Who says you have to go out for cocktails when you can just as easily (and affordably) make at home? Even if the most bartending experience you’ve ever had is pouring wine from a bottle, these five drinks will have you thinking about a career in mixology.
Most of these classic cocktails contain no more than three or four ingredients--many you probably already have in your cabinet. And if you have the bare bar essentials like a cocktail shaker and an ice cube tray, you’re ready to stir things up.
Sweet, tart, and impressively classy, bartenders have been making this whiskey drink since 1862. With just four ingredients, it’s simple to mix and tasty to drink.
- 2 oz. bourbon whiskey
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz. simple syrup
- Orange slice or cocktail cherry garnish
- Pour whiskey, lemon juice, and syrup into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold.
- Strain into a lowball or Old Fashioned glass. Serve with ice and garnish.
Why not mix up a pitcher of Margies for your next celebration? They’re tangy, citrusy flavor is perfect for sipping over the rocks on a hot summer night.
- 1-1/2 oz. tequila
- 1 oz. Cointreau
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- Kosher of sea salt for the rim of the glass
- Coat the rim of your glass with salt to enhance the sweet and sour flavors of the drink.
- Pour tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with ice until it’s very cold.
- Strain into a glass and add ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Similar to a gin sour, a Tom Collins tastes a lot like lemonade for grownups. So while you probably can’t set up a stand and sell them on the corner, you can enjoy a tall, cool Collins on the patio any time.
- 1-1/2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- Splash of club soda
- Maraschino cherry, lemon, or orange slice for garnish
- Fill a tall glass with ice and pour in the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
- Stir and top with club soda. Add garnish and enjoy.
Nothing tastes more like summer than a Mojito. Fizzy and minty, it’s wonderfully refreshing and an excellent use for that bumper crop of mint plants you’ve got growing in your garden.
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 2 oz. white rum
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1/2 cup club soda
- Place sugar, lime, and mint into a glass.
- Use a muddler or a pestle to bruise the leaves.
- Pour ice, rum, and club soda into the glass on top of the leaves and stir.
- Add a lime slice or more mint for garnish.
Even if you don’t have the classic copper cup that bars and restaurants use to serve this drink, you can still enjoy this trendy and effervescent cocktail.
- 2 oz. vodka
- 4 oz. cold ginger beer
- Half a lime
- Squeeze the lime into your mug or tall glass, then drop the lime slice into the bottom of the glass.
- Fill the glass with ice, then pour in the vodka and ginger beer.
Crafting delicious cocktails isn’t nearly as complicated as you might have thought. It’s fun. Try experimenting with different brands of spirits to see if you prefer one over another. Look for variations on classic cocktail recipes. Pair your cocktails with the perfect foods. Most of all, enjoy!