Your Happy Hour: Six 3-Ingredient Cocktails to Serve Up This Summer
The best cocktails don’t have to be complicated — they just have to taste good and get the job done. When manning the bar, some party hosts feel compelled to serve up the most impressive sounding drinks to their guests, but what they don’t realize is that many of the best adult beverages are those that are the simplest. At your next party, instead of spending the majority of your time busy pouring drinks, consider shaking it up and instead serving one of these 3-ingredient cocktails that are currently swirling around the Interwebs. They’ll satisfy you and your guests’ appetite for a good beverage and a good buzz, and they won’t require a lot, if any preparation time.
1. Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler
First up is a drink perfect for the summer season: the Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler. Now you can eat your grapefruit and drink it, too. This citrus drink recipe comes from Serious Eats, and keeping with the trend set for this list, it only requires three ingredients: grapefruit juice, ginger liqueur, and sparkling wine. There’s no time like the present to trick your guests into thinking you’re fancier than you really are, and they’ll have no idea this sweet and summery cocktail comes together so simply.
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
- 3 to 4 ounces Prosecco or other sparkling wine
Directions: Pour the grapefruit juice and Domain de Canton in a champagne glass. Gently pour the Prosecco over top until glass is nearly full. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
2. Blackberry Bramble
Next up is the Blackberry Bramble from iVillage.com. This drink features the likes of tequila and Blackberry liqueur, but hopefully its lemonade will keep it from te-quilling-ya. As long as you have some tequila and lemonade on hand, all you will need to go to the store for is your Blackberry liqueur, and then you can get ready to shake up (pun intended) your next party with this fruity cocktail.
- 8 ounces Tequila
- 8 ounces Lemonade
- 2 ounces Blackberry liqueur
- Blackberries to garnish
Directions: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour tequila, blackberry liqueur, and lemonade. Shake well and strain into ice-filled glasses.
If you’re into the darker liquor, we of course have the Presbyterian from Liquor.com, a source we consider to be an expert on the subject of cocktails. This faithful drink contains the likes of Scotch, Ginger Ale, and Club Soda, and is a classic cocktail that even many of the eldest have knocked back. The Presbyterian doesn’t exactly scream summer, but at least it’ll help dull the pain of this endless winter past.
- 2 ounces Scotch (may substitute bourbon or rye whiskey)
- Ginger ale
- Club soda
Directions: Add the Scotch to a Collins glass and fill with ice. Fill with equal amounts of ginger ale and soda.
4. Mint Julep
Did you know that the classy Mint Julep also only requires three ingredients? Chow.com reminds us of this reality. Sure, we realize the Kentucky Derby is over, but for many, the cocktail is always in season, and there’s no time like the present to prove your expertise behind the bar with this deceptively easy drink recipe. Start making your mint juleps now so you have the beverage perfected by next year’s horse race.
- 2 ounces of Bourbon
- Crushed Ice
Directions: Lightly muddle the mint in the cup (don’t pound it, or you’ll extract unpleasantly grassy flavors), add 2 ounces of bourbon and lots of crushed ice, and stir until the outside of the cup begins to look frosty. Top off with more ice, and garnish with a big sprig of mint.
5. Dark ‘N’ Stormy
The Dark ‘N’ Stormy is another iconic drink that is easier than many may believe. You routinely order the drink from your favorite bar, but did you know you can quite simply make it at home, too? There’s nothing to be afraid of — try this recipe from Yahoo. It’s hard to mess up this prize-winning drink, and somehow we think that if you do, you’ll have no problem trying again.
- 2 ounces dark rum (preferably Gosling’s Black Seal)
- 1/2 ounces lime juice
- 4 ounces quality ginger beer such as Barritt’s
Directions: Fill a highball with ice. Pour in ginger beer and lime juice, followed by two ounces of rum. The drink should look layered-dark on top and lighter on the bottom. Stir gently. Garnish with lime. A sprig of mint is optional.
6. Champagne Cocktail
Last up, the Champagne Cocktail from Self. Talk about classy. Even if you’re not into the hard booze, you can have your 3-ingredient cocktails, too, and this drink may be the perfect one to fit your fancy. Pop open the bubbly, grab some sugar and some bitters. You can also add cognac if you want, but we’ll leave that decision up to you. Drink up! Self stands by the conviction that if Aubrey Hepburn had a drink, this would be it.
- 3 ounces Champagne
- 1/3 ounces cognac (optional)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Directions: Soak one sugar cube in a champagne flute with the bitters. Add the Champagne (and cognac if using.) Squeeze in a twist of lemon and discard. Garnish with large zest of orange.