from the cocoa-cayenne syrup. So good for fall.



By Jake Cifuentes

1 ounce cocoa-cayenne simple syrup*
2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur
2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
Whole coffee beans for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a few coffee beans.


*To make a the cocoa-cayenne simple syrup: Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cayenne powder, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve ingredients. Remove from heat and let cool before using. Add more cayenne to taste if you like more heat!

Want more Cardinal cocktail recipes? Find them all right here


Erica Sagon

Need drinks for a crowd this weekend?
Try one of these 5 fantastic punches.


Makes 12 servings

1 bottle Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum
17 ounces pineapple juice
8.5 ounces ginger syrup*
8.5 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
20 dashes bitters
Ginger beer, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except for ginger beer, in a punch bowl.
To serve, ladle punch into cups with ice and top with ginger beer.

* To make ginger syrup: Peel several chunks of ginger, slice into thin rounds. Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir to dissolve sugar. Add sliced ginger to the saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain ginger slices from syrup before using.