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Craft Cocktail Recipes To Make At Home

Craft Cocktail Recipes To Make At Home

Cocktails for all seasons and all reasons can be prepared quickly and with just a few ingredients. A few liquor cabinet standards include vodka, rum, whiskey, and tequila as well as champagne, a bottle of each red and white wine. With these core staples in stock and a few mixers with one or two specialty items and boom, you’re a boss home bartender.

Before crafting any cocktails at home, it is often helpful to have some simple syrup on hand. This easy-to-make flavor enhancer is often used in cocktails.

How To Make Simple Syrup

Mix equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. That’s it. Start with one cup of each for just a few cocktails or make 2 cups of each when preparing large batches of punch or a pitcher of drinks.

Minutes to Mojito

Here is where the simple syrup comes in! With a cocktail muddler, muddle a few mint leaves (mash them in the bottom of a glass or pitcher). Add ice, pour in 1 ounce each of simple syrup and lime juice, 2 ounces of rum, and 2 ounces of club soda or soda water.

To make a large batch in a pitcher, use cups in place of ounces: 1 cup of simple syrup, 1 cup of lime juice, 2 cups of rum and 2 cups of club soda or soda water.

Whip up a Whiskey Sour

This cocktail does require a few extra ingredients, but the frothy goodness is well worth it.

Gather your favorite whiskey (bourbon), simple syrup, lemon juice, an egg white (yes, an egg white!), and maraschino cherries and orange slices for garnish. 

Pour two ounces of bourbon, 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, ¾ ounce of simple syrup and one egg white into a cocktail shaker and mix well. Add ice and shake again until the shaker is cold to the touch. Pour into an on the rocks glass and garnish with cherry and/or orange slices and enjoy.

Mint Julep

Combine 2-3 mint leaves with 2 ounces of simple syrup and muddle in the bottom of a tall glass. Add 2 ounces of bourbon, a splash of soda water if desired, and stir with a long spoon then fill with ice and start sipping.

1-2-3 Margarita

Combine 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons of Cointreau, and 3 tablespoons of tequila in a cocktail shaker with ice. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass then dip it in kosher salt, fill glass with ice and pour contents of shaker in the glass. Enjoy!

Consider adding a bit of simple syrup to reduce the feel and taste of the alcohol. When making a large pitcher of margaritas, try one cup of simple syrup with ½ cup of fresh lime juice, one cup of Cointreau and two cups of tequila.

Swap out lime juice for your favorite fruit juice: watermelon, pineapple, blueberry or strawberry!

Celebrate Fall With Spiked Cider

Rub a slice of apple around the rim of a tall glass then dip in cinnamon sugar (1 teaspoon of sugar and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon), then fill the glass with ice. Pour in 2 ounces of caramel vodka or whiskey then fill with apple cider. Save this cocktail recipe and serve by the pitcher for Thanksgiving!

Seasonal Sangria

Sangria is made by the pitcher and perfect for a group. Ingredients can be seasonally adjusted but for fall try this recipe!

2 bottles of red wine, 1 cup of Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur, ½ cup of apple cider, 2 apples cut into chunks, 2 oranges sliced then cut in half or quarters, 1 pear cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir all ingredients in a large pitcher filled with ice.

3 Cocktails Featuring Vodka

Using a 1:3 ratio of vodka to juice, you can make individual drinks by measuring one shot or one ounce to every three ounces of juice over ice in a glass or one cup of vodka to every three cups of juice for popular vodka based cocktails.

Cape Cod

Mix vodka with cranberry juice and either muddle in a wedge or several wedges of cut lime, or squeeze in some fresh lime juice and garnish with a slice of lime wedge.

Moscow Mule

Fine tune the proportions to your personal taste but try 1 ounce of vodka to 3 ounces of ginger beer in a copper cup and add the juice of a lime wedge. Also garnish with a lime wedge if desired.


The classic combination of vodka and orange juice has been served with brunch for decades. Try whipped cream flavored vodka to create a creamsicle flavored version, add some fresh fruit including oranges or peaches, or substitute one ounce of vodka with peach liqueur for a fun, fuzzy flavor.

Champagne Cocktails

Simply pour any one of the following ingredients in a champagne glass then top with your favorite chilled bubbly! So easy! If you’re having a party, make a champagne cocktail buffet by having a few bottles on ice with a selection of fruit juices, fresh fruits, and mixers. Juices may be cranberry, orange, pineapple or whatever you wish + Champagne or Sparkling Wine or Prosecco

  • French Mimosa: 1 ounce of Chambord + Champagne or Sparkling Wine or Prosecco (add a raspberry to the bottom of the glass too!)
  • Kir Royale: 1/2 ounce Crème de Casis + Champagne or Sparkling Wine or Prosecco
  • Bellini: 1 ounce of Peach Schnapps + Champagne or Sparkling Wine or Prosecco Champagne 
  • 1 ounce of Cointreau + Champagne or Sparkling Wine or Prosecco
  • 1 ounce of Limoncello + Champagne or Sparkling Wine or Prosecco

Whatever the reason for the celebration, or to simply toast being together, enjoy creating your own cocktails with this easy to make and simple cocktails with ingredients you probably already have at home! Adjust amounts and flavors to customize to your tastes and salut!


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About The Author

Sharon MacGregor

Writing from her desk in New York, Sharon MacGregor is a contributing reporter, freelance writer, and blogger with a passion for human interest stories as well as meals shared with friends and family. Her blog, Fed Well includes recipes with upcoming tips to prepare foods for infants and toddlers, simple and seasonal cocktails, and easy modifications to create dishes respecting dietary restrictions including dairy and gluten intolerances. She loves entertaining for the ones she loves including her new grandbabies!

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