When the end of the day arrives you need something that will help you relax and transition into the evening.
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If you’re new to making cocktails, there are absolute classics you can make that are sure to impress. These recipes are simple to make and would cost a pretty penny if made in a bar. But at home, you can all these incredible drinks at a fraction of the price!
The cocktail recipes in this list are perfect for any occasion and will help you fall into your after-work routine.
You’ll find some great cocktails that hit any flavor profile so they’ll please any palate, any time.
There are easy cocktail recipes you can master in minutes and others that will take more consideration when putting together.
These alcoholic drinks should be consumed responsibly, of course, but they will taste so good you might need a second.
Once you get into the hang of it, all of these recipes will turn into simple cocktails to make because you’ll get used to fine-tuning them to your tastes.
In the list of best cocktails below, we have 31 different recipes you can try the next time you feel like letting loose.
So sit back and take note of these easy cocktails to make at home so you can impress guests at your next get-together.
This is the classic holiday cocktail and you can make it right in your home.
Eggnog is simple to make and only needs a few ingredients.
You’ll need some cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and of course some spices to flavor it up.
It doesn’t take long to make so you can have this drink ready in a jiffy when the holiday season rolls around.
And if you really want to spice your eggnog up, we recommend adding some spiced rum to it.
It’s the perfect addition and makes for a delicious treat you’ll want all year round.
2. Whiskey Sour
A whiskey sour is a great cocktail to start with if you’re learning how to make your own cocktails.
The whiskey sour starts out as a simple drink that has only a handful of ingredients and it’s customizable for each person because everybody should like something different in their drink.
It has a beautiful foam on top that helps the drink have some extra texture.
This sweet cocktail balances tart and sweet flavors seamlessly, so it’s likely you’ll end up making a few of these over the next few months.
It’s a great one to make for parties because the ingredients are simple and the taste is a crowd-pleaser.
3. Whiskey Smash
Maybe you love whiskey but aren’t feeling the heaviness of an old-fashioned or Manhattan.
If that’s the case, this whiskey smash is going to be your next favorite cocktail.
Instead of being rich and dense, this whiskey drink is light and refreshing because it has lemon and mint.
It’s such a refreshing take on whiskey that you’ll end up having two or three before you even know it.
This is the perfect party drink to serve to guests because it won’t make them want to go to sleep but it will be heavy enough to only have one or two.
4. Classic Margarita
You can’t go wrong with a classic margarita and it’s a fun drink to start putting your own spin on.
You can use just about any tequila but the more premium quality you get the better it will taste in the cocktail.
This recipe has enough citrus flavor to balance out the slight bitterness of the tequila and it will quickly become your go-to margarita recipe.
It may look like a complicated drink but most of the recipes for margaritas follow the same pattern and it’s easy to memorize.
What we love most about this cocktail is how you can adjust it to fit all your needs and never get tired of having it.
There are about a billion different versions of this classic so feel free to experiment and try your own thing.
5. Jungle Bird
Looking for fun cocktails you can make at home? Look no further than this Jungle Bird recipe.
This drink has a really unique flavor because it mixes tropical ingredients and flavors with a bitter. The Campari is well known in Italian drinks but it makes for a great flavor balance in this recipe.
This is one of those unknown drinks you can really impress someone with the next time you’re bartending.
It’s a fun one too because you can garnish it with the fruit and herbs you have to make it look like a bird resting on the drink.
Serve it on the table and someone else is guaranteed to ask for one. Just be careful because you might be stuck in the kitchen making these all night long.
6. Tom Collins Cocktail
You might not have heard of the Tom Collins as much as other drinks because it’s a bit older of a drink.
It’s made with gin and lemon juice so it’s similar in taste to the vodka sour but the gin makes it a bit more complex.
The Tom Collins is a great drink for people who don’t like fruity or sweet cocktails because of its subtle flavor profile.
It’s simple and easy to make and will make you feel like you’re living in the olden days of bartending.
This is a good drink to make for people who like drinks that are light and refreshing because it will hit those marks perfectly.
It’s also great if you’re looking to impress somebody with your cocktail knowledge, because this drink goes back generations.
7. Sazerac Cocktail
The Sazerac was created in New Orleans in the 1800s.
It’s a whiskey based drink that has some anise and absinthe flavors, but it’s balanced out with lemon juice and simple syrup.
The cocktail is best served up and if you only want one drink at the bar, this is it!
The recipe can be fairly easy to make but the ingredients aren’t used in many other drinks so you may not have them lying around.
A lot of older drinks use an herbaceous taste to create their cocktails and this sazerac drink is no exception.
8. Classic Mojito
On a hot day, there are few drinks more refreshing than a mojito.
It’s light and the fresh mint leaves act as a palate cleanser so you’ll feel like you just ate some gum after drinking it.
This is one of those simple cocktails that you don’t need to know your liquor well because there are only a few ingredients in here.
It’s a Cuban drink and it makes sense it was made there because it will cool you off on hot days.
You can always add some fruit to your mojito to give it some more taste. This would be great for guests who need their liquor hidden a bit better.
Serve these up with a mint leaf as the garnish. If you really want some extra mint flavor, go ahead and slap the mint before adding it.
Slapping mint helps to release all the aromas and flavor.
9. Southside Cocktail
The southside is a gin cocktail that is a lot friendlier than a martini.
It’s also easy to make since you don’t need some complicated ingredients.
This is the sort of cocktail you can serve up during parties and everyone will love it, even if they aren’t gin fans!
This drink balances herbaceous flavors with citrus to create a well-balanced concoction that you’ll want another round of.
This is great because the recipe won’t take you long to make at all.
10. Purple Basil Gin Fizz Cocktail
A gin fizz is made by mixing a spirit with lemon juice, sugar, and a number of other additions.
This cocktail is great for people who like cocktails with an extra tart flavor to them.
This purple basic recipe not only gives it a great taste, but the drink looks phenomenal as well.
It’s a great one to bust out for a nice occasion because this drink is made with class and you can be proud to serve it to your guests.
This drink only takes minutes to make because all you need to do is shake up all the ingredients together and serve it in a highball glass.
This isn’t one of those drinks that you can make in bulk because once shaken, this drink will go flat rather quickly.
If you’re making these for guests, we suggest just making what they’ll drink in one sitting and not doubling up.
11. Salty Dog Cocktail
If you haven’t had a salty dog, it’s a lot like a greyhound but with a salted rim.
It’s not the easiest drink to make because you need some grapefruit juice and you should make sure that your rim is perfectly salty.
It’s made with gin and is super easy to make. It’s also incredibly refreshing so having it during some hot days during the summer is probably best.
12. Moscow Mule
A Moscow mule is another drink that is great to have during a warm summer’s day.
It’s even better if you serve it in a classic copper mug.
The Moscow mule is a fun drink to have because it’s got a bit of kick to it and the ginger beer gives it just enough zing while not overpowering the vodka taste.
This drink is one that you can make in bulk too because even though you mix everything together, the ginger beer fizzes up so the drink tastes just as good even if it’s been sitting there for ten minutes.
13. Gin and Tonic
Few drinks are as simple to make but taste as good as the gin and tonic.
You can make this drink with pretty much any gin you like because they all taste like juniper berries which are the most prominent flavor in gin. Juniper berries give off a pine-y flavor that is great for cold-weather cocktails.
This is also one of those simple recipes where, if need be, you can just dump the ingredients in a highball glass and serve it up.
It’s one of those classic drinks with a classy feel to it so if you want something your guests will remember, this is the drink for you.
It also has that nose-tingling quality when you smell it that makes it worthwhile to have when having a few drinks with friends.
14. Toronto Cocktail
The Toronto cocktail is a whiskey based drink that is a fancier version of the old fashioned.
It adds in some fernet which has a lot of herby flavors and gives the whiskey drink a nice balance.
It’s definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of the classic olf fashioned and you can serve guests the mixture too.
They’ll think they are getting an old fashioned but will be dying to know the recipe once they give it a taste.
15. New York Sour
If you want a drink that is sure to get everyone excited, the New York sour is a great choice.
This drink looks and tastes like a whiskey sour, but we think it’s better because it has a layer of wine that you’ll add to the top of the drink.
The look and feel of this drink is made for fancy occasions. The best part is the drink only takes a few minutes so you can whip it up anytime.
It’s basically a whiskey sour that you add wine on top. It’s a well-balanced drink too so even the pickiest of drinkers will enjoy this one.
16. Classic Piña Colada
Is it a hot summer’s day and you’re headed to the pool?
Only one drink can hit the spot and that’s the piña colada.
This is a must-have drink on any tropical vacation and it will be killer when you make it at home too!
The ingredients are simple which means this drink goes down just as smoothly as it is to make.
The blender is going to be your best friend too because it makes a great consistency.
17. Cosmopolitan Cocktail
The cosmopolitan is a vodka cocktail drink that is pretty simple to make and tastes great.
The cranberry juice is a good combination with the vodka and triple sec because it gives it a sweet twist on a sour taste.
This is another one of those drinks made for special occasions because the presentation makes you feel like you need to be wearing something nice, or at least feeling important.
This drink is just like any other cocktail in that you can add more ingredients to it, but this one mixes the cranberry juice with cranberry vodka so be careful not to overdo it on the mixer.
If you’re looking for a good party starter then look no further than the cosmopolitan cocktail.
18. St Germain & Cranberry Cocktail
St. Germain has a unique taste because of the elder flower that it’s made from.
This cocktail is super simple and you can make it at home in a matter of minutes.
The cranberry juice adds a nice subtle fruitiness to the drink, but if you don’t want any fruity flavors you can leave it out.
Make this when you have some guests over during the holiday time because the flavors nail the occasion perfectly.
19. Classic Champagne Cocktail
When it’s time to celebrate, there is no better cocktail than the classic champagne cocktail.
You can serve this drink up in a fancy flute and really get the party going because it’s sure to make everyone say, “Cheers!”
This drink is basically made up of three ingredients: champagne, sugar syrup, and angostura bitters, but you’ll add orange peel to give it that extra something special.
20. Manhattan Cocktail
The Manhattan is one you serve when you’re dressed up and feeling good.
It’s a darker and richer drink so it goes really well in the winter months when you need some vanilla, oak, and caramel in your life.
This is the perfect cocktail to order out but you can make one right at home and it will taste just as good.
21. Gin Gimlet
If you’re looking for drink recipes that will satisfy any palate, take a look at this Gin Gimlet.
To make sure you get the full experience, use a good gin like Beefeater or Tanqueray and a lime cordial syrup that has been infused with fresh limes. Fresh limes are key to getting that fresh bite of lime taste in this drink.
The traditional way is served over ice but you can also serve it straight up if you want to let the taste of gin really come out.
Another thing that can take this drink to the next level is by garnishing it with a fresh lime wedge.
This gimlet recipe harkens back to another time when people’s taste buds were much more attuned to bitter flavors. These days, a lot of people can’t handle the sourness that comes with a gimlet.
You can always add in some more simple syrup if it’s too bitter or sour for people.
22. Paloma Cocktail
The Paloma cocktail is your go-to choice when you’re looking for a drink that highlights the bitter flavors in the best way.
It’s definitely a summertime drink so be sure to serve it on your porch or yard when the weather gets warmer.
You can serve this up in martini glasses which will make it even more Instagrammable than it already is.
23. Classic Daiquiri
You’ve probably only had the daiquiri in its frozen form with popular flavors like strawberry or watermelon.
This classic recipe is made with rum, lime juice, and simple syrup and is poured straight into a coupe glass.
It’s a great tasting drink when it isn’t frozen because most places usually add too much sugar to their daiquiris.
You can even make a big batch of this cocktail because all you have to do is add it into a pitcher, stir it together, and pour.
24. Pomegranate Martini
This is one of those good mixed drinks that is perfect for when you have guests over.
If you are using fresh pomegranate juice in this recipe, it will help make the flavors pop more than buying some juice from the store.
It’s just like a classic martini but with some added flavors and a new look.
25. Aperol Spritz
If you’re looking for a cocktail that can be as refreshing as it is delicious, look no further than the Aperol spritz.
This citrusy drink is an amazing way to cool down and really enjoy the summer in a glass.
It’s also simple enough for you to make at home, any time of the year.
There are many different recipes for this drink because it’s such a versatile cocktail. The traditional recipe includes Aperol (an Italian aperitif), white wine, soda water, and an orange slice.
You can also make variations of the Aperol spritz by adding lemon juice or vodka. You can even muddle some fresh berries into it to give it that extra zing.
26. Classic Old Fashioned
You can order an old fashioned at pretty much any bar in the world.
It’s a pretty simple drink to make, but you have to make sure that you stick pretty close with the recipe because a lot of places make it wrong.
You can make an old fashioned bourbon or rye whiskey depending on your preference. The recipe can be slightly different for both types of whiskey, but the basic ingredients are the same.
This is the perfect after-dinner drink to settle you for the night.
27. Classic Sidecar
This sour cocktail could be one of the best on this list because it tastes so dang good.
You have a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and boozy that just makes you want to keep drinking it.
It’s a simple drink and layered so you get a different experience the longer you have it.
The sidecar isn’t difficult to make either so once you get used to the layering, you can whip this up in five minutes, no problem.
28. Classic Mimosa
You can’t go wrong with a classic mimosa recipe.
You can make a mimosa in about a million different ways so feel free to try some different ingredients with this recipe to please your taste buds.
Also, get yourself high-quality champagne when you’re at the store. The better quality champagne, the better quality drink.
29. Amaretto Sour
The amaretto sour is one of those cocktail drinks that balances sweet with citrus and it’s usually served straight up in a coupe glass.
It’s a really easy drink to make because all you have to do is shake it with ice and strain it into a glass.
Make sure you shake well enough to create some foam that will naturally rest on top of the drink when serving.
You can serve this up in a martini glass for an especially classy drink.
The amaretto sour has been around for a long time and is considered an old-fashioned drink.
The amaretto sour is so good that people will probably ask you for one before they know what it is or before they even taste it.
30. French 75 Cocktail
In the list of classic cocktail recipes, the French 75 is definitely at the top with the other great drinks.
The French 75 is another refreshing drink because it’s mainly made with champagne.
The kick though, is giving it a generous portion of gin to add some herb juniper flavors.
This will be a favorite during brunch when you want an alcoholic drink but don’t want it to feel too heavy.
31. Boulevardier Cocktail
The boulevardier cocktail is a little more bitter and rich than your average drink.
The boulevardier is made with bourbon, Campari (an Italian bitter liqueur), sweet vermouth, and garnished with an orange wedge.
People will either love or hate the boulevardier because it’s made with bourbon, which is an acquired taste.
You can serve this up in a coupe glass to make it look even more appealing.
This drink is simple but it looks like you actually put some effort into making it.
This is another refreshing drink, but it’s definitely heavier than the French 75. The boulevardier will be perfect for sitting on your porch after dinner with a little bit of bourbon in your glass.
What you need to make great cocktail recipes at home
Wondering what you’ll need in order to make your own great cocktails at home?
The best way to start is to pick out a recipe you really like above and then buy those ingredients at the store first.
A lot of these recipes will repeat the same ingredients over and over again so once you buy a bottle of something you can switch up what you make pretty easily.
A jigger would be helpful to buy because it measures the exact size of one shot of alcohol. You can convert the measurements to tablespoons if you don’t want to get a jigger.
Our 30+ BEST Great Cocktail Recipes (+Whiskey Sour)
- 2 oz bourbon
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- Optional: ½ oz egg white
- Angostura bitters Garnish
- Add lemon juice, bourbon, simple syrup, and egg white to shaker.
- Then dry-shake 30 seconds.
- Add Ice, reshake until chilled.
- Strain into coupe or rocks glass.
- Garnish 3-4 drops Angostura bitters
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.
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