We love experimenting with homemade bitters and infused syrups as much as the next aspiring mixologist, but sometimes we want an edited and streamlined cocktail that's easy to make and doesn't require a trip to the grocery store. With this in mind, we scoured the internet for the easiest two-ingredient cocktails to shake up (or stir) our next happy hour. Surprisingly, many of the most iconic classic cocktails are composed of only a pair of ingredients. That's right, just two!
If your interest is piqued, keep reading for what's bound to be your new go-to drinks for any occasion. These drinks hardly even require a recipe to turn out fantastic, from familiar favorites to lesser-known sips.
A nice break from the everyday margarita, one of Mexico's most beloved mixed drinks, the Paloma, is made by mixing equal parts (a quarter of a cup) of tequila with grapefruit-flavored soda (such as Fresca or Jarritos). Serve it on the rocks with a lime wedge—salted rim optional. It's so refreshing and light that it will definitely become your go-to warm-weather beverage of choice.
A staple of Basque culture in Spain, the kalimotxo is an easy twist on sangria, made with equal parts dry red wine and Coca-Cola poured over ice. You can dress it up with a squeeze of lemon or orange, but purists might say even those simple additions are too fussy for this super simple sip.
If you overdid it last night, kalimotxos can make for quite the restorative hangover cure.
One of cocktail expert Don Draper's favorites, this refreshing Mad Men–era drink is made with just vodka and grapefruit juice. All you have to do is fill a rocks glass with ice, pour two ounces of vodka and five ounces of grapefruit juice, and stir well. Garnish with a grapefruit peel if you're feeling fancy. Feel free to add half an ounce of rosemary syrup and a rosemary sprig to give this mixed drink a delightful herbal touch.
The Snakebite is one of the easiest-to-make mixed drinks, requiring only lager and cider. In the United Kingdom, it's usually served with a dash of black currant liqueur, which is known as "snakebite and black" or "diesel." In the U.S., stout often stands in for lager.
To make a snakebite, chill a pint glass, then pour in eight ounces of chilled cider, float eight ounces of lager on top by holding a spoon over the glass and slowly pouring the lager over the back of the spoon to keep the layers separated.
The gimlet is a gin-based cocktail that dates back to the 1920s. The classic combo is crafted by shaking two ounces of gin with a quarter ounce of lime juice( with ice) and then straining it into a chilled glass. When it comes to garnishing, stick with refreshing flavors, like a lime wedge or mint leaves.
A marriage of the screwdriver and the Moscow mule (another two-ingredient cocktail), the screwdriver mule adds a bit of ginger for some kick. To make it, just fill a rocks glass with ice and add two ounces of Smirnoff Ice Screwdriver, then top with ginger beer. Add a squeeze of lime, and garnish with a lime wedge if you're in the mood for a pretty drink.
Originally enjoyed in Venice, Italy, throughout the 1930s and '40s, the bellini is a simple yet super elevated cocktail made with chilled fruit purée and Prosecco. Traditionally, peach is the go-to fruit of choice, but feel free to mix it up by subbing in passion fruit purée or garnishing it with fragrant lavender. Just pour two ounces of purée into a Champagne flute and top with three ounces of Prosecco.
Also known as Campari-Orange, the Garibaldi is another classic Italian aperitivo made with, you guessed it, Campari and orange juice. We prefer a one-to-three ratio of Campari to orange, but some recipes call for a one-to-one ratio. Just fill a tumbler or Collins glass with ice, add the Campari, top it with OJ, and stir. Yes, it's that simple.
Rum and Coke
Good-old rum and Coke is a fuss-free cocktail that's been around since the early 20th century. To make it, just add ice to a rocks or Collins glass, pour in two ounces of white rum, and fill it with cold Coke. You can also step it up a notch and make a Cuba Libre by muddling a lime in the glass before adding ice to this mixed drink.
Dark 'n Stormy
A staple in the sailing community (and the national drink of Bermuda), the Dark 'n Stormy is a highball cocktail made with rum and ginger beer over ice. Any ratio works, but two ounces of rum to four ounces ginger beer is how we like it. This mixed drink is especially refreshing on a hot summer day, but it can be enjoyed any time of year.
Named after the American golfer, an Arnold Palmer is a non-alcoholic drink made with one-to-one iced tea and lemonade, but it’s been revised with a boozy twist. To make the adult version, fill a rocks or Collins glass with ice, fill it halfway with lemonade, and top it with sweet tea vodka.