A side shot of three cocktails on a white table with a carribean beach as background.

22 Cocktails for Beginners—Easy to Make

Beginner cocktails are easy to make with 2, 3, or 4 common ingredients commonly found in home bars or are easily available at stores. They use basic techniques like shaking and stirring and don’t need special equipment beyond a shaker. The foundation of these beverages typically includes popular spirits like vodka, whiskey, gin, and tequila.

Cocktails that have a more universally appealing taste profile are considered beginner-friendly. They often taste sweet, making them a hit at parties and suitable for those new to cocktails. Extremely bitter, sour, or spicy drinks might be more of an acquired taste.

These mixed drinks are well-known and popular to order at a bar. They are often easier for beginners and aspiring bartenders because they might have already tasted them somewhere and are familiar with what the result should be like.

The recipes are clear, avoiding dangerous steps such as flaming or dry ice. While taste is the focus, they don’t emphasize fancy presentations or garnishes. And finally, as they are cheap or easy on the wallet, they won’t break the bank.

Our top 3: If you’re looking for crowd-pleasers, these are our best cocktails for beginners. First up, the Mimosa. It’s a classic everyone loves, perfect for brunches or early celebrations. Next, the Tequila Sunrise stands out with its bright colors and simple mix, making it a favorite for evening parties. And we can’t forget the Cuba Libre. It’s a timeless drink that fits any occasion. All three drinks are easy to whip up in big batches, so we often choose them for birthday parties and company events.

Best 22 Beginner Cocktail Recipes

At DrinksWorld, we’ve picked the best cocktail recipes for beginners. These recipes are an excellent starting point for learning mixology. They’re simple to make and don’t need complex ingredients.

Whiskey Sour

A side shot of a Whiskey Sour cocktail in a Old Fashioned glass with some oranges in the background

 

The Whiskey Sour is a straightforward cocktail that’s perfect for beginners. With just three ingredients – whiskey, lemon juice, and a sweetener – it’s hard to go wrong. You don’t need fancy equipment; a simple cocktail shaker or jar will do. Mix, shake, and you’re done! It’s a minimal-fuss drink that offers a balanced taste, making it an ideal choice for those new to cocktail-making.

Rum and Coke

A side shot of a Rum and Coke cocktail in a highball glass with 3 ice cubes on the side and turquoise background color

You can make a Rum and Coke in no time. Just grab your favorite rum and some cola. Put them in a glass with ice, stir, and enjoy! It tastes like the cola you know and love, with a warm kick from the rum.

Gin and Tonic

A side shot of a Gin Tonic cocktail in a highball glass on a black stone coaster with lime slices on the side placed on a white marmol table with a light blue background.

The Gin and Tonic is a quick and easy choice. Pour gin and tonic water over ice in a glass. The bubbly tonic makes the gin taste even better. You don’t need fancy tools or ingredients, just a simple mix for a refreshing gin cocktail.

Kalimotxo

Want a quick and easy drink? Try the Kalimotxo! Mix red wine and cola, and you have a tasty drink ready. It’s sweet, tangy, and perfect for parties. And the best part? It won’t empty your wallet!

Dry Martini

A side shot of a Gin Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a wooden tray with a bowl with olives behind placed on a table and a turquoise wall on the background.

Do you think making a Dry Martini is hard? Think again! Mix gin (or vodka) with dry vermouth, stir it with ice, and pour. Add an olive or a lemon twist on top if you like. It’s clear and tasty; most people have these ingredients at home.

Mimosa

A side shot of a Mimosa cocktail in a champagne flute on a table with two orange slices in front and two oranges on the background

Love brunch? The Mimosa is for you! Pour champagne and orange juice into a glass, and you’re set. It’s sweet and bubbly, and everyone loves it. Plus, you can find the ingredients easily. Making a great drink doesn’t get simpler than this!

Tequila Sunrise

A side shot of a Tequila Sunrise cocktail in a highball glass on a brown coaster placed on a beige table with a half orange on one side and a green plant on the other side.

Want a colorful drink that’s easy to make? Go for the Tequila Sunrise! Pour tequila, add some orange juice, and top it with a splash of grenadine. You’ll get a beautiful sunrise effect in your glass. It’s a sweet, fruity cocktail.

Cuba Libre

A side shot of a Cuba Libre cocktail in a highball glass with two half limes on the side and a basket with limes on the background.

Looking for a classic with a twist? Try the Cuba Libre! Mix rum with cola, squeeze in some lime, and have a refreshing drink. It’s bubbly and tangy, and your kitchen probably has the ingredients.

Aperol Spritz

A side shot of an Aperol Spritz cocktail in a wine glass on a wooden coaster surrounded by orange pieces placed on a beige table.

The Aperol Spritz is a bubbly treat. Aperol with prosecco, a splash of soda, and you’re done. It’s bright, bubbly, and perfect for a sunny day. And the best part? It’s super easy to make!

Old Fashioned

A side shot of an Old Fashioned cocktail in an old-fashioned glass on a coaster placed on a beige table with a bar spoon and an orange twist on the side.

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that’s easy to craft. You only need whiskey, a sugar cube, and a few dashes of bitters. Muddle the sugar with the bitters, add the whiskey, and give it a good stir. Drop in an ice cube, and you’ve got a smooth drink that’s always a crowd-pleaser. Simple ingredients, simple steps, and a rich taste!

Tom Collins

A side shot of a Tom Collins cocktail in a Highball glass on a stone plate placed on a marmol table, with a shaker, a jigger, an orange and a bar spoon in the background

The Tom Collins is a refreshing choice for anyone starting their cocktail journey. Grab some gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. Mix the gin, lemon juice, and sugar, then top it off with soda. It’s a bubbly delight that’s both tangy and sweet. No fancy moves are needed; just mix and enjoy!

Screwdriver

A Screwdriver cocktail, shot from a side, in a highball glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with two orange slices in front

The Screwdriver is as easy as it gets, making it perfect for beginners. Just pour some vodka and add orange juice. Stir it up, and you’re set! It’s a fruity drink that’s both zesty and smooth. It’s a no-brainer for a quick, tasty cocktail with just two ingredients.

Shandy

The Shandy is a light and refreshing drink that’s super easy to make. All you need is beer and lemonade. Pour them together, give it a quick stir, and you’ve got a bubbly treat. It’s the perfect blend of tangy and sweet; you don’t need any special tools. The Shandy is a great place to start if you’re new to mixing drinks.

Bellini

A side shot of a Peach Bellini cocktail in a champagne flute on a wooden coaster with peach slices in front placed on a table in front of a blue wall.

The Bellini is a fruity delight perfect for those just starting. With just two main ingredients – peach puree and sparkling wine – it’s a breeze to prepare. Pour the peach puree into a glass, top it with sparkling wine, and give it a gentle stir. It’s a sweet and bubbly drink that will impress without complicated steps.

Mojito

A side shot of a Mojito cocktail in a highball glass on a white marmol table with plants behind and on the side.

The Mojito is a minty, fresh cocktail that’s always a hit. Grab rum, lime juice, sugar, mint leaves, and soda water. Gently muddle the mint and sugar, add the rum and lime juice, and top it off with soda. It’s a zesty drink with a hint of sweetness. There is no need for fancy techniques; just mix it up and enjoy the refreshing taste!

Long Island Iced Tea

A side shot of a Long Island Iced Tea cocktail in a highball glass on a white marmol table in front of a yellow wall with an orange and a shaker on the background.

The Long Island Iced Tea offers a mix of flavors that many love. You mix several spirits like vodka, tequila, rum, gin, and triple sec with lemon juice and cola in a tall glass with ice. Add a lemon slice on top, and you get a strong, tasty drink. This drink impresses and is easy to make.

Negroni

A side shot of a Negroni cocktail in a old-fashioned glass on a wooden tray, with an orange and a little branch with flowers

People know the Negroni as a simple and classic cocktail. Mix equal parts of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in a glass with ice and stir. Add an orange slice or twist for garnish, and you have a bold, bittersweet drink. It’s an easy and elegant choice for anyone, even if you’re new to cocktails.

Gimlet

A side shot of a Gimlet cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a black table with lime pieces, a bar spoon, three sugar cubes, and a white cloth around, in front of a red wall.

The Gimlet stands out as a refreshing choice for beginners. You only need gin, sugar and lime juice. Mix the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake it, and pour it into a glass. Top it with a lime wheel or twist, and you have a zesty, light drink.

Margarita

A side shot of a Margarita cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone plate placed on a blue table surrounded by lime wedges and on a pink background colour.

Everyone loves a good Margarita. You just need tequila, lime juice, and a little triple sec. Shake them together, and you’re set. Its tangy taste is perfect for those starting with basic cocktails.

White Russian

A side shot of a White Russian cocktail in an Old Fashioned glass on a wooden background

For a creamy drink, try the White Russian. Mix vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream. Stir it, and your glass has a rich treat. First-timers often love its smooth taste.

Cosmopolitan

A side shot of a Cosmopolitan cocktail in a martini glass on a white marmol table with two orange slices on the side.

The Cosmopolitan is all about style. Take vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and a bit of triple sec. A quick shake, and it’s ready. This bright and zesty drink is great for those new to mixing.

Vodka Soda

The Vodka Soda is easy and refreshing. Mix vodka with soda water, and you’ve got a drink. Two ingredients make it simple. Just pour into a glass and enjoy! It’s a clear choice and one of the best cocktails for beginners.

Which liquors and brands to buy?

It’s best to start with versatile staple liquors that can be used in various drinks. Here are some common liquors and popular brands suited for beginner cocktails:

  • Vodka is like a blank canvas, blending seamlessly with almost anything. That’s why many newbies start with brands like Smirnoff and Absolut, making easy drinks like the classic Screwdriver.
  • Rum, with its natural sweetness, is another favorite. It’s the star in simple cocktails like the Cuba Libre. Bacardi and Captain Morgan are our top picks because they mix smoothly and taste great.
  • Whiskey lovers often begin with the Whiskey Sour. Brands like Jack Daniel’s and Jameson offer that warm and rich flavor, making this cocktail a classic favorite.
  • For a bit of zest, tequila is the answer. With brands like Jose Cuervo and Patrón, beginners can quickly create a vibrant Tequila Sunrise.
  • Gin brings freshness to the table. Beginners often opt for the Tom Collins, and with brands like Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray, the drink is crisp and refreshing.
  • Brandy‘s luxurious touch is perfect for beginners wanting to try the Sidecar. Brands like Hennessy and Courvoisier make the experience rich and flavorful.
  • Of course, mixers like tonic water, soda water, cola, and fruit juices are essential. They balance out the flavors and make mixing a breeze.

More Easy Cocktails To Make At Home

Top Beginner Cocktails: Screwdriver Recipe (and 14 more!)

Screwdriver Cocktail Drink

Screwdriver Drink Recipe

Andrea Ottaiano Written by Andrea Ottaiano
Jump to Video
Check out our Screwdriver recipe! Made with vodka and orange juice, this classic cocktail is your go-to for a quick and refreshing drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 149

Ingredients
 

  • oz Vodka
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange slice or twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 1½ oz Vodka over the ice.
  • Add Orange Juice: Measure and pour 4 oz orange juice into the glass.
  • Garnish: Place an orange slice or twist into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: If you don't have vodka, you can use gin for a more botanical flavor. I've tried it, and it gives the Screwdriver a unique twist.
  • Orange Juice: Grapefruit or pineapple juice can work if you're out of orange juice. The flavor profile changes, but you still get a refreshing drink.

Making a Pitcher of Screwdriver:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of vodka and 32 oz of orange juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka and orange juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with an orange slice or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; these are available and mimic the neutral flavor of vodka.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of regular vodka, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Screwdriver.

Making it Vegan:

  • Orange Juice: Ensure that your orange juice doesn't contain animal-derived additives like omega-3s from fish oil or vitamin D from lanolin (sheep's wool).
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming your orange juice is vegan-friendly, follow the original steps to enjoy a vegan Screwdriver.

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