If you’re looking for a simple way to jazz up a dinner party or just make a night with friends a bit more festive, sometimes the right cocktail is all it takes. The best drinks don’t always take ten ingredients and need to be Instagram-ready to pair well with your meal. The reality is that simple is often best. We’ve put together a list of five two or three-ingredient cocktails you’ll want to make certain you have in your bartending repertoire before your next gathering.
Amaretto and Cranberry
Simple and tasty, this drink has multiple "notes" to it that makes it feel much more complicated than it actually is. Mix one part Amaretto with 2 parts cranberry juice, shake with ice and pour into a lowball glass. If you prefer a stronger beverage, you can add a shot of vodka or rum as well, but this is a delightfully light alcoholic beverage as is.
The Palmetto is a classic cocktail and for good reason - it's balanced and elegant. Plus, it is a great "fruit-free" way to enjoy a good rum. Simply start with one and 1/2 ounce dark rum, one 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth and two dashes of dark bitters. Stir gently with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Paired Down French 75
The slightly more complex French 75 is made simpler by utilizing pre-made lemonade as one of the ingredients. Simply stir one and 1/2 half ounce gin with one-ounce lemonade then top with a sparkling wine of your choice. Delicious and so simple!
This is a great option to make as a punch, or can be handcrafted drink by drink. Simply mix 1 part Blue Curacao, one part Vodka and four parts Lemon juice (or a sour mix if you prefer a sweeter taste) for an easy-to-sip drink that is more potent than you may realize.
A Highball (note capitalization) is the broad name for any drink that mixes a base liquor with a non-alcoholic base. Think rum and coke, gin and tonic or Seven and Seven. While simple, having these options on the table at your next gathering is a good way to offer many options without a lot of work. Cut a few lemons, limes and have maraschino cherries on hand for fun garnishes.
No matter which of these you plan to serve, remember that more so than with the complex drinks, quality counts. With a simple drink, you will taste the quality of the liquor and the mixers, so don't skimp and invest in a higher quality product. You'll wind up with a drink and an evening that no one will soon forget.