Free Cocktail Recipes That Are Simple to Make

Free Cocktail Recipes

Astonish the guests at your next party by following these simple free cocktail recipes. Surprise them with your secret mixology talent and knowledge about cocktails that will leave your friends thinking you've been leading a double life as a bartender.

Vodka Drinks

Vodka is one of, if not the most, neutral spirits available for cocktails. Its crisp and clean palette means it can work with a variety of ingredients, with flavor combinations ranging from expected to outrageous.

Sex on the Beach

Sex on the beach

A delicious summer cocktail, don't be fooled by anyone saying it's too girly. It packs a punch, so cancel your plans and enjoy the sunshine. The original recipe calls for an orange slice garnish, but sometimes you have to break the mold.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, peach schnapps, melon liqueur, orange juice, and cranberry juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with mango slice.

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

This infamously blue cocktail has some surprisingly sour notes, but the sweet orange flavor makes it all work.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, blue curaçao, and lemonade.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with wheel.

Flirtini

Flirtini cocktail

Whether you're psyching yourself for a date or want something a little different than your usual vodka drinks, the flirtini delivers.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • Pineapple wedge and lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, Cointreau, and pineapple juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Top off with Champagne.
  6. Garnish with pineapple wedge and lemon twist.

Summer Cosmo

Summer Cosmo

A floral twist on the usual cosmopolitan cocktail, sip in the shade with a book or enjoy the warm sunshine with it by your side.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces citron vodka
  • ¾ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce honey liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, citron vodka, elderflower liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and honey liqueur.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Afternoon Vodka Spritzer

Afternoon Vodka Spritzer

The ideal spritzer for when you're looking for an afternoon spritzer that won't knock you off your feet. Well, the booze won't, but the flavors will.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce lemon vodka
  • ¾ ounce raspberry liqueur
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • Ice
  • Lime club soda to top off
  • Lemon wheel and pomegranate seeds to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, lemon vodka, raspberry liqueur, and grenadine.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Do not strain, pour into highball glass.
  4. Top off with lime club soda.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheel and pomegranate seeds.

Orange Drop

Lemon Drop Cocktail

Much like the lemon drop martini, the citrus flavors have been converted in an ice-cold cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces orange vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce orange curaçao
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • 3 ounces prosecco
  • Orange slice for garnish

Instruction

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, orange vodka, lemon juice, orange curaçao, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with prosecco.
  5. Garnish with orange slice.

Rum Drinks

Typically associated with tropical drinks, rum has a spectrum of sweet, oaky, and smokey flavors thanks to the different varieties.

Malibu Bay Breeze

Malibu Bay Breeze

An elevated spin on other breeze-style cocktails, the rum quickly turns the porch into an oceanfront balcony.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Malibu rum
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

Meaning "out of this world" in Tahitian, the Mai Tai brings the flavors of Hawaii to your party.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1½ ounces pineapple juice
  • 1½ ounces orange juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge, mint sprig, and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rums, orange liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, and orange juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge, mint sprig, and cherry.

Lounge Lizard

Lounge Lizard

A quick and easy cocktail, it's an upgrade from the usual spiced rum and coke.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a highball or rocks glass, add ice, dark rum, and amaretto liqueur.
  2. Top off with cola.
  3. Garnish with cherry.

Tranquilo Piña Colada

Tranquilo Piña Colada

Don't even look at your blender--this recipe comes together in under 3 minutes. You'll be back in the sun before you know it.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1½ ounces cream of coconut
  • 1½ ounces pineapple juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge, pineapple leaf, and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, white rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and lime juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball or hurricane glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with cherry, pineapple wedge, and leaf.

Smokey Jungle Bird

Smokey Jungle Bird

The smoked bitters give the jungle bird a new and unexpected depth of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1¾ ounces dark rum
  • ¾ ounce Campari
  • 1½ ounces pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce demerara syrup
  • 2 dashes smoked cinnamon bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, demerara syrup, and smoked cinnamon bitters.
  2. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with orange peel.

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad cocktail

When you tell your friends you're having a fruit salad for lunch, no one will ask why. Instead, they'll compliment you on your healthy choices. They're not wrong--pineapple juice is great for you!

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1½ ounce cream of coconut
  • 1 ounce banana liqueur
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, banana liqueur, and orange liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Whiskey Drinks

Often associated with classic or Prohibition-style cocktails, whiskey is frequently found in modern cocktails as well.

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

A quintessential cocktail, you can opt to add an egg white if you want your cocktail to be extra frothy.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces whiskey
  • 1½ ounces lemon juice
  • ¾ ounces simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Bitters for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a few drops of bitters, creating a design.

Highball

Highball

The easiest of any cocktail style, highball style drinks practically make themselves.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • Ice
  • Ginger ale top off
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice and whiskey.
  2. Top off with ginger ale.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge.

Washington Apple

Washington Apple Cocktail

Often ordered in as a shot, the Washington Apple also makes a delicious cocktail. Skip the ice and serve it up to enjoy as a martini.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce whiskey
  • 1 ounce sour apple schnapps
  • 4 ounces cranberry juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, whiskey, sour apple schnapps, and cranberry juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon slice.

Lemon Smash

Lemon Smash

This whiskey smash calls for lemon, but you can use just about any fruit on hand.

Ingredients

  • 3 lemon wedges
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • Ice
  • Lemon club soda OR lemonade to top off
  • Lemon wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle lemon wedges, mint, and simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, orange liqueur, and whiskey.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Top off with lemon club soda.
  6. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.

Plane Ticket

Plane Ticket Cocktail

Consider this a ticket for a one-way trip to a refreshing summer drink.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add bourbon, orange liquer, sweet vermouth, and lemon juice.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Lazy Gold Rush

Lazy Gold Rush

Enjoy the classic gold rush cocktail without all of the extra prep work for the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce honey liqueur
  • ¾ ounce limoncello
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, bourbon, honey liqueur, and limoncello.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon peel.

Gin Drinks

A refreshing spirit, herbaceous gin gives any cocktail a savory and crisp boost without overpowering the complementing flavors.

Gin Fizz

Gin Fizz

Unlike that other infamous gin fizz, this doesn't require an entire afternoon to shake.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Rosemary sprig or lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice, powdered sugar, and rosemary simple syrup.
  2. Shake well to chill and froth.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with rosemary sprig or lemon wheel.

50/50

50/50 Cocktail

The simplest of the martinis, with just two ingredients and equal proportions, anyone can stir this up.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • 1½ ounces dry vermouth
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, gin, dry vermouth.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon twist.

Blood Orange Siren

Blood Orange Siren

A cousin of the classic screwdriver, it gets a colorful upgrade with gin instead of vodka.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • 1 ounce blood orange juice
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Splash of club soda
  • Orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, gin, blood orange juice, and bitters.
  2. Shake to mix.
  3. Add splash of club soda.
  4. Garnish with orange wheel.

Garden Gin and Tonic

Garden Gin and Tonic Cocktail

When you're inevitably up to your chin in homegrown vegetables and herbs, whether your own or hastily gifted by someone that's overwhelmed with their own crop, this drink is a way to use up the stock.

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumber wheels
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces gin, preferably Hendricks
  • ¼ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Tonic to top off
  • Cucumber ribbon and rosemary sprig

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber wheels and lime juice.
  2. Add ice, gin, and rosemary simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Top off with tonic.
  6. Garnish with cucumber ribbon, threading the rosemary sprig through.

Highway to South Side

On the Way to South Side

A spin on the south side cocktail, this gin cocktail also calls for cucumber to freshen things up a bit.

Ingredients

  • 4 mint leaves
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Mint leaves and cucumber slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves, cucumber slices, lemon wedge, and splash of simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, gin, remaining simple syrup, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Top off with club soda.
  6. Garnish with mint leaves and cucumber slices.

Berry Gin Rickey

Berry Gin Rickey

Whether you pick your own berries off a bush or the grocery store shelf, they all make a stellar fruity gin rickey.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 raspberries
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Mint sprig and raspberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, muddle raspberries and simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, gin, and lime juice.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig and raspberries.

Tips and Tricks for Tasty Drinks

Making cocktails should be as easy as enjoying summer. It shouldn't be an all-day project just to enjoy one drink, especially when you just want to get back to your book or enjoy a walk in the sun. So capitalize on what you have on hand, both in the pantry and refrigerator, to whip up a cocktail.

  • Use fruit or berries that have been sitting in the refrigerator. Even if it's a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, they all go well together, especially when muddled.
  • Don't let citrus fruit go to waste. Use them to make freshly squeezed citrus juice, peel them for garnishes, or muddle for a tangy cocktail. Like berries, these can be tackled separately or in combination.
  • For an added flavor, don't just drop in the citrus peel. Instead, express them on the rim or over the drink. You can even flame them for a brighter citrus note.
  • Fresh herbs never last as long as you'd like. So long as they're fresh, you can use them in a cocktail by muddling them or as part of the garnish, either as is or with a slight char.
  • Herbs and fruit can also be used to make simple syrups to keep on hand. Don't use moldy or spoiled ingredients, however.
  • Infuse spirits with any fruits, vegetables, or herbs you have on hand. You can do solo ingredients or a couple together for a uniquely infused liquor. Just add tonic or club soda to a flavored spirit and your cocktail is ready to go.

Free Cocktail Recipe Essentials

Keep your home bar stocked with liquor so you can make some free cocktail recipes any time company stops by. In addition, once you've mastered these cocktails, experiment with your own favorite flavors and invent one of your own.

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Free Cocktail Recipes That Are Simple to Make