Raise a glass to our simple cocktail recipes, where we share ten delicious cocktails that only have a few ingredients and don’t require a lot of effort, and are easy to make, so you can get back to your all important entertaining.
Some require a cocktail shaker and strainer, but if you are already thinking about making cocktails we’re sure you have one tucked away somewhere, and if you don’t, then anything with a tight fitting lid and a kitchen sieve will serve as the next best thing!
CLASSIC GIN & TONIC
Although contrary to many beliefs, this isn’t actually classed as a cocktail, it's a spirit mixer, however we’re putting this on the list, because if you know how to make a good G&T, then you are already half way there to being able to make a good cocktail. Like all good drinks ice is the key ingredient to getting the perfect outcome.
35ml Gin of choice
100ml Tonic of choice
Fill a tall glass (AKA hiball) to the top with cubed ice, pour your gin in, then your tonic, stir, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and wipe it around the rim then pop it into your drink. Hey presto you have the perfect G&T serve. The ice filled to the top of the glass means the ice is less likely to melt and dilute your drink, (this is due to the ice touching each other). It also means you don’t completely flood your gin with too much tonic. The lemon squeeze adds a nice freshness to the beverage and the lemon on the rim, is great on the nose while you sip away. You’ll never make your G&T any other way again – you’re welcome!
From this you can then pimp your G&T’s anyway you like, by swapping out the lemon with something different, or try using a flavoured gin, or adding 15ml of a flavoured liqueur to the mix. Remember some gin’s have a perfect way of serving their spirit, so read the back of the bottle to get the best out of the drink.
This cocktail is light and refreshing and reminds us of summer days. Although it is possible to be served a really bad version of this when it’s not done right. It has a bittersweet, aromatic taste, so the ingredients need to be balanced perfectly. Aperol spritz is a sparkling wine-based cocktail, normally consumed as an aperitif before dinner. Originally created in Padua, Italy in 1919, and only became popular around the world in the late 2010s as we see today.
Fill a wine goblet or large glass with ice cubes, put your Prosecco in, then your Aperol, and top with your 50ml of soda water. Garnish with a fresh orange wheel, and enjoy. We like to squeeze a bit of our orange into the glass as well.
Tequila. Not everyone’s favourite, but it’s certainly one of ours. It has now become so much more than a shooter, and choosing a good tequila is first and foremost the most important step. Always choose a 100% agave brand, Tequilas that are 100% agave are only made from Blue Weber agave sugars. They are not watered down, so the purity of the agave plant comes through, and will dramatically improve the flavour of any tequila based drink. You’re also less likely to get a hangover with 100%, which is a win win for anyone.
Fun fact for you…lemon and salt was only served up with a tequila shooter because generally it was to hide the taste of a poor quality tequila. Choose a good brand, and you’ll never shoot it with lemon or salt again, it’s like velvet in your mouth.
25ml Triple sec
25ml Lime juice
A classic margarita has salt on the rim of the glass - just grab a lime wedge and rub it on the rim of a coupe glass and then press the rim onto some salt flakes - rock slat or pink Himalayan salt is best used here. Fill one half of a shaker with ice, pour in the ingredients and give it a good shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain this into your salted glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
This widely loved aperitif is a very simple Italian cocktail, and only has three components. Legend has it that this delight originated at Caffe Casoni, situated in the City of Dreams, AKA Florence. If you like bitter, strong and slow sipping cocktails, this one is for you.
25ml Sweet vermouth
Fill a lobal/rock glass with ice to the top, pop all of your ingredients in, and give it a stir for 30 – 60 seconds, depending on how much dilution you like (taste along the way). Garnish with an orange zest twist, sip and enjoy.
There is a legend that in World War I French troops in the trenches had all the ingredients to make this cocktail but no glasses to drink it out of so it was served in 75mm artillery shells instead. We find this a little hard to believe but it’s a fairly interesting take none the less. This cocktail requires a bit of shaking so get your set ready.
20ml Lemon juice
12ml Sugar syrup (you can make this by dissolving 1 part sugar into 2 parts boiling water)
Top with Champagne or Prosecco (traditionally Champagne)
Fill one half of your shaker with ice and pour in the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Secure the other half and give it a real good shake. Strain this into a chilled flute glass and top with Champagne or Prosecco. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy being taken back to the 1920’s.
This is a very popular classic that you no doubt would’ve had or heard of almost everywhere. It was created in the 1980s and was allegedly created by Dick Bradsell when a young super model asked for something that would “wake her up and f*** her up” This only requires three ingredients and some ice. An important note to make on this, is that you will need fresh espresso – instant coffee just doesn’t work. This also helps you to get that all important foam.
50ml Coffee liqueur
50ml Fresh espresso (swap for decaf if you are sensitive)
Fill one half of your shaker with ice and pour in the ingredients. Secure the other half of the shaker and give it a long vigorous shake for about 20-30 seconds. Strain this mix into a chilled martini glass and garnish with three coffee beans onto your dreamy foam top, serve and enjoy. If you don’t fancy making this one from scratch order yourself one from Swygge.
DARK 'N' STORMY
This is a Bermudan classic, it’s very similar to the Moscow mule except that the Dark 'n' Stormy has dark rum instead of vodka. The flavorful Dark 'N' Stormy cocktail originated in Bermuda immediately after World War I, where an early member of the Gosling rum family combined Gosling's Black Seal rum and the local Barritt's ginger beer. It can only be called a Dark’N’Stormy if you use this particular rum, and trust us it’s a goody.
50ml Dark rum
10ml Simple syrup (you can make this by dissolving 1 part sugar into 2 parts boiling water)
20ml Fresh lime juice
Angostura Bitters (if you don’t have this don’t worry)
75ml Ginger beer
Fill an ice filled shaker with the first four ingredients and shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice, then top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge and voila.
Possibly the most complicated one we have in this collection, but it's really not complicated to make, it just has a few more ingredients that the rest, but is oh so delicious. The first mention of the whiskey sour was in 1862 from The Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas. However, it is very likely that we were drinking sours long before this. Like so many other cocktails, we have the sailors to thank for this one.
60ml Bourbon whiskey
30ml Lemon juice
15ml Simple syrup (you can make this by dissolving 1 part sugar into 2 parts boiling water)
3 Dashes Angostura bitters (don't worry if you don't have this)
15ml Egg white (or if you're vegan swap for 'Aqaufaber' - chickpea water)
Maraschino cherries or lemon wheel
Fill one half of your shaker with ice and pour in the ingredients. Secure the other half and give it a good shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain this into an ice filled coupe or rock glass, garnish with your cherries on a cocktail stick or a lemon wheel, sit back and relax.
This is a rum classic that is simple but sublime and it is the classic version that a new bartender will typically be asked to make to prove their worth. This drink can be experimented with by adding in lots of variations of flavours. You’ve probably heard of the famous frozen daqs, so if you feel like making a frozen one just up your sugar content, whack a load of ice in and blend away.
50ml White rum
25ml Lime juice
12ml Simple syrup (you can make this by dissolving 1 part sugar into 2 parts boiling water)
Fill one half of your shaker with ice and pour in the ingredients. Secure the other half and give it a good shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain this into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with a lime wheel, serve and enjoy. Simples!
Step back into the 1980's and put on your best hawaiian shirt. This is a disco drink that'll take you back to the cheesy cocktail era. It is a very simple cocktail that uses a mixture of fruit juices and vodka. It’s juicy, fruity and very refreshing on a hot summers day.
50ml Cranberry juice
25ml Pineapple juice
Fill a highball glass with ice and then add your vodka, followed by the pineapple juice and top with cranberry juice. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit slice. Serve this up as it is to get that pretty colour seperation of yellow and red. Swap out the pineapple juice for grapefruit juice to make a Sea Breeze.
We’ve covered a lot of bases here with a wide variety of spirits and flavours, so we hope some of these can inspire you to get creative with your guests or just for yourself. To keep things simple and easy we’ve not put our two pence piece into this blog, by giving you our favourite brands, mostly because you might not be able to easily purchase the brands we mentioned, and the whole point is that this is suppose to be quick and easy for you. If you would like some insight, feel free to drop us a message and we’ll be happy to help. Our experienced mixologists love to chat all things cocktails.
If you make any of these creations, be sure to tag us. We’d love to see what you’re up to.