38 Easy Cocktail Recipes Anyone Can Make At Home

Drinking at a bar? Cocktails are the way to go! Watching a bartender bring your drink to life is a feast for the senses — there's the sound of the cocktail shaker jiggling, the sight of the stunning colors that swirl about in your drink, and the taste of the many flavors layered in the beverage. But when it comes time to sip on a drink at home, it's easy to just add a splash of soda to a spirit and call it a day.

Sure, making cocktails at home can seem unnecessarily complicated, especially when you consider the lengthy ingredients list that some of them come with. With time and a little bit of help, however, you'll soon realize that investing in only a handful of smart ingredients opens up a whole world of cocktails for you.

Besides the fun of being able to play bartender at home and the thrill of impressing your guests (and yourself) with your cocktail-making skills, you'll even end up saving a few bucks by not spending on expensive drinks at the bar. So bring your cocktail shakers out because we've got a ton of easy drinks for you to make and taste test. Cheers!

1. Classic Gin And Tonic

The very definition of a cocktail that anybody can make at home, a classic G&T is as easy as they come. With only gin, tonic, lime juice, and ice required to make this drink, the difference between a good gin and tonic versus an excellent one is in the little details. Make sure to use a tonic that is effervescent because fresh and fizzy tonic is the most suited kind for gins, chill your glasses for extra cold G&Ts, and slice a wedge of lime for garnish.

Recipe: Classic Gin And Tonic

2. Orange Crush

While this orange crush cocktail may be an excellent drink all year round, there are three reasons why recipe developer Jaime Shelbert says it's a winner during summer parties in particular: Much like icy soda is for the kids, the sweet cocktail is a cold respite from the heat for adults; it's easy to make when you're already busy with hosting duties; it can be made in batches and served from pitchers. Prepare a mix of freshly squeezed orange juice, vodka, and triple sec in advance, divide it amongst your guests, and then top it up with soda once the party starts.

Recipe: Orange Crush

3. Dirty Martini

What's so dirty about this martini you ask? Well, olive brine and olives of course! While James Bond prefers his martinis shaken not stirred (via YouTube), recipe developer Michelle McGlinn disagrees with the 007 spy. "Shaking gin hurts its flavor, and in a drink heavy in spirits, stirring will create a density that allows for slower sipping ... You want a silky — not frothy or airy — texture," she explains. Use good quality ingredients, keep an eye on your measurements, and work fast because the longer you let the ice melt, the more diluted your dirty martini will be!

Recipe: Dirty Martini

4. Michelada

Often dubbed as the Mexican body mary, Micheladas and bloody marys are both made from hot sauce and tomato juice (via Tales Of The Cocktail Foundation). But where a bloody mary is made from vodka, Micheladas are made with Mexican beer. In fact, Michelada even translates to my cold beer in Spanish. Featuring a spicy and salty Tajin rim, Michelada may be a suitable cocktail for any occasion but it also doubles up as a cheeky hair of the dog cocktail for when the only cure for a hangover seems to be even more booze!

Recipe: Michelada

5. Apple Cider Slushie

A refreshing new way to enjoy the usual bottle of apple cider, recipe developer Ting Dalton adds a bit of fall with cinnamon and nutmeg and turns the fizzy drink into a frozen slushie. While the icy slushie is best drunk as soon as it is blended and before it begins to melt, there's also the option of preparing it in advance. Simply freeze it ahead of time and allow the slushie to thaw for an hour before you're ready to sip on it.

Recipe: Apple Cider Slushie

6. White Russian

Who said cocktails couldn't be deliciously sweet too? A treat for anybody with a sweet tooth or for those who don't quite like their cocktails tasting too much like alcohol, a White Russian is pretty much like an intoxicating liquid dessert. Vodka makes for about half of the drink so it's worthwhile splurging on a good quality one and then goes some coffee liqueur followed by whipping cream at the very end. Be warned, however: This sweet cocktail will go down incredibly easily!

Recipe: White Russian

7. Lemon Drop Shot

There's no shame in admitting that many of us have unsavory memories that involve one too many tequila shots and a lot of throwing up. While that crosses tequila off the list when it comes to shots, this lemon drop shot will be an easy replacement. With tart lemon and sweet sugar syrup to mask all the vodka sitting in your shot glass, this is one shot that won't have you wincing after you've downed it!

Recipe: Lemon Drop Shot

8. Pumpkin Pie Martini

If you love all things pumpkin spice and spend all of fall digging into pumpkin pies and sipping on pumpkin spice lattes, be ready to fall in love with your favorite spice all over again! Recipe developer Jaime Shelbert has transformed the iconic pumpkin pie into a spiked cocktail using the help of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and vanilla vodka. Although a tad more elaborate to concoct, Shelbert pulls out all the stops to make this cocktail version of a pumpkin pie: A sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice for flavor, a graham cracker crumb rim to mimic the pie crust, and a whipped cream and cinnamon bark garnish for the perfect fall vibe.

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Martini

9. Ranch Water

If ranch water sounds like an odd name on a list of cocktails, it's likely that you've never made a trip to the South. Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn first came face to face with the cocktail while visiting the a couple who made frequent trips to New Mexico: "I always wondered why they had so many Topo Chicos in their house — and an impressive supply of tequila — until they shared that they sip on ranch waters." So what's ranch water you ask? Tequila, Topo Chico mineral water, lime juice, and, well, that's all!

Recipe: Ranch Water

10. Mint Julep

A lighter version of an old fashioned with the addition of mint and shaved ice, a mint julep only requires four ingredients: your favorite bourbon, spearmint leaves, simple syrup, and pellet or crushed ice. While this is the classic recipe for a mint julep, there's a secret ingredient in here – bitters. Two dashes of bitters will not only add a citrusy, spicy, and slightly bitter flavor to your mint julep, but adding it on top of all the shaved ice will your cocktail look like a sophisticated snow cone.

Recipe: Mint Julep

11. Porn Star Martini

If you tend to prefer cocktails that are on the fruitier side without being excessively sweet, this porn star martini will be right up your alley! The potent drink packs in a punch with three sources of booze: vanilla vodka, prosecco or champagne, and Passoã passionfruit liqueur. From there, you only need lime juice and simple syrup. You'll also need a ripe passionfruit, as one half goes inside the cocktail shaker and gets mixed into the drink and the rest of it is used for garnish.

Recipe: Porn Star Martini

12. Piña Colada

Picturing yourself in the Caribbean, sitting on a warm beach with your toes in the water and a piña colada in your hand? While we may not be able to help with the Caribbean beach bit, we've certainly got the piña colada part covered. All that you need to do is pop white rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, sugar, and ice into a blender and blitz it — that's it! Considering how easy and yummy this drink is, you could be drinking piña coladas all day right in your backyard!

Recipe: Piña Colada

13. Guinness Float

The good thing about making cocktails at home is that you can easily transform your favorite childhood treat into a spiked tipple fit for an adult. If root beer and ice cream floats were your thing as a kid, this Guinness float will be your drink of choice now. While this float uses vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and Guinness, you can swap the chocolate syrup for caramel sauce, the vanilla ice cream with a coffee-flavored one as well as add a splash of Bailey's — that's the good thing about being an adult, there's no one to stop you from going all out with your float!

Recipe: Guinness Float

14. Mulled Wine

While the world of icy cocktails is a large one, when it comes to hot tipples, the options are comparatively few. One of the choices is a soothing cup of mulled wine. Made by simmering a bottle of red wine with warming winter spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves, mulled wine is easy to make but has incredibly complex flavors. Although the mulled wine comes together in as little as 10 minutes, you can keep simmering it for as long as an hour. Besides deepening the flavor of your warm wine, it will only make your house smell like Christmas!

Recipe: Mulled Wine

15. Joel McHale's Monkey Shoulder Adult Table Cocktail

Although actor and comedian Joel McHale partnered up with Monkey Shoulder scotch whisky to give his fans a tipple for the holidays last winter, his ritzy cocktail has proven itself to be equally lethal all year round. McHale's make-in-advance adult table cocktail makes 16 drinks from an entire bottle of Monkey Shoulder, two bottles of Prosecco as well as a sizeable amount of Aperol. The real kicker? A spiced syrup made from cloves, star anise, and a cinnamon stick.

Recipe: Joel McHale's Monkey Shoulder Adult Table Cocktail

16. Christmas Old Fashioned

What's better than an old-fashioned cocktail? A Christmas-themed old fashioned of course! While your usual old-fashioned is made with little other than bourbon, bitters, and an orange peel, this old fashioned with a twist gets its festiveness from five whole cranberries and a sprig of rosemary. Recipe developer Erin Johnson's only piece of advice? This drink is quite potent and bourbon-forward so if cocktails that taste mostly like alcohol are not your thing, this one might not be for you.

Recipe: Christmas Old Fashioned

17. Cadbury Egg Martini

Is it a dessert? Is it a cocktail? Is it a dessert in a cocktail? A sweet after-dinner digestif of sorts, this Cadbury egg martini is a wonderful drink to make during Easter when the Creme Eggs abound. Barring the chocolate eggs, you'll need vanilla vodka, creme de cacao liqueur, half and half or heavy cream, chocolate chips, and ice. Yellow food coloring adds to this silky cocktail's festivity, a melted chocolate rim makes it even more decadent, and a sliced Cadbury egg on a cocktail stick for garnish makes it totally Instagram-worthy!

Recipe: Cadbury Egg Martini

18. Limoncello

Missing limoncello from previous summers spent in Italy or wondering what a liqueur made from lemons really tastes like? Here's how you can make it at home! While the recipe only requires four ingredients — lemons, vodka, sugar, and water — there is another ingredient you're going to need here: patience. Once you've prepped your ingredients, you should allow the flavors of the lemons to slowly infuse into the vodka for at least one week. After that, you can use your homemade limoncello as a digestif as it is, or as inspiration to make lemon-flavored martinis and gin-based cocktails!

Recipe: Limoncello

19. Frosé

Boozy cocktails that double up as fun slushies are superior cocktails we think! Be prepared to fall in love with a glass of rosé wine all over again because recipe developer Kit Hondrum has turned it into an icy frosé fit for hot days and evening summer parties. But this is no ordinary rosé simply blended into a frosé: Hondrum ups the ante by pumping this pink wine slushie with a whole lot of flavor. Besides a bottle of dry rosé, you'll also be using raspberry-flavored Chambord liqueur, lemon juice, as well as a combination of frozen berries. There's also the option of adding vodka to the slushie to make the drink even more potent than it already is.

Recipe: Frosé

20. Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule is an easy find at most bars but the best part about making it at home is that you can easily switch up the drink by swapping your alcohol. Make it with the traditional vodka and it's a classic Moscow Mule, swap the vodka for tequila and it's a Mexican Mule, or use gin for a London Mule. You can even use bourbon instead of vodka and call it a Kentucky Mule — the basic recipe remains the same, and only the source of alcohol changes.

Recipe: Moscow Mule

21. Irish Coffee

Maybe it's a warm and caffeinated after-dinner digestif that you're looking for or perhaps, it's one of those mornings when your usual cup of coffee simply won't do. Regardless of the situation, if you're looking for your cup of Joe to pack in a punch stronger than just its caffeine, an Irish coffee will rise up to the occasion. While you could make a basic Irish coffee by spiking black coffee with Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream, to take the cocktail up a notch, consider folding a dash of Bailey's into the whipped cream too.

Recipe: Irish Coffee

22. 22. Chocolate Peppermint Martini

If you think of at-home cocktails as basic, boring, and only meant to get the job done, wait till you meet recipe developer Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert's chocolate peppermint martini. Worthy of being a stunning showstopper on the table, this martini tastes even better than it looks, and considering the chocolate-peppermint candy rim and whipped cream-peppermint candy garnish, that's saying something! Be prepared to shell out a few bucks however, because this cocktail requires you to have three bottles of alcohol: vanilla vodka, crème de cacao, and peppermint schnapps.

Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Martini

23. Easy Wine Slushie

If you have a sweet spot for frozen margaritas, frozen daiquiris, and pretty much anything that says frozen and comes with alcohol, this red wine slushie will easily be your new favorite. Set aside five minutes of your time and grab a bottle of sweet red wine, a bag of frozen berries, some ice, a high-powered blender, and four serving glasses that have been chilled in the fridge because that's all this slushie really needs. It does say easy after all, doesn't it?

Recipe: Easy Wine Slushie

24. Chef Richard Sandoval's Flor De Muertos Margarita

According to National Geographic, Mexico celebrates another important day around the time of Halloween: Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. For those not familiar with Disney's film "Coco" and what the Día de los Muertos means, the Day of the Dead is a day to show love and respect for the spirits of the dead. Parties, singing, and colorful parades aside, there's one thing the spirits of ancestors like more: spirits, aka alcohol! Toasting to the spirits of the departed ones with chef Richard Sandoval's tequila-based Flor De Muertos Margarita will be sure to appease the ancestors.

Recipe: Chef Richard Sandoval's Flor De Muertos Margarita

25. Tropical Sangria

A fresh spin on the usual sangria, this white wine version of the cocktail is made using a whole bunch of fresh tropical fruits. While a lot of the flavor depends on the type of white wine that you choose, the sangria also gets its light, crisp, and not too sweet tropical notes from orange, papaya, pineapple, mango, and kiwi. But don't stop here: Feel free to add grapefruit, pomegranate, or even starfruit to your sangria, the entire produce aisle is your world here. Fruits and wine aside, you'll also be using fresh pineapple juice as well as unflavored sparkling water like San Pellegrino.

Recipe: Tropical Sangria

26. Eggnog Martini

With the popularity of non-alcoholic eggnog at cafes and supermarkets, it's easy to forget that the raw egg and cream drink traditionally packs in a fair amount of booze. Thanks to recipe developer Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert however, you've got yourself a vanilla vodka and Frangelico hazelnut liqueur-based eggnog martini that you'll want not just over the holidays, but all year round as well. It's everything you'd expect eggnog to be: rich, creamy, and super luxe with just a hint of winter spices.

Recipe: Eggnog Martini

27. Long Island Iced Tea

Get ready to take a trip to the liquor store because you're going to need a ton of liquor for this cocktail. The bizarre origins of the Long Island iced tea lie in the 1920s Prohibition era in Long Island, Tennessee. The lethal cocktail is said to have been invented as a conspicuous way for people to consume high amounts of alcohol through an innocent-looking drink that could pass off as a legal non-alcoholic beverage (via The Culture Trip). Years later, that's exactly what a Long Island iced tea continues to be. With the potency of five different types of alcohol, this cocktail will quickly get the party going!

Recipe: Long Island Iced Tea

28. Peach Bellini

Say goodbye to good ol' mimosas because here's another sparkling drink that deserves a seat at your Sunday brunch table: peach bellini. While both mimosas and peach bellinis are made from sparkling wine (Prosecco in this case), where orange juice is the base for mimosas, peach bellinis are made from fresh peach puree. Softer, sweeter, and more floral than the former, the bellini can also be livened up with a handful of raspberries in the peach puree for a blush pink color.

Recipe: Peach Bellini

29. Jungle Juice

Jungle juice is mostly associated with wild parties, blacked-out nights, and killer hangovers — all thanks to the inebriating punch made from whatever alcohol and handy fruit juice. Recipe developer Ting Dalton's cocktail, however, is a far more toned-down version of the college party classic, with a focus on the taste of the cocktail rather than its potency. Three types of fresh fruits and an equal number of fruit juices aside, you'll need a whole bottle of vodka to make enough jungle juice for 12 servings.

Recipe: Jungle Juice

30. Dirty Shirley

A grown-up take on the iconic Shirley Temple mocktail popular amongst the kids, this boozy drink was inspired by a TikTok trend, says recipe developer Michelle McGlinn. The dirty Shirley has all the usual suspects you'd find in the mocktail: maraschino cherries, grenadine, and a lemon-lime soda. Add to that two ounces of vodka and you've got yourself a dazzling cocktail. Super sweet and cheap to make, McGlinn's only word of advice is that the dirty Shirley is "easy to drink! A little too easy..."

Recipe: Dirty Shirley

31. Classic Martini

You can't go wrong with a classic martini: it's simple, crisp, and incredibly easy to make. The martini gets its dryness from vermouth which is stirred into a glass along with gin and ice. Use a cocktail strainer and pour it all into a martini glass and voila! That's all there pretty much is to this martini. Twist a lemon peel for garnish and wash it down with some appetizers — think olives, cheese, or even some oysters.

Recipe: Classic Martini

32. Painkiller

Don't let the name of the drink fool you, this cocktail is no medicine. In reality, the painkiller is a tiki cocktail and one that happens to be the state of Massachusetts' favorite according to Google data (via Upgraded Pointes). This recipe sticks pretty close to the one trademarked by Pusser's Rum except it gives you the option of making the cocktail lighter by swapping the coconut cream with coconut milk. The nutmeg, orange slice, and cherry garnish is also scrapped for a simple slice of pineapple. The best part? Considering that Pusser's rums are notorious for having high amounts of alcohol percentages, this recipe leaves it up to you to choose any dark rum that you please and not just Pusser's.

Recipe: Painkiller

33. Green Tea Shot

Fun fact: This green tea shot doesn't actually have any green tea in it! What you will need however, is some sour mix, peach schnapps, a lemon-lime soda like 7UP, and a whole lot of Irish whiskey. Get your proportions right and your shots will turn out with the shade of actual green tea. While the shots may pass off as green tea in appearance to the untrained eye, the shots have a far fruitier, smokier, and sweeter flavor that will make them go down dangerously smoothly.

Recipe: Green Tea Shot

34. Sidecar

An invention of the pre-Prohibition era, the sidecar was concocted to celebrate the first Armistice Day in 1919 and was likely named after the motorcycle sidecars used for transport between trenches during the war. A cross between a margarita and an old fashioned, the classic sidecar usually has a 2:1:1 ratio of cognac or brandy to orange liqueur and lemon juice. This means that the sidecar is supposed to have a slightly sour flavor but if that's not your thing, you can sweeten it with simple syrup.

Recipe: Sidecar

35. Sweet Red Sangria

Looking for a classic red wine sangria to accompany a barbecue in the garden, a Sunday brunch, or an afternoon by the pool perhaps? A straightforward sangria made with a mix of common fruits — oranges and apples — sweetened with brown sugar, and spiced with cinnamon sticks, this red wine sangria swaps the triple sec with non-alcoholic orange juice instead. Not to worry though, there's a fair bit of rum in here to balance the booziness of the sangria.

Recipe: Sweet Red Sangria

36. Gimlet

If you love strong, gin-forward cocktails, this gimlet will be a welcome change from the usual G&Ts. To keep things as authentic as possible, the gimlet is made with dry gin and lime cordial (sweetened lime juice) — the only two ingredients most classic gimlets are made from. To balance out the flavors of the cocktail a little more however, this recipe also uses simple syrup as well as some ice and lime wedges for garnish.

Recipe: Gimlet

37. Hot Toddy

Although an ideal warm drink to curl up to on a winter's night, hot toddies have a history of being used as a cheeky medicinal drink to help soothe sore throats and nasty colds. The honey and lemon in the drink may help calm an irritated throat while the warm whiskey could help you fall asleep. Safe to say, hot toddy is a perfectly acceptable alcoholic beverage to have at any time of the day, even when you're ill — scratch that, especially when you're ill.

Recipe: Hot Toddy

38. Sazerac

Declared the official cocktail of New Orleans in 2008 (via NPR), this sazerac is as classic as a sazerac is supposed to be. The no-frill, no-twist whiskey-forward drink has a slight bitterness from the use of bitters, a hint of sweetness from the sugar cube, and gets an extra layer of flavor from rinsing the cocktail glass with absinthe first. Topped with a lemon drink garnish, this strong and robust drink is meant to be sipped and enjoyed slowly.

Recipe: Sazerac