Everyone can mix up an excellent wide range of quick and easy cocktails with just a few basics and easy recipes.
It may surprise you that some of the least expensive drinks are also among the most popular at the bar, and each can be adapted to suit the ingredients on hand.
What exactly are mixed drinks?
Mixed drinks are cocktails that contain between 3 to 4 ingredients.
In general, they:
- Use 3-4 simple ingredients at most
- Use basic ingredients found in most homes
- Are simple to prepare, and don’t take more than a couple of minutes
- Requires no jumbling (keeping it simple with ready-to-pour, stir, or shake ingredients)
Pro tip – These mixed drinks can easily be converted into a mocktail or non-alcoholic cocktail if required!
The Bloody Mary is a cocktail made of tomato juice, vodka, and spices. The origins of the Bloody Mary are uncertain- but it likely originated from the French Martini. This drink is perfect for brunch or a party! It’s simple to make, but it’s also fun.
- 2 ounces of vodka
- 1/4 tsp. Plus 1/8 tsp. of divided celery salt
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups of split ice cubes
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup of chilled tomato juice
- 3/4 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
- 1-1/2 tsp. of lime juice
- 1/8 tsp. of pepper
- 1/2 tsp. of prepared horseradish
- 1/8 tsp. of hot pepper sauce
Optional: Celery rib, pickle spear, green and ripe olives, cucumber slice, and/or cocktail shrimp
- Moisten the rim of a highball glass with water. On a small plate, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon celery salt; dip the edge into the salt. Remove and discard any remaining celery salt from the plate. Fill three-fourths of the way up a shaker with ice. Fill prepared glass halfway with remaining ice.
- In a shaker, combine vodka, juices, Worcestershire sauce, optional horseradish, pepper, and remaining celery salt and pepper sauce; cover and shake for 10-15 seconds, or until condensation forms on the exterior. Strain into a glass that has been prepared. Garnish with desired garnishes.
Red Sangria is a type of sangria that uses red wine and strawberries. This drink is perfect for relaxed get-togethers and can be made ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about it last minute!
- 1 bottle (750 milliliters) of merlot
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 to one cup of brandy
- 1 cup of orange liqueur
- 1 medium sliced orange
- 3 cups of cold lemon-lime soda
- 1 medium sliced peach
- 1 cup of sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 medium sliced lemon
- Ice cubes
Stir together the first four ingredients in a pitcher until the sugar is dissolved. Combine soda and fruit in a separate bowl. Serve chilled.
Mojitos are a popular drink, and for a good reason! They’re refreshing and flavorful. The traditional recipe calls for rum and mint, but you can easily mix it up by using different kinds of alcohol or tea. You can also add fruit to the clutter to change up the flavor.
Bourbon makes a great mint julep, and rum is used in many mojitos, but it can also be switched out with vodka or white wine if you run out of rum supplies.
- 2 ounces of light rum
- 2 lime wedges
- 1/2 cup of chilled club soda
- 2 tsp. of sugar
- 3/4 to 1 cup ice cubes
- 2 mint sprigs
Garnish: Mint sprig and lime slice
Squeeze a lime wedge into a highball glass and drop the lime in. Muddle in sugar. Include ice. Mint leaves should be gently pressed or slapped into the glass. In a glass, combine rum and club soda; stir. Serve with a lime slice as a garnish.
This drink is perfect for summertime when mixed with bourbon, tequila, or raspberry lemonade. The ingredients listed in the recipe are optional, so feel free to mix and match to your liking. This drink is easy to make and can be enjoyed by everyone.
- 1-3/4 cups of lemon juice
- 2-1/4 cups of sugar
- 1 tbsp. of grated lemon zest
- 5 cups of divided water
- 6-8 cups of ice cubes
- 1 cup of light rum or vodka
Garnish: Lemon slices
- Mix the sugar, 1 cup water, and lemon zest in a large saucepan—Cook and stir over medium heat for approximately 4 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Take the pan off the heat. Combine lemon juice and remaining water in a separate bowl. Pour into a 2-quart pitcher and chill until chilled.
- Combine with rum. Pour 3/4 to 1 cup ice into a Collins or highball glass for each serving. Fill glass halfway with lemonade mixture. As desired, garnish with lemon slices.
This piña colada has a velvety-smooth texture and a tropical flavor.
- 1-1/2 cups of light rum
- 1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
- 2-1/4 cups of unsweetened pineapple juice
- Pineapple wedges
- 6 cups of crushed ice
Combine pineapple juice, coconut cream, and rum in a 2-quart pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled and covered. Add a generous cup of the rum mixture and 1 cup of ice for each serving to a blender—cover and process until smooth. Fill a chilled hurricane or highball glass halfway with ice. Slit the tip of a pineapple wedge 1 inch long; slide the wedge over the rim of the glass.
This is a classic cocktail from the 1940s and 1950s. Traditionally, a Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug overflowing with ice.
- 4 cups of chilled ginger beer
- 1-1/4 cups vodka
- 2/3 cup lime juice
- Lime slices
- Ice cubes
In a pitcher, combine the ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka. Serve with ice and lime slices, if desired.
The Martini is a cocktail made with either vodka or gin. The taste panel’s preference was for the gin, but try them both and decide. The only difference between a Martini and a Gin Martini is the proportions of olive juice to Vodka. Some people prefer to shake their Martini while others stir them- it’s really up to personal preference rather than being a hill to die on!
- 3 ounces of gin or vodka
- Pimiento-stuffed olives
- 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth
- Ice cubes
Fill the shaker three-quarters full of ice. Cover and shake the gin and vermouth until condensation creates on the outside of the shaker. Fill a chilled cocktail glass halfway with ice. Strain into the glass halfway with ice. Olives can be used as a garnish.
The Zombie Cocktail is a drink that was first created in the early 1930s and was named after the movie “Zombie” that came out in 1932. This tropical concoction will be a hit at any beach-themed parties or tiki bars.
- 1-1/2 oz. of golden rum
- 1/2 oz. of white rum
- 1 oz. of dark rum
- 1 tsp. of papaya juice
- 1 tsp. of pineapple juice
- 1 tsp. of superfine sugar
- 1 oz. of lime juice
In a glass over ice, mix all the ingredients and stir thoroughly. Stir in 1/2 oz—151-proof rum into the mixture.
The screwdriver is a drink that is made with vodka and orange juice. It’s one of the most popular drinks globally, and it’s easy to make, and it only takes two ingredients: vodka and orange juice.
This drink is perfect for those mornings when you need to get out the door quickly. It’s quick and easy to make, and it has excellent taste. Plus, it’s perfect for those who enjoy acidic drinks.
- 3 ounces of orange juice
- 2 ounces of vodka
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup ice cubes
- Orange slice
Fill a rocks glass halfway with ice. In a glass, combine the vodka and orange juice, and garnish with a slice of orange.
The mimosa is a classic brunch drink, and it’s easy to make. This drink is often served at brunches, but it’s also great for any time of day. If you want something with more flavor, try a Paloma instead. The Paloma includes cilantro, sea salt, and lemon juice-plus it uses Reposado tequila instead of Triple Sec.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for coffee drinks instead of cocktails, try the mimosa with coffee beans in place of agave syrup.
- 2 ounces of orange juice
- 2 ounces of chilled champagne or other sparkling wine
- 1/2 ounce of Triple Sec
Garnish: Orange slice
Fill a champagne flute or wine glass halfway with champagne. In a glass, combine the Triple Sec and orange juice. Garnish with desired garnishes.
Learning to stir your own handmade cocktails is a fantastic idea for parties. Making your blended drinks at home saves both time and money.
Leave a comment and review below if you start making any of these drinks.