Some days, it’s all about hanging with friends on that comfy couch. The only thing you need is the right selection of easy alcoholic drinks to make at home, especially when you’re not rolling in cash to go out and get a ton of supplies.
It can be fun to watch a professional bartender add a dozen ingredients to a mixing glass, half of which you never expected in a drink or can’t even identify. That experience is best for the bar, however—at home, you’d rather open the cupboard doors and find everything you need.
When you do choose to stay at home with friends, your partner, or even flying solo, you can still enjoy a long list of fantastic drinks without spending a fortune to stock your home bar.
We promise we won’t make you work too hard to enjoy a glass! As for ingredients, each of these drinks are capped at three—there are some additional garnishes if you feel like it, but we’ll leave that to you.
Keep reading to discover the top 5 easy alcoholic drinks to make at home.
For a gin drink that’s not a martini, try the negroni. This cocktail has become such a favorite that it’s spawned a million equally-easy variations, but here we’ll spell out the basic.
- 1 ounce of dry gin
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce of sweet vermouth
You can serve a negroni on the rocks or straight up. Here are the instructions for on the rocks:
- Combine the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
- Stir to combine.
- If you want a garnish for some added aromatics, twist a thin piece of orange peel and leave it on top.
Here’s how you can serve a negroni straight up:
- Combine ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Stir well for half a minute.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
A favorite of favorites, this delicious whiskey drink will keep you content all night. The Old Fashioned is already two centuries old, speaking to its remarkable venerability. Make this one right, and you’ll have a strong-but-not-too-strong, sweet-but-not-too-sweet glass of pure delight.
Old Fashioned Ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar (or 1 sugar cube)
- 2-3 dashes of bitters
- 2 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey
- Orange or cocktail cherry as garnish (optional)
- Combine the whiskey, sugar and bitters in a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir to chill.
- Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.
- If you chose a garnish, drop that on top.
For a quick-and-dirty tequila option, look no further than the margarita. This has often been called the perfectly-balanced cocktail, and for good reason. Do note that the salt on the glass edge is technically optional, though many would say it’s the “required” fourth ingredient.
- 2 ounces of Cointreau
- 4 ounces of blanco tequila
- 1 1/2 ounces of freshly-squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt (for glass rims, optional)
- 1 lime wedge and 2 lime wheels for garnish (optional)
- Run the lime wedge around the outer rim of the glass and dip the rim into salt (if you desire).
- In a shaker, combine the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice with ice.
- Shake thoroughly until chilled (try 15 seconds).
- Strain the margarita into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish if you desire.
Your easy rum option couldn’t be easier. And don’t be fooled, this is not the same thing as a rum and Coke—a Cuba libre has an added twist that makes all the difference.
Cuba Libre Ingredients:
- 1 lime
- 2 ounces of dark or anejo rum
- Coca-Cola (or your preference of cola)
- Squeeze the lime’s juice into a fresh glass.
- Drop half of the spent lime shell into the glass to muddle the oils into the lime juice at the bottom.
- Fill the glass with ice, then add the rum and top with cola. Stir briefly before serving.
Ah, the vodka option! Even if you’re not the biggest vodka fan, this classic is worth trying, especially if you’re hosting an impromptu party. Do note that these are usually served in copper glasses, but we won’t judge if we catch you drinking out of the top half of a shaker.
Moscow Mule Ingredients:
- 1/2 a lime
- 2 ounces of vodka
- 4 to 6 ounces of chilled ginger beer
- Squeeze the lime into your glass and drop in the spent lime shell into the juice.
- Fill the glass with ice and then add vodka, topping with chilled ginger beer to taste.
We’re hoping you’re ready now for 5 o’clock. Need just one more ingredient to make one of these fantastically simple and easy drinks happen?