Here are all the easiest, very best cocktail recipes to make at home, from the classic margarita to the frothy gin fizz to the French 75. Cheers!
Here at A Couple Cooks, we think that cooking healthy food at home can be pretty simple. (In fact, we wrote a book about it.) And you know what else? Making cocktail recipes at home can be pretty simple, too. While it might seem intimidating, making a great cocktail is 100% accessible. And as we’ve gone about our research, we’ve found that a signature drink adds infinitely more fun to any evening, be it a dinner party or just drinks on the patio.
Once we started making cocktail recipes, well, we couldn’t stop! We’ve started a library of popular cocktail recipes that we’re always adding to. And we can’t wait for you to give them a try! Below are all our best cocktail recipes! Scroll below the recipes for tips on how to become a semi-professional mixologist. Ready to get drinking?
And now…the best cocktail recipes!
WOW is all we can say about this cocktail recipe! This whiskey sour has become a family favorite: so much so that it now appears at all our extended family gatherings. It's naturally sweet, sweetened just enough with honey instead of a simple syrup. It's so tasty, our family has been making it for years: we hope it becomes a family favorite in yours!
The sweet tart margarita is one of our top cocktail recipes to make at home, and it has endless variations (see below). This one is the classic, made naturally sweet using a simple syrup made with honey. The margaritas are finished off with a few drops of orange bitters. And for the perfect topping: use our bright and beautiful margarita salt.
Another spin? Simple Lemon Margarita -- and scroll down for more fruity flavors!
It’s fizzy, it’s tangy, it looks festive, and it goes down easy. What could be better than a Moscow mule? This classic cocktail recipe was invented in the 1940’s, but it’s having a moment now too This best Moscow mule recipe is incredibly tasty and seriously easy to make. With only 3 ingredients and 3 minutes required, it’s perfect to serve for entertaining: or a lazy evening on the patio.
Want a fun twist? Watermelon Mule
This isn’t just an champagne cocktail, it’s THE champagne cocktail. Yes, the Champagne Cocktail is a classic cocktail recipe that's tangy and refreshing. Are you celebrating something? Because this is the drink for you. Adding a sugar cube to champagne makes a fountain of bubbles that positively sparkles! See also: Cranberry Champagne Cocktail.
Ever had a Gin Fizz? This cocktail recipe is perfectly balanced, both sweet and tart. And adding soda water magically creates a frothy egg white foam topping. Oh and it takes only 5 minutes to make! To make it, you'll shake together gin, lemon juice, maple, and egg white in a cocktail shaker, then pour it into two glasses. When you top off each glass with soda water, the carbonation combines with the egg white to make a frothy foam topping. It’s like magic!
Another classic cocktail, the Gin Gimlet is super refreshing and takes only 5 minutes to whip up! Not only is the gimlet simple to make, it’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart with the botanical flavor of gin. A gin gimlet is a classic cocktail made of lime juice, gin and simple syrup. It’s sometimes served with a splash of soda water. While it became popular in the 1950’s, it stems back at least as far as the 1930's. It’s fairly gin forward, so you’ll want to use a great bottle of gin here.
Here’s one of the most sophisticated and refreshing cocktail recipes out there: a French 75! It’s got a mysterious name, but it’s made with a few simple ingredients. It’s tangy, bubbly, and a bit botanical, and it makes every occasion more festive!
Ready for the easiest cocktail recipe we’ve made? Alex and I recently learned about the classic daiquiri: which we didn’t realize is actually not frozen! Yes, a daiquiri is made of lime, rum and simple syrup. And let us tell you: it is so, so delicious! Now that we know how easy it is, we've started making them instead of margaritas (our tried and true fave!). Here's the simple formula for a classic daiquiri that you can memorize.
When’s the last time you had a piña colada? They’re not only for the 1990’s or beach resorts, we promise! Turns out, homemade piña coladas are perfect for entertaining. They take only a few minutes to blend up, only require 5 ingredients, and taste so refreshing. All you'll need is frozen pineapple, white rum, coconut milk, lime juice and maple syrup. Oh, and some drink umbrellas too!
Make it a mocktail: Virgin Piña Colada Recipe
Here’s a drink that’s made for celebration: a St Germain champagne cocktail! It’s sophisticated and refreshing: floral, botanical, tangy, and bubbly all at once. If you’ve never purchased a bottle of St Germain, now’s the time! This bottle of fancy liqueur should be part of your alcohol arsenal.
Ready for our new favorite cocktail recipe? (We know, we have a lot of them!) It’s a vodka smash. It’s tangy and refreshing, featuring muddled blackberries, mint, and lime. It’s tangy, it’s sweet, and it’s got a bit of back-end vodka flavor, though it’s not too strong. Basically: these go down easy — so beware! Here’s how to make a berry vodka smash at home -- and you'll also learn how to muddle mint!
Want it with bourbon? Blackberry Bourbon Smash
This strawberry daiquiri is pure strawberry: it’s just sweet enough, with just the right back-end flavor of rum. To make it even fancier, we've added a lime daiquiri layer too! The lime layer adds another level of complexity: it looks beautiful as a garnish, and as it melts it adds extra tangy flavor! One nice thing about this recipe is that it has no refined sugar: it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup. But you’ll never notice the difference!
A tangy twist: Lime Frozen Daiquiri
Here’s a classic cocktail recipe that’s classy and refreshing: the whiskey smash! Contrary to most whiskey drinks, this one is tangy and light, not heavy and boozy. It’s a citrus spin on the classic Mint Julep, featuring lemon and mint. It’s perfect for entertaining or evening cocktails on the patio. (And it’s a little quicker than our famous Whiskey Sour, too!)
Want it with bourbon? Maple Bourbon Smash
Get ready to be amazed by this standout cocktail recipe! This apple cider sangria pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon. In a word: wow. It's just sweet enough, more like a traditional Spanish sangria. If you'd like, pour it in layers to make the the beautiful two-tones. And don't forget the garnish: a rosemary sprig, orange slice, and cinnamon stick!
What cocktail recipe says summer more than frose? If you haven’t tried it (and please tell us you have!), frose is frozen rose wine. Basically, it’s a mashup between a frozen cocktail and that quintessential summer wine. Most froze recipes are sickly sweet. And connoisseurs complain that freezing rose removes the character of the wine. So we created a knock-out frose recipe that was not too sweet AND tastes like rose. It's a refreshing treat that says "party" like no other!
Sure, you can drink a classic margarita. But what about a blackberry margarita? This variation is easy to make and looks simply stunning with its vivid purple color. And the flavor? It’s tangy, it’s sweet, and it’s perfectly balanced. With fresh blackberries and lime, this fruity take on our favorite drink is killer and terrific for entertaining.
Here's a cocktail recipe that's universally celebrated: sangria! Meet our peach sangria recipe: lightly sweet, refreshing, and full of fresh peaches, raspberries, and fresh mint. Sangría is a traditional wine punch that originates from Spain. A classic sangria is made with red wine and chopped fruit, but there are lots of sangria variations. This peach sangria is a white sangria, meaning that it uses white wine instead of red. Mix up a batch and prepare to be amazed!
Ever seen a cuter cocktail? This watermelon cocktail is gin forward, a little pine-y from the gin and tangy from lemon: just sweet enough with a hint of honey. It’s seriously refreshing, and that little watermelon wedge garnish? To die for.
Or, try it with vodka! Watermelon Vodka Cocktail
Frozen sangria is a variation on sangria that’s frozen, like a slushie. Is frozen sangria an authentic Spanish drink? Not at all! It’s most likely an American invention honoring the Spanish alcoholic punch, and it’s made quite differently from traditional sangria. However, the method makes for a frozen cocktail recipe that tastes like sangria and is incredibly festive! It’s perfect for entertaining.
And to round out our cocktail recipes: how about frozen margaritas? As you might have guessed, we're all about margaritas around here. So what about trying them....frozen? They're tangy, seriously refreshing, and perfect for parties. This one has the best frozen texture out there, and is topped with our festive margarita salt. Party on!
What you need to make cocktail recipes at home
What do you need to make cocktail recipes at home? Well, here’s what we recommend: pick one of these recipes, then get the supplies that you need for that! Instead of outfitting your entire kitchen, start with just one drink and start building your tools from there. Here’s what you need to know:
- Do I need a jigger? No. All our cocktail recipes are written in tablespoons, since they’re meant for the home cook!
- Do I need a juicer? To save your hands from cramping up, we’d recommend getting a juicer.
- Do I need a cocktail shaker? A cocktail shaker is useful and we recommend getting one. Here’s the cocktail shaker we use. Don’t want to buy one? Use a glass mason jar, fill it with ice, cover and shake!
- Do I need a muddler? Here’s the muddler we use. If you don’t want to buy one, you can use a wooden spoon. Here’s how to muddle mint!
- Do I need a channel knife? It helps in making cocktail garnishes like a lemon twist. But you can make a lemon twist with a knife!
A few of our recipes use a blender, which we assume you have on hand. And in terms of alcohol: we suggest building out your liquor cabinet one bottle at time. Pick a recipe below, then grab the alcohol required.Print
One of the easiest, best cocktail recipes to make at home? The whiskey sour! This recipe is naturally sweet and takes mere minutes to make.
- 3 tablespoons whiskey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or simple syrup
- 2 tablespoons water (more or less to taste)
- Juice the lemon. Mix the whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, and water.
- Stir or shake until honey is dissolved. Serve over lots of ice. Adjust whiskey to taste.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Cocktails
- Cuisine: Cocktail
Keywords: Cocktail Recipes, Whiskey Sour, Easy Whiskey Sour
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.