Like that delightful Justin Timberlake, vodka's good at a lot of things. It's truly a spirit of versatility, one whose mostly neutral flavor and soft texture are perfect for high-end cocktails and ridiculous college party garbage-can punches. And unlike JT, it would never ask you to sit through a Trolls movie.
For a while, American drinkers gave vodka the bottom-shelf treatment. But we wised up to what all those Polish people have been saying for centuries, and now vodka enjoys the same status as others, with seemingly endless options on the shelf. For an inexpensive bottle of booze that goes down easy, Smirnoff, Svedka, and Reyka offer good products that are all relatively crisp, clean, and silky. For a little more complexity, check out VDKA 6100, which is light and unctuous at the same time and impossibly smooth; Crop Organic, which has a richer body and almost sweet flavor; or Karlsson’s, which is full and velvety -- almost buttery -- with a sweet earthiness.
Regardless of your preference or price point, vodka's the base for incredible, simple cocktails that taste just as good in sweatpants as they do in a suit & tie. Ugh. Sorry. That JT is infectious!