Buying drinks out can be expensive. Then there is the problem of finding a designated driver (which sucks if you’re the one who draws the short straw), or paying an Uber driver to get home responsibly. And if you’re wanting to keep your drinks healthy and natural, ordering off a restaurant menu can leave you with little nutritional info. Having a cocktail party at home is where it’s at, and we have a list of great, simple ingredient drinks that will top off the night.
Light Pina Colada
Frozen pineapple, coconut milk and dark rum are a harmonious combination that will transport tastebuds to the tropics without ever boarding a plane.
For two drinks, blend 2 cups of frozen pineapple, 1 cup of coconut milk (Silk unsweetened is a good choice) and 3 ounces of dark rum. Blend until smooth. A cherry is a nice topping, as is a wedge of fresh pineapple.
Whisky sours can vary, but using both lime and lemon adds a complexity that compliments most types of whisky. Makers Mark and Teelings are both good for sours, but use the variations that are your favorites, as this drink will allow one to appreciate the characteristics of the spirit, without being overwhelmed.
For two drinks, use a 1/2 cup of pure lemon juice, 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of agave nectar and 3 ounces of whiskey. Pour over a glass tightly packed with ice. Berries surprisingly add a nice touch to a sour.
Grab some chips and salsa, and whip up some tacos, and get ready for margarita night. When buying a frozen one out, there’s a risk the mix contains high fructose corn syrup and fake coloring. At home, a few simple ingredients can make the perfect margarita—this is one of the easiest drinks to make.
For two drinks, use 1/2 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of agave nectar and 3 ounces of tequila (Don Julio makes smooth margaritas). Blend with preferred amount of ice, or even frozen fruit instead if looking for a twist. Strawberries and mango are amazing blend in options.
One of the best ways to adapt taste buds to wine is to make a sangria. Really, all you need is creativity to dream up your recipe, but we will give you some guidelines. Wine, fruit, sparkling water and a splash of juice are key components to this drink.
Use wine and sparkling water 50/50. Toss in your fruit and sweeten with orange juice. White or red wine make great sangrias. Just have fun with this one.
Cuba Libre is essentially a rum and coke, but has an edge over the basic beverage. It is a Cuban drink, and the quality of rum is something to be considered. Dark aged or traditional light Cuban rum can be incorporated well, and of course coke made with real sugar results in the best flavor. Maine Root has an all natural cola that’s mmmmm-azing. Muddled lime is the final element to set this exciting drink apart from your typical rum and coke.
For two drinks, used 8 ounces of cola, 4 wedges of fresh lime (muddled), and 3 ounces of rum.
The Old fashioned is that drink for those wanting more than straight bourbon, but less than a frilly cocktail. Slightly sweet and balanced by bitters, it’s straightforward to make, while a few fancy touches like cherries and orange peel can be added.
For two drinks place a sugar cube in each glass, top with 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon per drink, add two dashes of bitters. Fill glasses with ice.
Do you have that old bottle of gin that’s been in the cabinet for a couple of years? After trying a “bees knees”, it’ll probably go down pretty quick. Not much goes into the prohibition era beverage that once had a bad reputation thanks to crappy bathtub booze.
For two drinks, use an ounce of honey, another ounce of lemon juice and 3 ounces of high quality gin, and you’ll see why the cocktail has redeemed itself.
Mimosas are what good mornings are made of. Well, not always, but one does go great with brunch, and can add an extra sparkle to a gathering with friends. Combining the bright taste of orange juice and crispness of champagne, this beverage was made for day drinking.
It’s the easiest drink on the list to make—fill the bottom of the champagne flute with juice (about 1/3 of the glass). Top off with champagne—voila!
A Moscow Mule puts vodka to good use. Ginger beer is another key component to a traditional mule, and is a spicy drink that gives the cocktail bubble and kick. Not being too sweet, it’s a delightful before or after dinner treat.
For two drinks, mix 2 ounces of like juice, 2 ounces of ginger beer and 3 ounces of middle to top shelf vodka.
One more great gin recipe to round us out—a Tom Collins. A light spritz drink that’s refreshing on a summer day, ingredients for this drink are common and usable in other beverages.
For two drinks, use a full cup of soda water, 2 ounces of lemon juice, an ounce of simple syrup or light agave, and lastly, 3 ounces of a great, botanically infused gin.