Wow your friends the next time you have them over at home with these easy cocktail recipes that have only 3 ingredients. 

You’d be surprised to know that many famous classic cocktails are actually straightforward to execute, and no — we’re not talking about a Gin & Tonic. They also require only three ingredients, which should motivate you enough to make your cocktails at home. Hone your bartending skills with these 10 easy cocktail recipes and impress guests the next time they visit your home. 

 

1. Negroni

This spirit-forward drink is an iconic classic cocktail originating from Italy. It’s strong and not for the faint-hearted, although most will eventually come to appreciate its bittersweet aromatic flavours. 

The Negroni cocktail. Image: Unsplash/ Marvin Meyer

Ingredients

1 oz Campari

1 oz gin

1 oz sweet vermouth

 

Method

Combine all three ingredients into a rocks glass filled with ice (a single large ice cube is preferable), and stir to mix. Garnish with an orange slice to serve. 

2. White Russian

This cocktail was originally the Black Russian, which evolved into the White Russian with the addition of cream. If you enjoy sweet, coffee-flavoured cocktails with a creamy finish, then you’ll like the White Russian. 

Ingredients 

2 oz vodka

1 oz Kahlua or any coffee liqueur

A splash of heavy cream

Method

Combine the vodka and coffee liqueur into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top off with heavy cream and stir to serve. 

3. Old Fashioned

Yet another iconic classic cocktail is the Old Fashioned. It was one of the earliest and simplest versions of a cocktail, consisting of only sugar, bitters, and whisky. It has a bittersweet flavour that can be adjusted sweeter or less sweet to your preferences. 

The Old Fashioned cocktail. Image: Unsplash/ Bon Vivant

Ingredients

2 oz whisky 

3 dashes of Angostura bitters

½ teaspoon sugar

Method

Muddle sugar and bitters in a rocks glass until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the glass with ice, add your whisky of choice, and stir to combine. Garnish with an orange peel and serve. 

 

4. Caipirinha

Number 4 on the easy cocktail recipes list is the Caipirinha. It is Brazil’s national cocktail and is identifiable by its base spirit: cachaça, which is sugarcane liquor. It has a sweet and tangy flavour, making it an easy and refreshing drink to consume. The recipe below is for one serving, but you can also increase the portions to make a large jug of the cocktail. 

Ingredients

2 oz cachaça

2 teaspoons sugar

1 lime, cut into wedges

Method

Muddle sugar and lime wedges in a rocks glass until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the glass with ice, add the cachaça, and stir to combine. Garnish with a slice of lime. 

5. Vesper Martini

Did you know there’s a difference between a regular Martini and a Vesper Martini? The latter, which sometimes goes by only the name “Vesper”, was made famous by James Bond. It differs from the classic Martini because it uses both gin and vodka, substitutes olives with lemon peel, and uses specifically Kina Lillet (now known as Lillet) instead of dry vermouth. It’s a strong drink that isn’t for the faint-hearted, so go easy on this. Oh, and we recommend stirring rather than shaking, unlike Bond. 

 

Ingredients  

3 oz gin

1 oz vodka

½ oz Lillet Blanc

 

Method

Combine the gin, vodka, and Lillet blanc into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir to combine until it’s chilled. Pour through a strainer into a separately chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel and serve. 

 

6. Martini

Now that you’ve learned the modernised version of the Martini, you should also add the classic version to your bartending skillset. Some methods will ask you to shake the drink, while others require stirring it. The best way, in our opinion, is to stir the drink. That way, you’ll get a clear cocktail that’s aesthetically pleasing. Shaking the drink in ice makes it look cloudy, which isn’t as appealing. 

A classic Martini. Image: Unsplash/ Taylor Simpson

Ingredients

2 ½ oz London Dry gin

½ oz dry vermouth

Green olives

Method

Combine the gin and vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir to combine until it’s chilled. Pour through a strainer into a separately chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with olives and serve. 

7. Manhattan

Looking for easy cocktail recipes that aren’t too sweet? The Manhattan cocktail was said to have originated from the Manhattan Club in New York during the 1870s. It became an immensely fashionable drink, even appearing in the 1959 film Some Like It Hot, featuring Marilyn Monroe. It is yet another spirit-forward bittersweet drink that’s heavy on flavour and high on alcohol by volume (ABV). 

Ingredients

2 oz whisky

1 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Method

Combine whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir to combine until it’s chilled. Pour through a strainer into a separately chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and serve.

8. Paloma

Hot day out? Then the Paloma, a famous Mexican cocktail, needs to be your go-to. It’s sweet, refreshing, and tangy, making it an excellent aperitif to have before any food. It’s a low-ABV drink, so serve this if you don’t want to get boozy too quickly. 

Ingredients

2 oz tequila

½ oz lime juice

Grapefruit soda

Method

Rub a lime wedge over the rim of a tall glass and dip the rip in salt. Combine the tequila and lime juice in the glass, then fill the glass with ice. Top it off with grapefruit soda and gently stir to combine. Don’t stir too hard, or the fizz will go out. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve. 

 

9. Margarita

One to add to your list of easy cocktail recipes is this. The iconic Margarita cocktail is always synonymous with the beach and a good time — so why not bring the good times into your home when your friends visit? It’s tangy, sweet, and strong, making it an easy crowd favourite. 

The Margarita. Image: Unsplash/ Tyler Nix

Ingredients

2 oz tequila

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz lime juice

Method

Rub a lime wedge over the rim of a rocks glass and dip the rip in salt. Combine all three ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then pour through a strainer into the rocks glass filled with ice. 

10. Sidecar

Serious cocktail drinkers should acquaint themselves with the Sidecar, an iconic classic cognac cocktail. It was allegedly invented around the World War I period, with the same recipe retained till today. Its flavour profile is sour, dry, and strong. 

Ingredients

2 oz cognac

¾ oz lemon juice

¾ oz orange liqueur like Triple Sec or Cointreau

Method

Coat the rim of a glass with sugar. Combine all three ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Then, shake until chilled and pour through a strainer into the sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with an orange peel and serve. 

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