Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktail Recipes That Take Seconds to Make

Updated 10/09/19
An illustration of three different cocktails in three different types of glasses on an orange background.
Stephanie DeAngelis

If there's one thing that makes a party, no matter how big or small, it's a well-made cocktail. But building a bar cart and gathering the necessary ingredients for an exciting cocktail recipe takes time—and some serious foresight. Or so we thought.

According to the Frenchman Julien Lafond, Grey Goose North America's former brand ambassador, just three ingredients are all it takes to stir up a delicious—and seriously impressive—cocktail.

High-Quality Booze Is Essential

"Three-ingredient cocktails are quick and easy to make but still require a certain amount of concentration," explains Lafond. "I think of cocktail-making like I do French food: Any top chef will tell you the heart of French cuisine relies on high-quality ingredients and doing little to manipulate them. The same is true of cocktails." By keeping just a few top-notch spirits and liqueurs on hand, you, too, can craft a myriad of cocktail combinations with just a few ingredients you probably have in your fridge.

Gather Ye Bar Tools

Oh, and don't stress if you don't own a ton of bar tools, either. While it's super-important to have a proper measuring device, like a double jigger or measuring glass, and a tall mixing spoon on hand, "other tools can be improvised," advises Lafond. "You can essentially make a shaker from any sealable container, and you can use a large glass to stir a martini."

Start Mixing

So whether you expect party guests to arrive within a few days or they're banging on your door this instant, Lafond shares eight tasty, three-ingredient, Grey Goose-inspired cocktails that you can mix and pour in no time flat.

An illustration of a Sidewalk cocktail, garnished with anise.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts vodka
3 parts ginger ale
1/2 part freshly-squeezed lime juice

Directions:

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Then, add vodka and lime juice, and finish with the ginger ale. Garnish with a single star anise pod.

A Simple Rocks Glass

A rocks glass on a wood surface.
CB2 Marta Double Old-Fashioned Glass $2
Shop
An illustration of an espresso martini in a martini glass.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts vodka
1 part single-origin espresso (hot)
3/4 parts premium coffee liqueur
Coffee beans

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a martini glass, and float one coffee bean on top.

An Ombré Cocktail Shaker

A chrome cocktail shaker with an ombre body.
Michael Aram Torched Cocktail Shaker $125
Shop
An illustration of a gimlet with a lime peel garnish.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

2 1/2 parts gin
1 part lime cordial (aka Rose's lime juice)
Lime zest

Directions:

Fill a cocktail glass and a shaker with ice. Add all ingredients to the shaker; shake. Strain into the glass, and garnish with a spiral of curled lime zest.

An Attractive Ice Bucket

A hammered-copper ice bucket with matching tongs.
Williams Sonoma Antique Brass Ice Bucket with Tongs $125
Shop
An illustration of a pink cocktail in a glass garnished with 3 maraschino cherries.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts vodka
1 1/2 parts gin
1/3 part Crème Yvette liqueur
Amarena cherries

Directions:

Mix contents into a Boston shaker (see below), top with ice cubes, and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and carefully rest a toothpick—loaded with three stacked Amarena cherries—onto a cocktail glass' edge.

A Mixologist-Approved Shaker

A copper metal glass with a glass inside.
Kotai Boston Shaker Set $20
Shop
An illustration of an iced, clear cocktail served in a wine glass with lime zest.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts vodka
1 part St-Germain
2 parts chilled soda water
1 fresh lime

Directions:

Cut the lime in half, and finely slice one half into thin wedges. Pour all ingredients, plus a squeeze of lime, into a wine glass. Toss in one or two finely-sliced fresh lime wedges and serve.

Cocktail-Ready Wine Glasses

A wine glass designed for Sauvignon Blanc.
Schott Zwiezel Set of 4 Sauvignon Blanc glasses $56
Shop
An illustration of a classic martini with lemon zest.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

2 1/2 parts gin
1/2 part dry vermouth
Dash of orange bitters
Lemon zest

Directions:

Chill a mixing glass and a cocktail glass for 30 minutes. Pour ingredients into the mixing glass and top with ice to fill. Quickly stir for about 20 seconds. Strain contents into the glass and garnish with a flat twist of thick lemon zest.

A Fancy Cocktail Glass

A cocktail glass filled with water, lemon, berries, and a rosemary sprig.
Crate & Barrel Craft Spirits Cocktail Glass $8
Shop
An illustration of a cocktail glass filled with a pink drink and a cherry at the bottom.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts vodka
1/2 part cherry liqueur
1/4 part cherry brandy
Brandied cherries

Directions:

Start by chilling a glass for 30 minutes. Shake all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Strain into a pretty glass via a fine, mesh strainer. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

A Fine, Mesh Strainer

A pink stainless steel fine mesh cocktail strainer.
BarSoul Fine Mesh Strainer $9
Shop
An illustration of a pinkish brown cocktail in a crystal rocks glass with a lime garnish.
Stephanie DeAngelis

Ingredients:

1 1/2 parts orange-flavored vodka
3 parts cranberry juice
1 part orange juice

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir well, and garnish with lime rounds.

A Stunning Set

A crystal decanter with a set of two matching old-fashioned glasses.
Waterford Dungarvan Decanter Set $350
Shop

Related Stories