2-Ingredient Cocktails You’ll Want to Memorize

Updated: May 19, 2023

Sipping cocktails should be a simple pleasure. With these delectable two-ingredient cocktails, simplicity is assured, as is pleasure!

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pink cocktail on the counter bar.
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For this classic cocktail, simply pour two ounces of gin into a cocktail glass, and top with grapefruit juice to taste. Serve it with salt on the glass’s rim to make it a Salty Dog.

Check out more gin cocktails.

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Negroni Cocktail with orange and ice.
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Extra Dry Negroni

Here’s a classic made with gin, Campari (a dark red bitters liqueur) and red vermouth. For an extra dry negroni and an enchantingly simple two-ingredient cocktail, skip the vermouth and serve over ice with a twist of orange.

More classic cocktails you should know.

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rusty nail cocktail
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Rusty Nail

Be like Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack: Make the Rusty Nail your go-to two-ingredient cocktail. It’s simply two parts Scotch whiskey to a half part Drambuie liqueur. Served on the rocks or straight up, it’s an old-school classic that sings with simplicity.

Check out other Rat Pack favorites.

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Martini cocktail in glass with olives at the bottom on dark wooden background top view.
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The martini may be the iconic two-ingredient cocktail, with the basic format being three parts gin or vodka and a half part vermouth. A dry martini uses less vermouth; a wet martini, more. Whether you prefer it shaken or stirred, up or on the rocks, it doesn’t get much more simple and elegant than this. Garnish with an olive or a twist of lemon.

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Americano Cocktail with lemon and ice.
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The Americano is another old-school classic that deconstructs the Negroni by keeping the vermouth and Campari while skipping the gin. Simply pour equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth over the rocks. A splash of club soda is optional for a sparkling version.

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Irish coffee in glass on wooden table

Irish Coffee

Traditionally, Irish coffee consists of strong coffee, brown sugar, Irish whiskey and cream. But you can make it with a cup of strong coffee and an ounce of Irish cream liqueur. If you want to garnish, add a bit of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

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three cocktails in a row, gin/martini/vodka


A Gibson is essentially a martini with a cocktail onion garnish. Traditionally, it starts with a bit less vermouth, but you can work the proportions to your taste.

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Coffee cocktail
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Black Russian

The classic Black Russian is vodka plus kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur) on a two-to-one ratio, though you can adjust the ratio to your liking. Serve over ice in an old-fashioned rocks glass. For a White Russian, top with cream.

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Two glasses with mimosa cocktail
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The classic mimosa calls for orange juice and a splash of champagne. We love it because it’s the perfect accompaniment to brunch!

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Two glasses of bellini cocktail with bouquet of roses
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A classic Bellini is just like a mimosa, except you use peach nectar in place of the orange juice.

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Fresh home made Tom Collins cocktails with lemon
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Summer Collins

For a simple Summer Collins, use equal parts gin and lemonade. Serve over ice with an optional fruit garnish. For a Vodka Collins, use vodka in place of gin. In the winter, try these vodka drinks.

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Caipirinha cocktail with lime

Rose’s Gimlet

A gimlet is kind of like a Collins, except it uses lime in place of lemon. Use two parts gin to one part sweetened lime juice (like Rose’s). Shake and pour over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Serve with a wedge of lime.

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Homemade classic margarita drink with lime and salt
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Skinny Margarita

The classic margarita uses tequila, lemon, lime, orange liqueur and a bit of sweetener. But you can make it simple by mixing tequila and a hint of Rose’s lime juice. Shake over ice and serve. Salt optional.

Take your drink to the next level with these fancy margaritas.

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Screwdriver Cocktail with vodka, ice and orange juice.
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This classic cocktail is simply vodka plus orange juice served over ice. An orange slice for garnish is completely optional.

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Cape Codder Cocktail with lime and ice
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It doesn’t have a clever name, but walk into any bar, and hear lots of folks ordering a good old vodka-cranberry. Garnish it with a lime and call it a Cape Codder. You can go the extra mile by using this homemade cranberry juice.

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Juicy grapefruit cocktail with ice and alcohol
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Simple Paloma

The classic Paloma is made of tequila, grapefruit, lime, and a sweetener. You can make a shortcut version by mixing equal parts tequila and soda—either Fresca or grapefruit-flavored Jarritos works. Serve on the rocks with a wedge of lime for squeezing to taste. Don’t forget to try this tequila old-fashioned.

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mug of beer on wooden background; Shutterstock ID 770835364; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH 2-ingredient cocktails
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Juicy Julep

A classic mint julep consists of bourbon, simple syrup and muddled mint leaves. But when we asked our Southern friends about the tricks to making a mint julep, we were told it doesn’t actually have to be “mint” at all. To make our version of a Juicy Julep, simply leave out the mint, and substitute a flavored simple syrup for a plain simple syrup.

Next, take a trip to the Big Easy with this sophisticated Sazerac recipe, the official cocktail of New Orleans.