Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktails You Can Master

When it comes to cocktails, sometimes complicated and involved preparations aren’t always the best (though, when they’re made by great bartenders, like the crew at Death & Company, we’re all for intricate preparations and ingredients). Historically, to make a cocktail, you simply needed to have a few things present: spirits, water, sugar, and bitters. With those four components represented, you had yourself a cocktail. From there, cocktails have obviously involved, but that doesn’t mean that simple cocktails have disappeared. On the contrary — many cocktails today are still made using only a few ingredients.

Now, while it’s easy to go out and order a simple cocktail, it’s even easier to learn how to make them yourself. Think about the cool points you’ll get from friends and family the next time they come over when you can bust out not only an awesome Old Fashioned but eight other classic and easy drinks?

Below, you’ll find nine foolproof recipes for three-ingredient cocktails. All you’ll need to do is make sure you have the right glassware and you’ll be well on your way to having the best man cave on the block.

The Vesper

Cocktailmarler/Wikimedia Commons
  • 2 oz gin
  • .5 oz vodka
  • .25 oz Lillet Blonde
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Method: Shake over ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

White Russian

white russian cocktail
Dan Baker/The Manual
  • 1.75 oz vodka
  • .75 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz cream or whole milk

Method: Fill an old fashioned glass with ice and add coffee liqueur and vodka. Float cream on top and stir.

Aperol Spritz

aperol spritz cocktail orange
  • 3 oz Prosecco
  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz soda water
  • Garnish: Orange wedge

Method: Build in a glass over ice, topping with soda water. Garnish with orange wedge.

Dark and Stormy

cigar drink cocktail cuba librew dark and stormy
Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 3.25 oz ginger beer
  • Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: 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.


negroni cocktail orange
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet red vermouth

Method: Stir into a glass over ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Old Fashioned

whiskey old fashioned cocktail orange
  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Garnish: Orange slice
  • Garnish: 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.


manhattan cocktail
Dan Baker/The Manual
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • .75 oz sweet red vermouth
  • Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino cherry

Method: Stir over ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with cherry.

Moscow Mule

moscow mule cocktail lime mint copper mug
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • .25 oz lime juice
  • Garnish: Lime wedge

Method: Add vodka and ginger beer to copper mug filled with ice. Pour on lime juice, stir, and garnish with lime wedge.

Tequila Sunrise

tequila sunrise cocktail orange cherry
  • 1.5oz blanco tequila
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • .5 oz grenadine
  • Garnish: Orange wedge
  • Garnish: 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.

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