35 Easy Mixed Drinks Anyone Can Master
You don't need to be a bartender to perfect these easy mixed drinks! In fact, these popular mixed drinks can be made right at home and are perfect for impressing guests.
This sangria is perfect for relaxed get-togethers and it’s even better if you make it the night before and let the flavors steep. But watch out—it goes down easy.
Directions: In a pitcher, stir together 1 (750 ml) bottle of merlot, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of orange liqueur and ½-1 cup of brandy until the sugar has dissolved. Top with 3 cups of cold lemon-lime soda or sparkling water and your choice of sliced fruit. Serve over ice. Yield: about 10 servings.
French 75 was a drink created at Harry’s New York Bar, which is located in Paris France, during WWI. The original version of the drink had a powerful kick, like French 75 mm artillery gun. The version here uses less gin.
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker three-fourths full with ice. Add 3/4 of an ounce of gin, 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar or simple syrup and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; cover and shake 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into a flute glass and top with champagne. Yield: 1 serving.
Also check out what are bitters and how do you use them in cocktails?
Directions: Combine 4 cups ginger beer, 2/3 cup lime juice and 1-1/4 cups vodka in a pitcher. Serve over ice. If desired, serve with lime slices. Yield: 6 servings.
Directions: If desired, give your martini glass a chocolate rim and drizzle chocolate syrup in the glass. Then, fill a tumbler or mixing glass three-fourths full with ice. Add 2-1/2 ounces of half-and-half cream, 1-1/2 ounces of vodka, 1-1/2 ounces of chocolate liqueur and 1-1/2 ounces creme de cacao; stir until condensation forms on the outside of the tumbler. Strain into the martini glass.Yield: 1 serving.
Directions: Stir 1 cup of light rum into 2 quarts of homemade lemonade.
For each serving, place ¾-1 cup of ice in a Collins or highball glass. Pour lemonade mixture into glass and garnish with lemon slices, if desired. Yield: about 8 servings.
Horseradish makes this one of the best Bloody Mary recipes in the world.
Directions: Garnish rim of tall glass with celery salt. Place remaining ice in prepared glass. Add 2 oz. vodka, 1 cup tomato juice, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1-1/2 tsp. lime juice, 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. horseradish, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1/8 tsp celery salt and 1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce to shaker; cover and shake. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish as desired. Yield: 1 serving.[/rms_recipe]
This basic margarita recipe is easy to modify to your tastes.
Directions: In a pitcher, combine 1/2 cup tequila, 1/2 cup Triple Sec, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons superfine sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Moisten rims of four margarita or cocktail glasses with lime wedges. Sprinkle salt on a plate; dip rims in salt. Serve in prepared glasses over crushed ice. Yield: 4 servings.[/rms_recipe]
Directions: In a rocks glass, muddle 1 orange slice, 1 maraschino cherry, 1-1/2 oz. maraschino cherry juice and 1 teaspoon bitters. Add 1/4 cup ice. Pour in 1-1/2 oz. brandy, 2 teaspoons water, 1 teaspoon orange juice and 3 oz. lemon-lime soda. Yield: 1 serving.
Directions: Add a few ice cubes to a rock glass and stir in 1-1/2 ounces vodka and 1-1/2 ounces Kahlua. Then top with 3 ounces heavy whipping cream or milk. Yield: 1 serving.
Directions: Squeeze and drop a lime wedge into a highball glass. Then, add 2 teaspoons of sugar and muddle together. Gently press or slap 2 sprigs of mint and add to glass along with some ice. Pour 2 ounces of white rum and top with club soda. Garnish with a lime slice and additional mint, if desired. Yield: 1 serving.
Directions: In a pitcher, combine 2 cups of passion fruit juice, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3/4 cup of lime juice, 3/4 cup of light rum, 3/4 cup of dark rum and 3 tablespoons of grenadine; stir until sugar is dissolved. Then, add ice to 6 hurricane or highball glasses and evenly divide the cocktail between the glasses. Yield: 6 servings.
Directions: In a highball glass filled with ice, combine a dash of salt, 1-1/2 ounces of tequila and 1/2 an ounce of lime juice. Top with grapefruit soda or sparkling peach citrus soda and garnish with a lime wedge. Yield: 1 serving.
Also check out how to use bitters in more than just cocktails.
Americano Cocktail Recipe
The cocktail contains the bittersweet taste of Campari paired with sweet vermouth and club soda.
Directions: Pour 1-1/2 oz Campari and 1-1/2 oz sweet vermouth into an ice-filled glass. Then, pour in 3 oz. club soda, and stir well. Yield: 1 serving.
A velvety-smooth texture and taste of the tropics are what this pina colada delivers.
Directions: In a 2-qt. pitcher, combine 2-1/4 cups pineapple juice, 1 can cream of coconut and 1-1/2 cups rum. Chill. For each serving, place a generous cup of rum mixture and 1 cup ice in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a chilled hurricane glass. Garnish each with a pineapple wedge. Yield: 6 servings. [/rms_recipe]
Martinis can be made with either vodka or gin. Our taste panel’s preference was for the gin, but try them both and decide for yourself. Be warned, this is a strong and serious drink.
Directions: Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Add 3 oz. gin or vodka and 1/2 oz. dry vermouth; cover and shake until condensation forms on outside of shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with olives. Yield: 1 serving.[/rms_recipe]
Gin and Tonic
This iconic drink is super easy to make.
Directions: Pour 3 oz. gin, 4 oz. tonic water and 1 tablespoon lime juice over ice in a chilled glass. Stir well. Yield: 1 serving.
My maternal grandma was never a drinker, beyond a glass of champagne at Christmas, but she couldn’t resist Bailey’s Irish Coffee.
Directions: Divide 2 teaspoons of sugar and 2 ounces of Irish whiskey between 2 mugs; then top with coffee. If desired, beat together 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of green creme de menthe until a whipped cream forms and top the coffees. Yield: 2 servings.[/rms_recipe]
Directions: If desired, give your glass a salt rim. Then, fill a large glass with ice. In the glass, combine 6 dashes of hot sauce, 3 dashes of Maggi seasoning or soy sauce, 1-3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, ¼-⅓ cup of lime juice and 1 bottle (12 ounces) of Corona, Modelo or Tecate. Garnish with lime wedges. Yield: 1 serving.
Creamy in texture and rich in taste, the mudslide is basically the equivalent of an adult milkshake.
Directions: In a blender, combine 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream, 1 oz. Kahlua, 1 oz. vodka, 1 oz. cream and ice. Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Pour into a chilled glass. Yield: 1 serving.
Don’t let the name fool you. Even though cocktail does contain lip-puckering lemon, the simple syrup and bourbon add extra sweetness.
Directions: In a shaker, combine 1-1/2 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. simple syrup, 3/4 oz. lemon juice and ice. Shake well, and pour into glass. Garnish with a cherry. Yield: 1 serving.
Welcome summer with this tart citrus delight. Treat yourself to this sunny drink.
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker three-fourths full with ice. Add 1 ounce of brandy, 2/3 of an ounce of triple sec and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice. Cover and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Yield: 1 serving.
This tropical drink will be a sure crowd-pleaser at any beach themed parties or tiki bars.
Directions: Combine 1-1/2 oz. golden rum, 1/2 oz. white rum, 1 oz. dark rum, 1 teaspoon papaya juice, 1 teaspoon pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon superfine sugar and 1 oz. lime juice over ice in a glass. Stir well. Pour 1/2 oz. 151-proof rum into the mixture, stirring it in. Yield: 1 serving.
This amber drink is a champagne twist on the traditional old-fashioned.
Directions: Place 1 sugar cube in a champagne flute or cocktail glass; sprinkle with 6 dashes of bitters. Add 1/2 oz. brandy; top with 1/2 cup chilled champagne. If desired, top with rosemary and cranberries. Yield: 1 serving.[/rms_recipe]
Hailing from the busy streets of New Orleans, the Sazerac cocktail is ideal for whiskey lovers.
Directions: Rinse out a glass using absinthe. In a separate glass, stir 1 sugar cube, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and 3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters. Pour in 2 oz. rye whiskey, then fill the glass with ice. Stir the mixture, then strain into the rinsed out, prepared glass. Place the lemon peel over the top of the drink, and discard once oils have been extracted. Yield: 1 serving.
Take a trip to the Big Easy with this sophisticated Sazerac recipe, the official cocktail of New Orleans.
For the light drinker, suggest a Gimlet. The blend of slightly sweet and tart flavors is appealing, but not overwhelming. You can also use vodka if gin isn’t your favorite.
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker three-fourths full with ice. Add 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of lime juice and 1 teaspoon of confectioners’ sugar; cover and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a lime slice. Yield: 1 serving.
Here are no-fuss black Russians that are smooth as silk. Perfect for those who aren’t sure what they want.
Directions: Place ice in a rocks glass and top with 1 ounce of vodka and 1 ounce of Kahlua. Yield: 1 serving.
With just two simple ingredients, you’ll have a classic drink that’s a real crowd-pleaser.
Directions: Place ice in a rocks glass. Pour in 2 ounces of vodka and 3 ounces of orange juice and garnish with an orange slice. Yield: 1 serving.
The boulevardier cocktail is a great option for serving at a formal dinner party or more elegant event.
Directions: Stir 1 oz. sweet vermouth, 1 oz. Campari and 1-1/2 oz. bourbon whiskey in a glass filled with ice. Strain, then pour into a chilled glass. Yield: 1 serving.
One thing is for sure: The Vesper is not for the faint of heart. The simple cocktail is created using three types of liquor, making the drink a very potent one.
Directions: Stir 1 oz. vodka, 3 oz. gin and 1/2 oz. Lillet Blanc in a glass filled with ice. Strain, then pour into a chilled glass. Rub lemon peel along the rim of the glass, and drop it in. Yield: 1 serving.
Directions: In a pitcher, combine 3-1/2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice, 1-1/2 cups orange juice, 1 cup coconut water, 1 cup orange-peach-mango juice, 1 cup coconut rum, 1 cup dark rum, 1/4 cup key lime juice (regular limes are OK, too) and 3 tablespoons of grenadine. Just stir and serve over ice! Yield: 12 servings—this one’s for a party!
It wouldn’t be Kentucky Derby Day without mint juleps! But, really, this cocktail is good anytime.
Directions: Make mint simple syrup. Cover and refrigerate syrup for at least 2 hours or until chilled. For each serving, place ice in a metal julep cup or rocks glass. Pour 1/4 cup mint syrup and 1 oz. bourbon into the glass; stir until mixture is well chilled. Garnish with mint sprig. Yield: 10 servings.
When you really want to relax and enjoy the evening try one of these mild orange-flavored Tequila Sunrises.
Directions: Place ice in a Collins or highball glass. Add 1-1/2 ounces of tequila and 4-1/2 ounces of orange juice to the glass, then slowly pour 1-1/2 teaspoons of grenadine over a bar spoon into the center of the drink. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry. Yield: 1 serving.
Bitter and sweet flavors coexist peacefully in the Negroni cocktail.
Directions: Pour 1-1/2 oz. sweet vermouth, 1-1/2oz. Campari and 1-1/2 oz. gin in a glass filled with ice. Stir well. Yield: 1 serving.
A standard offering at brunches, Mimosas are as pretty as they are tasty.
Directions: Pour 2 oz. champagne into a champagne flute or wine glass. Pour 1/2 oz. Triple Sec and 2 oz. orange juice into the glass. Garnish as desired. Yield: 1 serving.[/rms_recipe]
This party favorite has been around for quite some time. It’s not overly fruity and features a good blend of sweet and sour.
Directions: Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Place additional ice in a rocks glass; set aside. Add 2 oz. light rum, 3/4 oz. triple sec, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice and 1-1/2 teaspoons amaretto to shaker; cover and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on outside of shaker. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish as desired. Yield: 1 serving.[/rms_recipe]
Next, check out these 15 types of cocktail glasses that serious mixologists recommend.