Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. So many of my friends say they only drink wine at home. Or if they do make mixed drinks at home it’s always something simple served over ice. Perhaps they are intimidated by the cocktail making process. (Psst… don’t sweat it. It’s easy!) Or maybe they don’t have the proper tools. (Special tools are handy, but not entirely necessary.) Or maybe it’s just a matter of not knowing enough recipes. (We’ve got you covered with that one.)

Whatever the reason, you’ve got this! Mixing cocktails at home is as easy, especially if you start with two ingredient cocktails. When I say two ingredients here, I’m referring to liquids that go into the glass. Some of the recipes below call for a lemon wedge or citrus twist. In many cases the garnish is not mandatory for the cocktail. Garnish often adds a touch of aroma to a drink, but think of garnish as bonus material for these drinks. If you don’t have it, don’t fret it.

I think the most important thing to remember when mixing cocktails at home is keep it simple to start and experiment a lot! A recipe is not etched in stone. Tweak it to how you like it. Then it’s perfect for you.

Orange Blossom Cocktail Recipe

The Orange Blossom is an excellent alternative to the popular, but ordinary Screwdriver or vodka and orange juice. Gin brings gives the drink more flavor with a mix of botanicals. Orange juice lessens a bit of the brashness some expect from gin. This is a terrific starter cocktail for those just beginning to dabble with gin cocktails.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Orange Blossom

1-1/4 ounce Gin

1-1/4 ounce Orange Juice

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Cornell Cocktail Recipe

Perhaps the Cornell Cocktail would be considered an intermediate gin cocktail. This cocktail moves away from fresh fruit ingredients and uses liqueur to complement the gin. Some cherry liqueurs can come across a bit perfumed (Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur), others taste a bit more chocolate covered cherry-ish (Heering Cherry Liqueur). Sample a few and find your favorite.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Cornell Cocktail

2 ounces Gin

1/2 ounce Cherry Liqueur

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Pink Gin Recipe

Pink Gin captures the attention of the true gin enthusiast. Gin is stands front and center in this cocktail. It contains lots of spice flavor with the addition of bitters.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Pink Gin

2-1/2 ounces Gin

6 dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Smoky Martini Recipe

For those already immersed in the world of gin and lovers of scotch with lots of peat and smoke flavor, I give you the Smoky Martini. Instead of filling the cocktail glass with ice and adding water to chill, fill your cocktail glass with ice and add the scotch. Allow it to sit for a few moments. Then swirl to coat the inside of the glass.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Smoky Martini

2-1/2 ounces Gin

1/2 ounce Laiphroaig Whisky

Place ice and whisky in chilled cocktail glass. Set aside. Place gin in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well-chilled. Swirl the scotch and ice mixture in the glass to coat the inside of the glass. Toss out the scotch. Strain chilled gin into prepared cocktail glass.

Laiphroaig is pretty intense in flavor. Some compare the flavor to that of a wet bandage. It’s really not quite that bad. If the flavor is just too much for you to take, try the Dusty Martini below using a lighter scotch expression. Glenfiddich, Famous Grouse, and Auchentoshan are just a few to try.

Dusty Martini Recipe

Don’t let the olive garnish fool you. This isn’t a Dirty Martini style cocktail with splash of olive juice added. It is similar to the Smoky Martini with a little lighter flavor depending upon the scotch you choose. As for that olive, make things interesting and try a few different kinds of olives.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Dusty Martini

2-1/4 ounce Gin

1/4 ounce Scotch

Olive Garnish

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with pierced olive.

Stinger Recipe

For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, the Stinger is a classic cocktail with a bit of wintry feel with its minty liqueur inclusion. Feel free to use clear or green crème de menthe. The difference between the two is merely color.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Stinger

2-1/2 ounce Brandy

1/4 ounce White Crème de Menthe

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh crushed ice or strain into chilled cocktail glass according to preference.

Bob Danby Recipe

If sweeter (sweet vermouth sort of sweet) is more your thing, this cocktail just might send your taste buds soaring. Even though this is a chilled cocktail, it’s nice and warming as it is savored.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Bob Danby

3 ounces Dubonnet Rouge

1-1/2 ounce Brandy

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Appetizer Recipe

This cocktail is appropriately named in my opinion. Fresh squeezed orange juice balances the lightly spiced cocktail with refreshing zest. This is also one of those cocktails that would be equally refreshing served on the rocks. Just don’t let the ice melt too much or it becomes a bit of a watery mess by the time you reach the bottom of the glass.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Appetizer

3 ounces Dubonnet Rouge

1 Orange – freshly squeezed

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

A.J. Recipe

Flavored brandies are a terrific way to step your cocktail experience up a notch. One of my favorites is apricot flavored brandy. It is wonderful as flavorful inclusion in a classic Daiquiri.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. A.J.

1-1/2 ounce Apple Brandy

1 ounce Grapefruit Juice

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Carroll Gardens Cocktail Recipe

This last cocktail is an interesting mix of brandy and dry vermouth. I suggest allowing just a bit of maraschino cherry juice to stay on the cherry when it’s time to garnish. This will bring a hint of sweetness to the cocktail.

Mixing cocktails at home doesn't have to be a chore. Find a few two ingredient cocktails and tweak them exactly the way you like them. Carroll Gardens Cocktail

2 ounces Brandy

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

Maraschino Cherry Garnish

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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All content ©2016 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist

Cheri Loughlin is the Omaha writer and photographer behind www.intoxicologist.net and author of Cocktails with a Tryst: An Affair with Mixology and Seduction. You can email Cheri with comments and questions at str8upcocktails@gmail.com.

10 Two Ingredient Cocktails to Mix at Home
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