Five Simple Cocktail Recipes

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Last updated Jul 19, 2023

Quarantined and can’t go to your favorite bar? Tired of paying $15 for a so-so cocktail? Having friends and family over for a holiday or special occasion?

These five simple cocktail recipes are classics, easy to make and best of all DELICIOUS! The most important ingredient in any cocktail is the spirits, so do yourself a favor and get the good stuff. We include recommendations on our go-to spirits in the recipes below.

All of the amounts shown below are for a single drink but can easily be scaled up to make another for a friend.



PALOMA

The Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail mixed with grapefruit juice or soda and lime and is very refreshing and delicious.

Simple cocktail recipe
Paloma | Five Simple Cocktail Recipes

What you will need:

  • 2 oz. Tequila. We strongly recommend Don Julio Blanco
  • 2 oz. Grapefruit Juice (the classic version of this drink uses Grapefruit soda, but if you use soda omit the syrup and the club soda)
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup (can be adjusted to your tastes)
  • Club Soda
  • Salt

Step 1: Use the cut lime to moisten the rim of the glass then dip it in a bowl of coarse salt. Fill the glasses 2/3 full with ice.

Step 2: Add the Tequila, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice and Syrup to a shaker. Add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake well to mix.

Step 3: Pour the drink into the glass using a strainer to keep the ice in the shaker. Top the drink off with enough club soda to fill the glass and serve.

Step 4: Salud!



CUCUMBER GIMLET

The classic Gimlet is a simple cocktail of just Gin and lime juice. This version adds a little cucumber to the mix providing a wonderfully refreshing twist on this classic cocktail.

Simple Cocktail Recipes
Cucumber Gimlet | Five Simple Cocktail Recipes

What you will need:

  • 2 oz. Dry Gin. We recommend Hendrick’s.
  • 1 inch long piece of cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup (can be adjusted to your tastes)

Step 1: In a shaker, muddle the cucumber with the simple syrup.

Step 2: Add the gin, lime juice and a handful of ice and shake well to mix.

Step 3: Pour the drink through a fine strainer into a chilled Gimlet glass and serve.

Step 4: Cheers!

PEAR MARTINI

While technically not a Martini because it doesn’t use Vermouth, it’s super delicious and refreshing so who cares what you call it!

Simple Cocktail Recipes
Pear Martini | Five Simple Cocktail Recipes

What you will need:

  • 2 oz. Vodka. We recommend Tito’s or Grey Goose
  • 2 oz. Pear Juice or Nectar. If using nectar you may want to add a little simple syrup to your taste.
  • Juice of a lemon quarter

Step 1: In a shaker, combine Vodka, Pear Juice, and Lemon Juice.

Step 2: Add a handful of ice and shake well to mix.

Step 3: Pour the drink into a chilled Martini glass using a strainer to keep the ice in the shaker.

Step 4: Sláinte!



BOURBON OLD FASHIONED

The old-fashioned is a classic bourbon or whiskey cocktail using sugar, bitters and an orange peel to tame the strong spirit. This drink is essentially pure spirit so it is very important to start with a high-quality bourbon or whiskey.

Simple Cocktail Recipes
Bourbon Old Fashioned | Five Simple Cocktail Recipes

What you will need:

  • 2 oz high-quality Bourbon or Whiskey. We used Horse Soldier Bourbon but any good Bourbon will work.
  • 1 sugar cube (1 teaspoon of granulated sugar will work too)
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel

Step 1: Place the sugar cube in a glass and saturate with the bitters. Add a splash of water and muddle until dissolved.

Step 2: Fill the glass with ice cubes (or a large whiskey rock), add the Bourbon and stir.

Step 3: Rub the orange peek together over the glass to express the oil, then drop the peel in the glass.

Step 4: Prost!

SIDECAR

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail made with Cognac or Brandy, Orange Liqueur and lemon juice. The trick to this drink is to get the ratios correct (2 parts Cognac to 1 part Orange Liqueur) and balance the sourness of the lemon with just the right amount of sweetness. You may need to experiment with how much simple syrup to use since it will depend on how sweet your Orange Liqueur is.

Simple Cocktail Recipes
Sidecar | Five Simple Cocktail Recipes

What you will need:

  • 2 oz. Cognac or Brandy. We used Remy Martin for our cocktail.
  • 1 oz. Orange Liqueur. Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup. Alternatively you can sugar the rim of the glass and cut back on the syrup.

Step 1: Pour the Cognac, Orange Liqueur, Lemon Juice and syrup into a shaker.

Step 2: Add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake well to mix.

Step 3: Pour the drink into a chilled glass using a strainer to keep the ice in the mixer. Add a lemon peel for garnish and serve.

Step 4: A la votre!



Other helpful recipes…
10 Delicious & Easy Weeknight Recipes
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