Going out to a cocktail bar on any given night might seem, to the inexperienced consumer, a little intimidating. Cocktail menus contain drinks with eight, ten, or even twelve ingredients sometimes, half of which you’ve never heard of. Cocktails, though, don’t have to be that way. (Don’t get us wrong, they’re delicious, and the drinks the bartenders are creating are just short of representations of what heaven is most of the time.) At home, though, you don’t always have twelve ingredients on hand. Maybe you have five, maybe only two or three. The great thing is, even with two or three ingredients, you can make countless classic, easy cocktails that will wow guests and get the job done. We’ve collected some of our favorites below, so check them out.
Note: If you don’t have the exact spirits below, that’s okay—these are just guidelines. The flavors may change slightly with different spirits, but that’s the joy of mixing drinks, anyway—finding new flavors.
Method: Shake over ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
Method: Fill an old fashioned glass with ice and add coffee liqueur and vodka. Float cream on top and stir.
- 3oz Prosecco
- 2oz Aperol
- 1oz Soda water
- Orange wedge
Method: Build in a cocktail glass over ice, topping with soda water. Garnish with orange wedge.
Related: 11 Sultry Summer Cocktails
Dark and Stormy
- 3.25oz ginger beer
- 2oz Bacardi 8 Años rum
- Angostura bitters
- Lime Wedge
Method: In a highball glass filled with ice, add rum and ginger beer. Add a few dashes of bitters and garnish with lime wedge.
Method: Stir into a glass over ice. Garnish with an orange peel.
- 1.5oz Baker’s Bourbon
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- Orange slice
- Cocktail cherry
Method: Place sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass and soak with bitters. Muddle until dissolved, adding a few drops of water if necessary. Add a large cube of ice and bourbon. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.
- 2 oz High West Double Rye
- .75 oz Sweet red vermouth
- Angostura Bitters
- Maraschino Cherry
Method: Stir over ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with cherry.
- 1.5oz St. Augustine Distillery Florida Cane Vodka
- 4oz Ginger beer
- .25oz Lime Juice
- Lime wedge
Method: Add vodka and ginger beer to copper mug filled with ice. Pour on lime juice, stir, and garnish with lime wedge.
- 1.5oz Hornitos Plata Tequila
- 3oz Orange juice
- .5oz Grenadine
- Orange wedge
- Maraschino cherry
Method: Pour tequila and orange juice into a glass filled with ice. Add grenadine, but do not stir. Garnish with orange wedge and cherry.