20 Tasty Two-Ingredient Cocktails
I love a good cocktail, but I don't always like trotting out (or, moreover, buying) ten different bottles of stuff just to make one drink. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of cocktails that all require just two ingredients (not counting garnishes or things you likely have around, like salt).
Whether you're trying to keep things simple at a party or just want to have ingredients around for something easy and delicious, these two-ingredient cocktails all require minimal investment and taste great. (See also: Great Budget Liquors)
1. Dark and Stormy
The key to a great Dark and Stormy is getting ginger beer, not ginger ale. Spicier than the ale, ginger beer gives this drink a great kick. Just don't sniff it unless you want to give your sinuses a rude awakening.
There are a few variations of this super-summery tequila drink, but at its most basic, it's simply tequila and grapefruit soda on ice with a lime garnish. You can add a dash of salt too, if you like.
Whether it's with gin or vodka, all you need to add is vermouth. If you want to move past two ingredients, you can always make your martini dirty, adding the delicious brine from the olive jar.
4. The Peat Racer
Before you start griping that the IPA ruins the scotch or the scotch ruins the IPA, give this beer-based mixed drink a try — or try one of the others from this Wall Street Journal article about two-ingredient beer cocktails.
The Greyhound is a grapefruit-and-vodka cocktail. When you add a salt rim, it becomes a Salty Dog.
A brunch classic — half orange juice, half sparkling wine.
Similar to the Mimosa, the Bellini combines sparkling wine with peach puree.
8. Gin and Tonic
The name says it all. But if you're planning to down these to stave off malaria, you're sadly out of luck.
Intoxicologist has several two-ingredient cocktails, but I'm especially intrigued by the Camparosa, a combination of 2 oz. bitter Italian Campari and 3 oz. grapefruit juice, served over ice with an orange slice garnish. Pucker up!
There are a lot of variations on the shandy, but the basic version is mixing one part beer with one part of another beverage. Popular mixers include lemonade, limeade, ginger ale, and sprite.
11. Rum and Coke
A classic. For something different, try it with spiced rum.
Here's a less-expected cola combination — this Spanish drink is comprised of half cola and half red wine. Every article about this drink makes the writer sound like a parent trying to get his kid to eat asparagus — "Yes, it sounds gross. Please just try it."
13. Rusty Nail
What's more Scottish than scotch? A drink that combines scotch with the Scottish liqueur Drambuie.
14. Applejack and Cider
When I was still living on the East Coast, this was one of my favorite ways to welcome fall — a shot of applejack (an apple brandy) served over ice with apple cider.
A shot of vodka with orange juice.
16. Cubicle Libre
This one is from our very own Philip Brewer — the cocktail he used to end his work-week with, combining bourbon and Mountain Dew.
17. Black Russian
Like The Dude's favorite drink, the White Russian, but without the cream, the Black Russian combines vodka and Kahlua.
18. French Farmer
One of the most delightful meal-starting cocktails I can remember having was the French Farmer at Barbuzzo in Philadelphia, which combines sparkling wine and floral St. Germain elderflower liqueur. The company behind the liqueur isn't quite as flowery in their description; they simply call it St. Germain and Champagne.
One of those classic cocktails that always makes me think of guys with snifters and cigars. The ingredients? Brandy and Benedictine.
Like martinis, gimlets can be made with vodka or gin. Here's the recipe from my cookbook, Little Old Lady Recipes:
- Half as much Rose's lime juice as gin
- Lime wedges
Mix gin and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake till the outside gets frosty. Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish each with a lime wedge.
Did I miss your favorite two-ingredient cocktail? Share it in the comments!