With “dry” January almost over, you may be thinking about grabbing a drink to quench your thirst for some alcohol sometime soon. But rather than simply buying a beer, why not take the time to learn a few drinks you can enjoy that takea little more thought than just cracking open a bottle?
If you want to have the occasional drink without having to make a fuss about throwing a “wine & cheese” party, look no further. We’ve got six drinks that you can easily learn to prepare from the comfort of your own home.
Gin and tonic
Glass: Old-fashioned (aka the lowball glass)
- Tonic water
The gin and tonic is the most straightforward drink you can prepare for yourself for any occasion. Best enjoyed during warm weather, the drink is simply what its name says it is– a mix of gin and tonic.
The drink’s mix is a matter of personal preference. Those who prefer a stronger taste of the gin’s flavor can simply lessen the volume of tonic in the drink. Pour both ingredients over ice – cubes or cracked – and enjoy. Adding a slice of lime to garnish is optional.
Glass: Cocktail glass or Old Fashioned
- 2 parts gin
- 1 part lime juice
If you’re looking for a sweeter alternative to the gin and tonic, the gimlet is the perfect drink for you. Pour the gin and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain the drink into your preferred glass before topping it off with soda and enjoy.
The drink can also be prepared without soda, being a half-and-half mixture of gin and sweetened lime juice. Rose’s lime juice is the preferred brand of sweetened lime juice for the drink, but a simple substitution of unsweetened lime juice with some crushed sugar or syrup sweetener is also possible.
The gin can be replaced with vodka if you’re looking for a bit of variety or simply constrained by what you have in your kitchen. Replacing the clear liquor with rum turns the drink into a daiquiri.
- 5 parts vodka
- 2 parts coffee liqueur
The Black Russian is a great sweet treat for a relaxing afternoon or after-dinner drink. It’s also one of the easiest drinks to remember and prepare alongside the gin and tonic.
Simply fill an old-fashioned glass with ice – cubes or cracked – and pour the vodka onto the ice. Follow the vodka with the coffee liqueur and stir gently.
You can add cream to your Black Russian to turn it into a White Russian. If cream is not available, you can always replace it with milk.
- Rye whiskey (or bourbon)
- Angostura bitters
- Sugar cube
The old-fashioned is a simple drink to prepare and never goes out of style. Whether you’re drinking to enjoy your alone time, or with a few friends, the old-fashioned is a great drink to nurse while you let time fly by.
Place the sugar cube in the glass and dissolve it with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Crush the sugar with a spoon and swill the glass to line the bottom with the bitters and sugar. Fill the glass with ice (cracked or cubes) then add the rye whiskey. While wholly optional, you can garnish the drink with an orange peel or a cherry for kicks if you plan on savoring your drink with something fancy to stir.
Glass: Cocktail glass
- 2 parts cognac
- 1 part orange liqueur
- 1 part lemon Juice
Another classic that you can add to your arsenal of drink recipes, the sidecar is served straight up and is a great nightcap for those wanting a little help going to sleep. Simply combine all of the drink’s ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. You can put sugar on half the glass’s rim for a drink you can quickly enjoy.
Glass: Cocktail glass or old-fashioned
- 2 parts rye whiskey
- 1 part sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Another drink served straight up, the Manhattan is a great alternative to the gimlet if you prefer whiskey to gin. Simply stir the whiskey, vermouth, and the bitters together with cracked ice. Afterwards, strain the drink into a preferably chilled cocktail glass or old-fashioned glass. Presto! A straightforward drink that’s as easy to enjoy as it is to prepare.