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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.

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Red Sangria

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.

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The other sangrias featured in the video above are our Quick White Sangria and Salty Dog Sangria.

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Boozy Bubbly Lemon French 75 Cocktail with ChampagneBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

French 75

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.

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Moscow Mule

Originally developed in the 1940s, the Moscow Mule has made a big comeback is now one of the most popular mixed drinks. Could be it’s refreshing taste or that pretty copper mug (or both!).

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.

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Chocolate Martini

Is it a beverage or a dessert? Don’t let its looks fool you: This chocolate martini is potent but good!

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.

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Spiked Lemonade Exps Thsum18 37199 D02 01 8b 2

Spiked Lemonade

Rum gives a tropical addition to this fabulous homemade lemonade. If you have vodka on hand, try that instead of the rum.

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.

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Bloody Mary

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.

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Fresh Lime Margaritas

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.

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Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

The concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s. This version is extremely popular in Wisconsin. (Psst! You’ll love these other brandy cocktails.)

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. Yield1 serving.

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White Russian

This creamy coffee-flavored drink is a star at any occasion and perfect for any season. A White Russian is equally appropriate before or after dinner.

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.

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Mojito

Traditional mojitos are made with rum, which is both pleasant and mildly sweet.

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.

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Passion Fruit Hurricanes Exps Jmz18 37571 C03 14 8b 3

Passion Fruit Hurricanes

This is a version of the famous Hurricane beverage that’s so popular in New Orleans.

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.

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Paloma

This summer-perfect cocktail is refreshing without being too sweet.

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.

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Americano Cocktail with lemon and ice.Shutterstock / Alp Aksoy

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.

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Pina Coladas

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.

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Martini

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.

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Gin Tonic With Lemon, Mint And CucumberWestend61/Getty Images

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.

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Irish Coffee Exps Ft19 37413 F 1024 1 3

Irish Coffee

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.

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Michelada

Try this kicked-up beer cocktail that’s a zesty mix of Mexican lager, lime juice and hot sauce. There are many variations, but this easy recipe is perfect for rookie mixologists.

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.

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Homemade Boozy Frozen Mudslide Cocktailbhofack2/Getty Images

Mudslide

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.

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Homemade Whiskey Sour Cocktail Drink with a Cherry LemonBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Whiskey Sour

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.

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Glass of sidecar orange cocktail decorated with lemon at bar counter background.Andrei Mayatnik/Shutterstock

Sidecar

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.

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Homemade Refreshing Zombie Tiki Drink Cocktailbhofack2/Getty Images

Zombie Cocktail

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.

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Champagne Cocktail Exps Hca18 37100 B04 26 6b 5

Champagne Cocktail

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.

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Homemade New Orleans Sazerac Cocktail with Bitters and RyeBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Sazerac

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.

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Gimlet Kamikaze Cocktail In Crystal Glasses With Lime Slice And Ice On Wooden Board With Fresh Limes And Jigger With Strainer.DenisMArt/Getty Images

Gimlet

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.

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Taste of Home

Black Russian

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.

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Screwdriver Cocktail with vodka, ice and orange juice.Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Screwdriver

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.

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Homemade Red Boulevardier Cocktail with Orange GarnishBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Boulevardier

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.

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Homemade Alcoholic Vesper Martini with a Lemon Twist; Shutterstock ID 1098618356; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Vesper

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.

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Pineapple Rum Punch

If you want a taste of the tropics, this is the drink for you.
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!
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Mint Julep

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.

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Juicy Orange and Red Tequila Sunrise with a CherryBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Tequila Sunrise

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.

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Classic cocktail Negroni with gin, campari and martini rossoShyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock

Negroni

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.

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Mimosa

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.

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Mai Tai

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.

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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