Serving up delicious and refreshing cocktails doesn’t require any bartending experience. Instead, all you need is the right recipe and a willing crowd to serve customized cocktails at your next party. These ten home cocktail recipes require just a few ingredients, many of which you may already have stocked in your home bar. With these ingredients on hand, you will be able to create a refreshing after-dinner drink to enjoy after a long day or a batch of homemade cocktails to share with a crowd.
So, explore these easy cocktail ideas so that you’re prepared for your next party with a drink that guests will love.
Sangria is a festive cocktail that is simple to make for a crowd. Plus, it’s easily customizable so that you can work with the ingredients you have in your kitchen or the flavors you prefer. Wine is your base, so decide whether you want to use red wine or white wine. Red wine sangria is a more traditional choice, with a merlot or pinot noir working well as your base. If you prefer white wine, go with one that leans sweet like moscato or riesling. Add your chosen wine to a pitcher, along with a quarter cup of sugar and a carbonated beverage like Sprite or sparkling water for a little fizz. Stir, and fill the pitcher with ice and your favorite sliced fruits like apples, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries.
2. Spiked Lemonade
A glass of lemonade is always refreshing, and you can turn this sweet-and-sour beverage into a delightful summer cocktail. Make a pitcher of fresh lemonade by boiling about 8 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar to create simple syrup. Once cooled, add in 1 ½ to 2 cups of lemon juice to taste. Pour the lemonade over ice and add an ounce of vodka or light rum. Garnish with a lemon slice for a refreshing summer cocktail.
Margaritas are a festive drink that are easy to make in bulk if you’re hosting an event. For a frozen margarita, combine half a can of frozen limeade with 6 ounces of tequila and 3 ounces of triple sec. Blend with ice and serve in a glass rimmed with salt. To mix things up, make a flavored margarita using frozen fruits like strawberries or mango. Simply add a ½ cup of frozen fruit to the blender to create your flavored frozen concoction.
4. Cranberry-Lemonade Twist
This easy-to-make cocktail offers a fresh twist on a classic cranberry and vodka. Combine equal parts cranberry juice, lemonade, and Sprite as your mixer. Then, add a shot of your favorite vodka. Garnish with a lemon slice. This cocktail blends both sweet and tart flavors and adds a splash of carbonation as the finishing touch.
5. Prosecco Punch
Prosecco is a sparkling Italian wine that can be enjoyed on its own. However, when you use it as the base to a fruit-flavored punch, you create a light, refreshing punch that simply feels celebratory with every sip. A prosecco punch is completely customizable, so you can mix and match flavors to create a different punch for every party. Get creative and combine a bottle of prosecco with two fruit juices for a 1-to-1 ratio of wine and juice. Cranberry, peach, strawberry, pomegranate, and pineapple juices are just some of your options, so mix and match flavors to suit your taste.
6. Old Fashioned
Bourbon lovers know that an old fashioned is a perfect way to enjoy their favorite liquor. This cocktail requires just a few ingredients, beginning, of course, with your favorite bourbon. A Kentucky bourbon like Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, or Bulleit is always a good choice. First, combine ½ to 1 teaspoons of sugar with bitters and a teaspoon of water. Then, add ice and 2 ounces of bourbon. Garnish with an orange peel.
7. Caramel Apple Cocktail
This seasonal cocktail is perfect for fall events when apple cider is easy to access. Plus, it’s a simple three-ingredient recipe that takes just seconds to throw together. Pour 6 ounces of apple cider over ice. Then, add two ounces of caramel-flavored vodka. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. On chilly nights, you can opt for warm apple cider instead.
8. Mint Julep
Mint juleps might be the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby, but you can enjoy these refreshing bourbon beverages year-round. Fresh mint is the defining flavor in this cocktail. Start by making some simple syrup by bringing equal parts water and sugar to a boil and removing from heat. While your simple syrup cools, muddle mint in the base of your glass. Then, add crushed ice, 2 to 3 ounces of bourbon, and a splash of simple syrup––or more, depending on how sweet you want your julep. Garnish with a mint spring as the finishing touch.
Gin serves as the base of many light, refreshing cocktails, and plenty of them are simple to make. A gimlet requires just a few ingredients and offers a spin on the classic martini. Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice to a cocktail shaker, and mix it together. Pour in a martini glass, stir, and enjoy this refreshing cocktail.
10. Irish Coffee
If post-dinner coffee is in order during your dinner parties, enhance that offering by choosing a coffee-inspired cocktail for your guests. Irish coffee is a classic cocktail that any coffee lover is sure to enjoy. Begin with your favorite brewed coffee––the darker and stronger, the better. Add a shot of Irish whiskey and a touch of brown sugar for added sweetness.
Do a little inventory on your liquor cabinet to decide which of these cocktails you can enjoy first. In just a few minutes, you can whip up a delicious, refreshing beverage that everyone will enjoy.