3 Simple Cocktails to Make at Home
posted on January 28, 2021 | by Kelley Matney
Some people prefer an ice-cold refreshing beer, others drink wine like water, and while I’ll take either if offered, a cocktail has always been my beverage of choice. I’ve always felt that a cocktail makes an occasion out of grabbing a drink, I love watching the bartenders mix the various ingredients, using their spectacle of tools and tricks.
This past year of quarantine and social distancing has made it a little more difficult to capture the magic of a bespoke cocktail in a low-lit bar. Even with the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, getting together with your girlfriends in a crowded bar for happy hour won’t likely be happening for several months at the least. Below, you’ll find three recipes for cocktails that are easily crafted at home. Each one tested by yours truly and requires only a few steps.
This happy hour staple is so easy to make you’ll likely laugh that you didn’t realize it was so simple. There are only three ingredients needed: tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur. There are many types of orange liqueur on the market, the most used being Cointreau which gives it a lighter, brighter flavor. I tend to use Grand Marnier; I like the weight and oaky sweetness it brings. But any orange liqueur will do!
- 2 oz. tequila
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier
- 1 oz. lime juice
- Optional: add an oz. of your favorite fruit juice like Pineapple, Grapefruit, Watermelon you name it.
- Lime for garnish
- Margarita salt (optional)
If you’d like to use a salt-rimmed glass (which, you definitely should!), quarter a lime and rub one slice along the rim of a glass. Pour margarita salt onto a small plate and place the rim of the glass into the salt. For the margarita, add the tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and fruit juice if you choose, to a cocktail shaker, top with ice, and shake! (You can stir ingredients together in a glass if you do not have a shaker). Add ice to your glass and pour the margarita over top. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Rosemary Moscow Mule
I used to be afraid of any recipe that used simple syrup, but I have since learned the error of my ways. Flavored simple syrups are such a straightforward way to add a flavor punch to your cocktails and I promise you they are not hard to make.
- 2 oz vodka
- ½ oz of Rosemary Simple Syrup (add more or less to taste)
- 1 oz lime juice
- Ginger Beer to top
- Lime wedge for garnish
Mix vodka, rosemary simple syrup, and lime juice in a copper mug. Add ice and then top with Ginger beer. Stir to combine. Use a lime wedge for garnish.
Chai Hot Toddy
The Hot Toddy is one of the quintessential winter cocktails. You can’t go wrong. This twist on the tradition is even better in my opinion. The simple switch of using Chai tea instead gives it a spicy and cinnamon-filled update.
- 6 oz steaming hot water
- 2 Chai Tea Bags (Using two bags gives it a stronger chai flavor, but you can use one to suit your preference)
- 3 oz whiskey or bourbon
- 1 oz honey
- 1 oz half and half
- Cinnamon to garnish
Pour the hot water over the chai tea bags in a heatproof mug. Let it steep for 3-4 minutes, then remove tea bags. Add the honey, whiskey, and half and half. Stir to combine and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon.
What have been your favorite cocktails to make at home? Let us know in the comments so we can all test them out for our next Zoom happy hour.