It's a truth universally known that going out for drinks gets... kinda expensive. But what if you brought the party home? These 25 cheap and easy cocktails will turn your home bar into the neighborhood's hottest cocktail bar in town. Just grab your favorite mixers and a bit of creativity, and you'll be on your way to mixing impressive drinks for your friends without breaking the budget. Don't be surprised when they start calling you their new favorite bartender!
It's probably no surprise that the shorter your cocktail's ingredient list is, the more affordable it will be to mix up at home. Luckily, some of the most classic cocktails of all don't require more than three ingredients (really!). When in doubt, mixer + booze = always a good time. If you prefer to set out some fun mixers (like flavored seltzers, sodas, juices, and bitters), your friends are basically halfway to a killer cocktail. Honestly, when has a rum & Coke (or a Cuba Libre if you like it a bit on the tart side), a whiskey ginger, a Dark 'N' Stormy, or a vodka tonic ever let you down? Even if you want to go to the next level, we've also included more advanced (yet still affordable) cocktails, like our recipes for pineapple margaritas and strawberry daiquiris.
If your bar cart is in need of some love, we've got plenty of guides on how to restock your cart so you'll be mixing in no time. We taste-tested all the best tequilas, rums, whiskey, vodkas, and gins on the market (hard job, we know) to complete your home bar. We've also rounded up all of our top bartending kits for you (or your favorite at-home bartender).
Nothing kicks off brunch quite like a mimosa. If you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side, bump up the orange juice to 3 ounces per glass, or go for a sweeter bottle of bubbly. To play up the orange flavor, try adding a dash of orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, or a few dashes of orange bitters.
Get the Classic Mimosa recipe.
Rum and Coke
The right proportions are everything in the perfect rum and coke. For a spin on this classic, add a splash of lime juice to turn this cocktail into another rum-based standby: the Cuba Libre.
Get the Rum and Coke recipe.
When we’re feeling the beach vibes, we reach for a pineapple margarita. Fresh and fruity with the perfect kick of tequila, this margarita will take you straight to the shore, frosty glass in hand, in less time than it takes to squeeze those limes.
Get the Pineapple Margarita recipe.
What’s not to love about a simple, classic cocktail like the Tom Collins? It’s basically a spiked and sparkling lemonade, served in a Collins glass, obviously, which immediately inducts it into the summer cocktail hall of fame.
Get the Tom Collins recipe.
Sex On The Beach
Peachy, tart, and citrusy, this is the perfect drink to wind down with after a long day. It's our favorite summer cocktail that makes us feel like we're on the beach no matter where we are. 😎
Get the Sex On The Beach recipe.
A sort of effervescent, less-sweet version of a margarita, only 3 ingredients are required for ranch eater: tequila, lime juice, and seltzer. (Preferably Topo Chico; some claim it’s not a real Ranch Water without it!) We like adding a splash of orange liqueur like Cointreau for a little added sweetness and citrus flavor too.
Get theRanch Water recipe.
Dark 'N' Stormy
Deceptively simple to mix up, the Dark 'N' Stormy delivers a refreshingly complex wave of spice and zing. Want it with a twist? Try our Frozen Dark 'N’ Stormy!
Get the Dark 'N' Stormy recipe.
A similar vibe to a vodka soda, vodka tonic is a little bit sweeter. Adding citrus is a nonnegotiable for us. We love lemons and limes, but blood orange slices add a fun pop of color and zing too!
Get the Vodka Tonic recipe.
Bright and colorful, sweet with just a hint of booze, the Dirty Shirley Temple is quickly gaining popularity with cocktail drinkers. And who can blame them? It’s a boozy version of that nostalgic beverage so many of us grew up with—and let’s be honest, what too-sweet mocktail can’t be improved with a shot of vodka?
Get the Dirty Shirley recipe.
In the states, people tend to scoff at the idea of mixing anything with wine (though we at Delish clearly do not, check out our red wine mules and Champagne margaritas); however, in the Basque region of Spain, they aren't only drinking sangria—in fact, mixing wine with soft drinks is somewhat of an obsession all over Spain. One of the most popular iterations is called Kalimotxo. All it takes to make a Kalimotxo is two ingredients: Coke and red wine. We know it might seem crazy, but this combo truly is something special.
Get the Kalimotxo recipe.
Is there any whiskey cocktail more iconic and simple than a whiskey ginger? It’s just two ingredients, but it’s truly one of the best bubbly/spirit combinations out there. To go the extra mile, we wanted a homemade, showstopper garnish, and we couldn’t think of anything more fitting than fresh, spicy candied ginger. Not only does it look great atop a drink, but it's also great for snacking.
Get the Whiskey Ginger recipe.
Our classic version of sangria is light and bubbly with an addition of seltzer water and the perfect ratio of wine to brandy. It's also perfect all year round: Skip the summer berries and swap in fall fruits like pears and apples to keep enjoying this summer classic whenever the craving strikes.
Get the Red Sangria recipe.
The margarita, now one of the most popular cocktails in the world, is thought to have started out as the variation on another prohibition-era drink called the "Daisy." Spanish for "daisy," the marg swapped in tequila for the requisite brandy and lime juice for lemon juice, and a classic was born.
Get the Classic Margaritas recipe.
Created in the 1970s at the Soggy Dollar Bar in British Virgin Islands, the Painkiller lives up to its name, delivering plenty of booze in a frothy, nutmeg-dusted package.
Get the Painkiller Cocktail recipe.
Spiked Seltzer Slushies
If you thought a can of White Claw was perfect on its own, you haven't given it a whirl in your blender. This recipe (if you can even call it that!) can be easily customized based on what flavors and fruits you prefer. Our favorite combos: lemon-flavored spiked seltzer + frozen strawberries or mango + frozen pineapple.
Get the Spiked Seltzer Slushies recipe.
The key to a good mojito is in the muddling, but if you don’t have a muddler, that’s okay! You can use a wooden spoon or any other kitchen tool that could be used to mash and grind in a glass. For a mojito, you want to muddle mint just enough so that the leaves emit their natural oils, but not too much that they bruise or break into pieces. Mix the mint with lime, rum, and simple syrup, top with soda, and you’ll swear you’re on the beach.
Get the Mint Mojito recipe.
Perfect Strawberry Daiquiri
The mix of fresh and frozen strawberries in this recipe is the trick for a smooth, frosty daiquiri. If you love this drink, then we think you'll really love our strawberry frosé.
Get the Strawberry Daiquiri recipe.
Crafted with ingredients you already have in your fridge, the gin rickey is as refreshing as it is simple to make and, not to mention, low-carb! So if you have limes, club soda, and gin, you’re well on your way.
Get the Gin Rickey recipe.
The Aperol Spritz, also known as the Spritz Veneziano, is an Italian classic that has an iconic bittersweetness reminiscent of burnt orange and tart rhubarb. When paired with Prosecco and a bit of soda water, it makes an amazing cocktail to drink in the warmer months.
Get the Aperol Spritz recipe.
Spiked Sparkling Basil Lemonade
Basil-infused vodka? Sign us up. This lemonade cocktail brings out the sweetness of the herb and turns the spirit a vibrant green.
Mojitos, 3 Ways
For when you just can’t choose—and why should you? These easy, customizable mojitos come together fast, muddled with fresh mint and pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries.
Get the Mojitos, Three Ways recipe.
Moscow Mule Punch
This punch is basically one enormous Moscow mule, which means that you don't have to play bartender all night. Delicious drink, shareable portions, no shaking needed? Win, win, win!
Get the Moscow Mule Punch recipe.
Perfect Piña Colada
Tangy pineapple blended with spiced rum and rich coconut milk makes this a vacation in a glass. Pairs perfectly with getting caught in the rain.
Get the Classic Piña Colada recipe.
Though the margarita has become a staple of American bars, the margarita's pink-hued cousin, the Paloma, is heralded by many in Mexico as the better cocktail. It's beloved not just for its bittersweet, citrusy grapefruit flavor but also for its simplicity. Not counting ice, all you need is 4 ingredients: tequila, lime juice, salt, and grapefruit soda.
Get the Classic Paloma recipe.
This is a delicious cocktail every home bartender needs to know. It tastes like a chocolate boozy milkshake, and only requires three easy ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Get the White Russian recipe.
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