The next time you invite your friends over for drinks, knock them out of the park with your beverage knowledge. Whether you want to serve some liquor on the rocks, a mixed drink, cocktail, frozen cocktail, or mocktail, wikiHow has the recipes and tips you need to make it a memorable night.
Method 1 of 5: Making Alcoholic Mixed Drinks
Mixed drinks are alcoholic beverages that require only two ingredients (and maybe a garnish or two).
1. Make a Gin & Tonic.
Gin & Tonic is one of the most popular drinks of all time, thanks to its wonderfully simple, yet refreshing quality. To make the perfect Gin & Tonic you will need: a large highball glass, plenty of well-frozen, clear ice cubes, a lime, a chilled bottle of tonic water and the best quality gin you can get your hands on. To prepare:
- Roll the lime beneath your palm to release the juice, then use a sharp knife to cut it across the center. Turn one lime half onto its flat side and cut it into four equal quarters.
- Take one lime wedge and squeeze its juice into the highball glass, then drop the wedge into the glass. Grab your bottle of gin and pour a double measure (1.50z) into the glass. If you don’t have a measuring cup, you can use the cap of the gin bottle. Three cap-fulls plus an extra dash is about right.
- Fill your glass with as many ice cubes as you can fit, then use a long spoon to stir the drink for a couple of seconds. Open the bottle of chilled tonic and pour 3.5oz into the glass. Stir the drink again to combine the gin, tonic and lime juice.
- If needed, add more ice to bring the level of the liquid about 1 centimeter (0.4 in) away from the rim of the glass – don’t add any more tonic water. Take another lime wedge and slot it onto the rim of the glass to garnish. Add a clear straw, if desired.
2. Make a Rum & Coke.
Rum & Coke is another classic drink whose flavor can vary depending on the type of rum you use – you can go for regular dark rum, spiced rum, coconut rum, whatever you feel like! The traditional Rum & Coke uses light rum, and when garnished with a lime wedge becomes a drink known as a Cuba Libre. To prepare a perfect rum and coke:
- Fill a highball glass with well-frozen, clear ice. Measure out 2 oz of your chosen rum and pour it over the ice.
- Measure 4 oz of Coke (or another cola brand) and pour it into the glass, stirring with a long spoon as you pour.
- Garnish the glass with a lime wedge for a Cuba Libre, or with a maraschino cherry if using spiced or coconut rum.
3. Make a Vodka & Cranberry.
Vodka & Cranberry is a tasty alcoholic treat whose vibrant color makes it a popular choice in bars across the world. Though many people prepare Vodka & Cranberry juice just using those two ingredients, the traditional recipe also calls for a dash of Rose’s lime juice and a dash of orange juice, to really enhance the flavor of the cranberry. To prepare:
- Half-fill an old-fashioned glass with clear, well-frozen ice. Measure out 1 oz (or 2 oz if you want a stronger drink) of vodka and pour it over the ice.
- Add 4 1/2 oz of cranberry juice and, if using, a dash of Rose’s lime juice and a dash of good-quality orange juice.
- Serve with one or two straws and garnish with a wedge of lime.
4. Make a Whiskey & Ginger Ale.
Although whisky buffs may decry the notion of mixing whiskey with anything
other than ice, this drink is growing increasingly popular thanks to its crisp, flavorsome nature. It’s most commonly made with Jameson Irish whiskey, but also works well with bourbon and rye whiskeys. To prepare:
- Fill a highball glass with clear, well-frozen ice. Measure out 1.5 oz of your chosen whiskey and pour over the ice.
- Open a fresh, chilled can of ginger ale and pour into the glass, until the level of the liquid is about 1 centimeter (0.4 in) away from the rim.
- Squeeze the juice from a lime wedge into the drink, then drop the lime wedge in. Use a long spoon to stir the drink, and serve.
Method 2 of 5: Serving Alcohol Straight Up
Sometimes alcohol needs to be served simply, on its own, in order to truly appreciate its individual flavors and merits. No mixers necessary.
1. Serve straight gin. Gin can be a difficult drink to drink straight, unless it is of a very good quality. Nevertheless, a good gin can make an excellent drink served chilled over ice on a hot summer day. Simply fill a highball glass with ice cubes, pour over a measure of your finest gin (Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray are two good options), and add a twist of fresh lime juice, if you like.
2. Serve straight whiskey.
How you drink whiskey will really depend on the alcohol volume and personal preference. Any whiskeys with an ABV (alcohol by volume) over 50% can usually benefit from a splash of water or a couple of ice cubes to dilute the alcohol slightly, thus allowing you to pick up on the flavors more easily. Whiskeys with ABVs between 45% and 50% can either be diluted with a little water or ice, or left on their own – it’s really a matter of which taste your prefer.
- Whiskeys with ABVs less than 40% should technically be drunk neat (no water or ice, unchilled) as they have already been cut down to this volume in the distillery and don’t require any further dilution.
3. Serve straight vodka. Vodka should be stored in the freezer overnight or for at least a few hours before serving. Freezing vodka brings out its ideal flavor and consistency. You should also place your serving glasses (2 or 3 oz glasses are best) in the freezer for about an hour to get them nice and cold. Once they’re ready, pour a shot measure (1.5 oz) of the frozen vodka into the chilled glasses. Do not add ice. Warm the glass in your hand for a minute or two before drinking, to bring the vodka to ideal drinking temperature.
4. Serve straight rum. Really good rum is considered a great after-dinner liquor. Like whiskey, rum can be served by itself, with a splash of water (5 to 6 drops), or over ice–it really depends on your personal preference. The best glass to use for rum is a snifter–the opening of the glass is rather small, allowing the rum’s vapors and aromas to become concentrated.
5. Serve straight tequila. While most lower-range tequilas are served in a shot glass, good quality tequilas should be served in a snifter or a similar glass that has a small mouth. When serving tequila straight, it is important to ‘warm up’ your mouth. If you were to take a large gulp of tequila, it would taste fiery and some of the liquor’s flavor would be wasted. Instead, warm up your mouth by taking a tiny sip of the tequila and letting the liquid run over all of the surfaces of your mouth–gums, tongue, and cheeks included. After this warm up you’ll be able to taste and fully appreciate the subtle flavors of the tequila.
Method 3 of 5: Making Cocktails
Cocktails are more advanced alcoholic beverages–they require more than two ingredients and have their own set of tools that make creating these drinks much easier.
1. Make a Cosmopolitan. The perfect drink for a girl’s night out (or in!), this vibrantly colored cocktail rose to prominence in the 90s when it was the poison of choice for Carrie Bradshaw and the rest of the Sex in the City crew.
2. Make a Dirty Martini. While the dirty martini we know today (gin or vodka, dry vermouth and olive juice) has been around since the early 1900s, this drink has become world famous thanks to one man–and his name is Bond–James Bond. The spy has ordered this drink (shaken, not stirred of course) throughout numerous books and movies. Get your 007 groove on shake up one of your own tonight.
3. Make a Tequila Sunrise. Tequila Sunrise gets its name from the beautiful layered effect created by the yellow juice and bright red grenadine. Tequila Sunrise is a very easy cocktail to make, but definitely makes a favorable impression at parties.
4. Make a Long Island Iced Tea. The Long Island Iced Teas is a strong, liquor-heavy cocktail that dates back to the 1970s, when it was supposedly created by a bartender in Long Island, New York. Whatever its origins, the Long Island Tea is now one of the top five most ordered cocktails in the world.
5. Make a Sex on the Beach. Sex on the Beach is a sweet, fruity drink with an intriguingly risqué name.
6. Make an Old Fashioned. The Old Fashioned is reputed to be the original American cocktail, served since the 1800s in one form or another. It’s experienced something of a renaissance recently, thanks largely to its status as Don Draper’s standard drink of choice. There are lots of variations on the Old Fashioned, many of them involving muddled fruits and other unnecessary extras, but the classic version stands out for its simplicity and style.
7. Make a Mojito. The Mojito originated in Cuba, and is said to be one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite cocktails. They are pretty much the perfect summer drink, thanks to the zesty, refreshing combination of mint leaves and lime, ideal for daytime barbecues and late-night dance bars alike.
8. Make a Margarita. The Margarita is a refreshing, tequila-based drink from Mexico, which has become popular worldwide. In fact, it is the number one tequila-based cocktail in the United States and no Mexican-themed dinner party is complete without a couple of pitchers of Margaritas doing the rounds.
9. Make a White Russian. The White Russian is a creamy, coffee-flavored, vodka-based cocktail which is perfect as an after-dinner drink. If you leave out the cream, you have what’s called a Black Russian which is a lighter alternative.
10. Make a Singapore Sling. Since its creation in 1915, the Singapore Sling has been shrouded in debate and mystery. The Raffles hotel in Singapore is credited with inventing this drink, but even they are uncertain about the original recipe other than the fact that it was like a gin sling with one addition–a mystery ingredient that has been lost to the sands of time. Today, this drink is made with plenty more ingredients and remains intriguingly delicious.
11. Make a Lemon Drop. Like the lemony liquid of this drink, its history is a bit murky. Some say that it gained popularity in San Francisco where it was marketed as that blooming creation–the “girly drink”. Whether considered “girly” or not, men and women alike can agree its pretty darn tasty.
12. Make a Tom Collins. There are several stories surrounding the naming of this cocktail. One fact is actually true–the Tom Collins has its own poem about the man who inspired the drink. That little diddy goes something like this: “My name is John Collins, headwaiter at Limmer’s / Corner of Conduit Street, Hanover Square,/ My chief occupation is filling brimmers / For all the young gentlemen frequenters there.” But wait, you might be saying, the drink is called a Tom Collins–not John! Well some time at the turn of the century, bartenders started using Old Tom gin to make the drink, and voila! The Tom Collins was born.
13. Make a Daiquiri. The history of the Daiquiri is steeped in that place of cigars, dancing, and rum–Cuba. Apparently one night, a man named Jenning Cox ran out of gin while entertaining guests so he turned to that glowing island liquor known as rum. Let this drink transport you to the white sand beaches of Cuban paradise.
Method 4 of 5: Making Frozen Cocktails
Frozen cocktails are traditional cocktails blended with ice. They take on the appearance and texture of a Slurpee but are so much more delicious.
1. Make a Pina Colada. You’ve probably heard that Jimmy Buffet song about a guy who replies to a personal ad in the newspaper only to find out it was his own wife who intrigued him so much. One of the most famous lines is, ”If you like pina coladas, and gettin’ caught in the rain.” Well now you can reconnect with your own darling and sip on this delicious drink.
2. Make a blended Daiquiri. This offshoot of the original, unblended daiquiri is a fantastic beverage to drink poolside, particularly if you are a fan of sweeter, pinker drinks. Skip the store bought watery stuff and make your own frozen daiquiri to drink at your next pool party.
3. Make a frozen Margarita. The first frozen margarita machine was invented by then 26-year-old Dallas resident Mariano Martinez in 1971. Of course, you don’t need to go out to indulge in this blended concoction–try making it at home for yourself!
4. Make a Frozen Mudslide. If you love ice cream, alcohol, or both, look no further than the frozen mudslide. This drink is considered a “trio” cocktail because it combines three different types of alcohol in one drink–Malibu rum, Kahlua, and Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. Recently, however, bartenders have been favoring vodka over the traditional rum.
Method 5 of 5: Making Mocktails
Mocktails are generally the non-alcoholic version of traditional cocktails. However, some mocktails are a creation all their own, rather than a cocktail recipe minus the alcohol.
1. Consider some tips before trying out a mocktail.
What mocktails lack in alcohol, they make up for in strong flavors and fun looks. Just because you’re making a non-alcoholic beverage doesn’t mean you can skimp on the ingredients or the garnish. In fact, when making mocktails its actually more important to use fresh fruit and not-from-concentrate juices because they are the foundation of your drink.
- Use fresh fruit and good juice. To give your mocktail the best flavor possible, use the tastiest ingredients available. Buy fresh fruit from your local farmer’s market. Buy juice that
- Know the importance of the garnish. Garnishes are fun–no one can deny that. Match your garnish with the flavor or personality of your drink. Go wild–everyone will be jealous of your mini-umbrella, pineapple chunk, and maraschino cherry.
2. Create a base for a homemade cocktail. If you are making up your own recipe, you should start with a solid base. Mocktails that are too sweet can be a little overwhelming so a good base for pretty much any mocktail is one ounce of lemon or lime juice mixed with ¾ ounce of fresh simple syrup. From there you can muddle away to your heart’s content, or add some club soda to get your sparkle on.
3. Try out some non-alcoholic versions of classic cocktails.
If you’re not in a very creative mood and would rather stick to a cocktail you know, minus the alcohol, there are plenty of recipes out there for that. In particular, cocktails made with vodka can very easily be turned into mocktails–vodka is a neutral flavor so its absence won’t really change the cocktail too much. Try out some of these classic mocktail recipes:
- Make a Safe Sex on the Beach mocktail. All the risque of the original drink, without the risk.
- Try a Mojito Mocktail. Mint, limes, club soda…what’s not to love?
- Make a strawberry margarita, minus the tequila. Get your groove on but not your booze on.
4. Make a non alcoholic pina colada. Nothing says poolside quite like a pina colada–now your kids can enjoy these booze-less versions while you enjoy your own drink.
Sources and Citations : http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Drinks