written by
Bert Gallagher

Vodka and Redbull: Unveiling the Energy Cocktail Trend

10 min read

Vodka and Red Bull is a popular mixed drink that has gained a significant following in the nightlife and party scenes. This caffeinated alcoholic concoction consists of Red Bull, an energy drink, and varying amounts of vodka. Originating in Europe in the 1980s, the combination of these two beverages has evolved into many different variations and ratios.

The drink is typically served over ice in a highball glass, but can also be served as a "bomb," where a shot of vodka is dropped into a glass containing Red Bull, similar to a Boilermaker. The unique blend of vodka, with its subtle flavor profile, and the sweet, fruity energy of Red Bull, creates a taste that is both refreshing and invigorating. However, it is important to be cautious and aware of the potential risks associated with mixing alcohol and caffeine, as doing so can increase the capacity to feel intoxicated.

Vodka and Redbull

Key Takeaways

  • Vodka and Red Bull is a popular mixed drink that combines two ingredients: vodka and the energy drink Red Bull.
  • The beverage can be served in different ways, such as over ice in a highball glass or as a "bomb" with a shot of vodka dropped into a glass containing Red Bull.
  • Mixing alcohol and caffeine carries some risks, so it's essential to be cautious and aware of the increased capacity to feel intoxicated.

History and Origins of Vodka and Red Bull

The Vodka Red Bull cocktail was invented in 1999 by futurologist Benjamin Reed, and it is believed to be an accidental creation with the original recipe also containing lemonade. When the energy drink Red Bull was introduced to the market by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz in 1987, it quickly became popular as a mixer for alcoholic beverages. Specifically, the Vodka Red Bull combination gained popularity among young adults at parties and clubs.

Popularity Among Young Adults

The appeal of the Vodka Red Bull lies in its ability to keep party-goers awake and energized while they consume alcohol. This cocktail combines vodka, a widely-enjoyed spirit, with Red Bull, a highly-caffeinated energy drink. The mix gained rapid popularity as a way for people to consume alcohol and maintain energy levels for extended periods.

Vodka and Red Bull Composition


The Vodka Red Bull is a simple, yet popular mixed drink comprising primarily of two ingredients:

  • Vodka: Typically 1-2 oz per serving
  • Red Bull: Usually 3 oz per serving or about ¾ of a glass

When made, this drink can be served over ice in a tall glass and garnished with a lime wedge if desired.


While the traditional Vodksa and Red Bull recipe includes just vodka and Red Bull, you can explore variations in the drink by altering the ratio of the two ingredients or by adding new components:

  • Different energy drinks: Replace Red Bull with another energy drink to experiment with flavors and caffeine content.
  • Flavored vodka: Swap regular vodka with a flavored variant, such as citrus or berry, to introduce new tastes to the mix.
  • Additional mixers: Add other liquors like tequila or gin to create a more potent beverage, or mix in fruit juices or soda for a subtler twist.

Common Recipes

Here are some common ways to prepare a Vodka Red Bull:

  • Classic Vodka Red Bull: Mix 1-2 oz vodka and 3 oz Red Bull in a glass with ice. Stir gently and serve.
  • Vodka Red Bull on the Rocks: Combine 1-2 oz vodka and 3 oz Red Bull in a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir and enjoy.
  • Vodka Red Bull with Lime: Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the classic recipe for a tart and refreshing twist.

Remember that a 250ml can of Red Bull contains around 27.5 grams (5 teaspoons) of sugar and 80mg of caffeine, and the drink also contains the stimulating amino acid taurine. Keep these factors in mind while consuming Vodka Red Bulls responsibly.

Taste and Flavor

Red Bull and vodka is a popular mix and can be described as bitter and slightly sweet, with metallic notes and hints of cough syrup. The sweetness mainly comes from the sugar in Red Bull, while the bitterness is due to the caffeine content in the energy drink. The taste can be modified depending on the type of Red Bull and vodka used.

Pairing with Mixers

A variety of mixers can be added to Red Bull and vodka to alter or enhance its flavor profile:

  • Citrus flavors: Adding lime, lemon, or orange juice can balance out the sweetness with a touch of sour taste. It can also complement the slight bitterness.
  • Ginger Ale: Ginger ale introduces a spicy kick and a milder sweetness, creating a more complex, layered flavor.
  • Tonic water: Tonic brings in a bitter and slightly sweet taste that can mesh well with Red Bull and vodka.


In addition to mixers, incorporating fruit flavors can also add depth and complexity to Red Bull and vodka:

  • Fruit-flavored Red Bulls: Fruit-flavored Red Bulls, such as Watermelon Red Bull, can impart a tart and fruity taste to your drink, making it ideal for summertime sipping.
  • Fresh fruits: Muddling in fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries can add a burst of vibrant flavor and natural sweetness to the cocktail.

Remember to experiment with different mixers and fruits to find the flavor combination that best suits your taste preferences.

Effects and Risks of Mixing Vodka and Red Bull

Physical and Cognitive Consequences

Mixing Vodka and Red Bull combines an alcoholic beverage with an energy drink, which contains stimulants such as caffeine, taurine, and inositol. When consuming alcohol alone, one often gets tired and decides to call it a day. However, with the addition of Red Bull, the stimulant properties counteract the tiredness, allowing a person to feel more awake and less intoxicated than they actually are1.

As a result, this combination can lead to an increased capacity to consume greater amounts of alcohol than anticipated. Furthermore, individuals consuming Vodka and Red Bull might not be able to judge their level of intoxication accurately2. This poses a danger because it could lead to consuming more alcohol than can be safely processed by the body, raising the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to potentially harmful levels.

Several studies have also shown that drinking Red Bull can significantly increase blood pressure and heart rate levels within 90 minutes and up to 24 hours3. Mixing it with alcohol further amplifies these effects, as both substances impact the cardiovascular system differently. Alcohol consumption dilates blood vessels, whereas stimulants like caffeine can constrict them. This combination may lead to risky behavior and other negative consequences.

Implications on Social Behavior

The effects of mixing Vodka and Red Bull on social behavior can be just as concerning. Due to the combination of alcohol and stimulants, a person might feel more energetic and less inhibited, increasing their likelihood of engaging in aggressive behavior and other risky activities4. Moreover, one might experience a greater reduction in coordination and motor control than they would by consuming alcohol alone5. This could lead to dangerous situations, such as getting behind the wheel or getting into physical altercations.

In conclusion, consuming a mix of Vodka and Red Bull can result in physical and cognitive consequences as well as implications on social behavior. It's essential to be aware of these risks and practice moderation while consuming alcohol.

Popular Vodka and Red Bull Drinks

Alternative Alcoholic Energy Drink Options

In addition to the classic Vodka Red Bull, there are other alcoholic energy drink options that can be equally as tasty and invigorating. A few alternatives include:

  • Caribbean Jamaican Sprinter: This tropical cocktail combines light rum (also known as white or silver rum) with Red Bull and ginger ale for an exciting island flavor.
  • Jägerbomb: A popular party drink, the Jägerbomb consists of dropping a shot glass filled with Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull.

Classic and Creative Cocktails

There are several classic and creative cocktails that incorporate vodka and Red Bull. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Spiked Watermelon Red Bull Cocktail: This refreshing and colorful drink is perfect for summer pool parties. Combine Watermelon Red Bull with Malibu Watermelon, ice cubes, and garnish with watermelon candy rings.
  • Spiked Blueberry Red Bull Cocktail: Featuring the sweet and tangy flavor of blueberry Red Bull, this cocktail mixes well with the smooth taste of Blue Raspberry Vodka. Ideal for happy hours and parties.

To enjoy these cocktails, you may serve them in a highball glass for a sophisticated look. However, it's essential to remember that mixing energy drinks with alcohol can amplify both the stimulating and depressant effects of each ingredient. As a result, it's crucial to consume these drinks responsibly and be aware of potential side effects. When in doubt, ask your bartender for guidance and recommendations, as they can provide insight into the best mixed drinks to suit your taste and preferences.

Preparing and Serving Vodka and Red Bull

Proper Glassware

When serving a Vodka and Red Bull, using the appropriate glassware can help improve the drinking experience. A tall glass, such as a highball glass, is typically used for this cocktail. This glass is perfect for showcasing the drink's vibrant colors and allows plenty of room for ice, which is essential for chilling the cocktail.

Garnishes and Presentation

To enhance the presentation of the Vodka and Red Bull, consider using one or more appropriate garnishes. Keep in mind that the garnish should not only add visual appeal but also complement the flavor of the drink. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Lime wedge: Much like a Moscow Mule, a Vodka and Red Bull can benefit from the bright, citrusy flavors of lime. Lightly squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and place it on the rim of the glass.
  • Cherry: While not typically found in a Vodka and Red Bull, a cherry can add a touch of color and sweetness to the top of the drink, similar to a Daiquiri. Simply skewer the cherry with a cocktail stick and place it across the rim of the glass.

To prepare and serve a Vodka and Red Bull, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  2. Pour a 2-ounce shot of vodka (adjust the amount based on your preference) into the glass.
  3. Add 4 ounces of Red Bull to the glass, or enough to fill the glass.
  4. Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  5. Add the chosen garnish.

Remember, when it comes to preparing a Vodka and Red Bull, it's essential to prioritize quality ingredients, proper glassware, and attractive garnishes. Doing so will ensure that your drink not only looks great but also tastes delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it risky to mix vodka and Red Bull?

Yes, mixing vodka and Red Bull can be risky because it combines a stimulant (the caffeine in Red Bull) with a depressant (alcohol in vodka). The stimulant effect of the energy drink can mask the effects of alcohol, potentially leading to poor decision-making and overconsumption of alcohol.

What are the possible health effects?

Mixing vodka and Red Bull can have several negative health effects. The combination of caffeine and alcohol can lead to dehydration, increased heart rate, and higher blood pressure. Additionally, excessive consumption of this mix can lead to alcohol poisoning or caffeine-related side effects such as sleep disturbances and anxiety.

Does it cause heart problems?

While moderate consumption of vodka Red Bull may not directly cause heart problems, excessive intake of this mix can strain your heart due to the increased heart rate and blood pressure. If you have pre-existing heart issues or are at risk, it's best to avoid mixing caffeine and alcohol entirely.

How many vodka Red Bulls are dangerous?

There is no specific number of vodka Red Bulls that are considered dangerous, as it can vary depending on factors such as your weight, tolerance to caffeine and alcohol, and individual metabolism. To reduce the risk of negative health effects, it's important to consume alcohol and caffeine in moderation.

What is the best vodka for this mix?

Choosing the best vodka for a vodka Red Bull mix comes down to personal preference and budget. Unflavored vodka works well in this mix, and you can opt for a well-known brand like Grey Goose, Absolut, or Tito's, or choose a more affordable option that fits your taste.

What are some Red Bull cocktail recipes?

There are various Red Bull cocktail recipes that you can enjoy. Some popular options include:

  • Jägerbomb: A mix of Jägermeister herbal liqueur and Red Bull, typically served as a shot.
  • Cherry Bomb: A combination of cherry-flavored vodka, Red Bull, and a splash of grenadine, served over ice in a highball glass.
  • Citrus Bomb: A mix of citrus-flavored vodka, Blue Curacao, and Red Bull, served over ice in a highball glass.

Remember to always consume cocktails and alcoholic beverages responsibly and in moderation.