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How to Bartend, Simple Home Bartending Easy Mixed Drink Recipes and Cocktails for your next party

Updated on April 15, 2013

Mixed Drinks

 Mixed drinks in restaurants and bars are expensive.  My husband and I went out to have drinks one night and I was shocked to see that I was charged $8 for a long island ice tea.  I knew that I could duplicate the drink at home inexpesively so I went to the bookstore and purchased some really good books home bartending.  I read up on the different spirits and liquors, tried some that I hadn't tried before, and began my home bartending career.  I wanted to write this hub for others who would like to learn how to make a few good drinks that they can serve during parties, or just mix for themselves when they would like a good cocktail.

The Basics

Before I get to the recipes I wanted to let you know a few of the basics behind home bartending.

1. Get a cocktail shaker. I didn't think a cocktail shaker made much of a difference when mixing drinks, but believe me it does. Not only does it mix the different ingredients more thoroughly but it also keeps the drink uniformly colder. You can pick them up in most department stores and even at Walmart and Target. You can't however buy one at a liquor store (at least you can't in Oklahoma)-so pick it up before your trip to the package store.

2. Read up on the different spirits and liquors. When I was a child I always loved to go to the liquor store with my father and see all the different colored bottles (I lived in Ohio at the time and didn't think twice about going with my dad.) As an adult I still find myself intregued by the pretty packaging-but I absolutely didn't journey outside of my comfort zone when it came to purchasing liquors. I stuck with what I knew. That is until I got my first book on liquors and discovered what was actually in the bottles. I began trying new things and found that I actually liked a lot of what I tried. Take a chance and try something new-most liquors come in the tiny shot bottles so it won't cost you an arm and a leg to find out if you like it or not.

3. Keep a bottle of vodka handy. This is my very own "secret". If you mix a drink too sweet-you can add a little bit of vodka and cut the sweetness without adding a heavy alcohol flavor. You don't have to purchase the highest price brand either. I keep a bottle of Sobieski chilling in my refrigerator just in case I need it.

4. Mixed drinks don't need to be elaborate. You don't need to have tons of ingredients in a good mixed drink. One of my personal favorite 2 ingredient drinks is Evan William's honey whiskey with sprite. It's quick, it's easy, and tastes great.


Vodka Recipes

Vodka Recipes

1. Basic Screwdriver: 3T vodka, 6T orange juice. Add the vodka first then the orange juice to tumbler loaded with ice cubes. To make this recipe a little more interesting add pineapple juice, or lime juice.

2. Russians: Black Russian- Equal measures of vodka, and Kahlua or Tia Maria. Mix and pour over ice. White Russian- I prefer a the "White" version. It's just like the "Black" but you add milk or cream to cut the alcohol flavor. You can also omit the vodka and just have a "Kahula and Cream". Golden Russian- 6t vodka, 1 1/2 t. Galliano, 1t lime juice. This drink packs a big punch.

3. Seabreeze: 3T vodka, 3T grapefruit juice, 5 T cranberry juice. Shake all the ingredients well and pour into a chilled glass. These are awesome on hot summer days.

4. Woo Woo: One of my absolute favorites-2T vodka, 6t peach schnapps, 6T cranberry juice. The vodka works to cut the sweetness of the cranberry juice. If the drink is too sweet for your taste add more vodka.

5. Sex on the Beach: Another one of my favorites. 1 1/2 T vodka, 1 1/2 T peach schnapps, 5 T cranberry juice, 5T pineapple juice. Trust me, use a shaker on this one-you'll get a nice cold drink with a foamy head. I also like to use an orange/pineapple blend with this drink instead of just pinepple juice-delicious!


Rum Drinks

1. Rum and Coke: Pretty self explanitory-rum and coke. I actually like to use flavored rums to change the flavor a little-my favorite is cocunut. Watch out though, these can sneak up on you and before you know it BLAM-your out like a light.

2. Caribbean Breeze: 6t dark rum, 2t creme de banane, 5T pineapple juice, 3T cranberry juice, 1t lime juice. Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a large glass filled with crushed ice. This is a resort favorite.

3.  Pina Colada:  This classic drink made with pineapple juice and rum.  3T white rum, 3T pineapple juice, 6t coconut cream.  Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a cocktail goblet.  Garnish with a pineapple slice.  If you can't find coconut cream use coconut liquor.

4.  Hurricane:  6t dark rum, 2t white rum, 1t lime juice, 3T passion fruit juice, 2T pineapple juice, 2 T orange juice.  You can make this drink either fruitier or rummier based on your own taste.  Once again-watch out these drinks pack a wallop!

Whiskey Drinks

1. Whiskey Sour: Mix the juice of half a lemon with 1t of superfine sugar.
When the sugar dissolves add a generous amount of whiskey and crushed ice.

2. Pamplemousse (grapefruit): 6 t whiskey, 2t Southern Comfort, 3t grapfruit juice, 1t pineapple juice. Shake all ingredients and add to a glass filled with crushed ice.

Misc. Drinks

 1.  Long Island Ice Tea: There is a ton of alcohol in this drink.  2t white rum, 2t vodka, 2t gin, 2t silver tequila, 2t Cointreau, 2t sugar syrup, 6 T cola.  Stir all the ingredients except for the cola well with ice and place in a pitcher to chill.  Add ingredients to a highball glass along with the cola.  Friends of mine mix up large pitchers of the alcohol mixture and store it in the fridge so it is ready anytime they want to make drinks.

2. Memphis Belle:  1 1/2 t cognac, 3t southern comfort, 2t lemon juice, 1t orange bitters.  Shake ingredients well with ice and strain into a prechilled cocktail glass.

3.  Tequila Sunrise:   2 t gold tequila, 6T orange juice, 2 T grenadine.  Remember to add the grenadine quickly so it will sink to the bottom of the glass-if you add it too slowly it will blend in with the drink.


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    • profile image

      TopDrinkMixers 2 years ago

      long islands!

    • profile image

      Jackaroo 5 years ago

      Not that it should be added, but my personal favorite is a mind eraser. Irish breakfast is pretty awesome if you've never had it.

      I would consider adding soda water. It's the base of many drinks and will usually be asked for more than the tropical drinks. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Renee m Lincourt 5 years ago

      I love to party

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 6 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Nice article. Long Island Tea is one of my favorites and then next a Cosmopolitan. You can tell when your drink has been shaken enough when the cocktail shaker becomes frosted on the outside. Shaking chills a cocktail much faster than stirring and 10 to 15 seconds of shaking is the same as 1 minute of stirring. If you shake a drink too much you will dilute it too much. If you don't stir a drink long enough your drink will not be cold enough. Thanks for the great drink recipes.

    • tom_caton profile image

      Tom Caton 6 years ago from The Desk

      I like!

    • suxmee profile image

      suxmee 7 years ago

      thanks for sharing

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sorry, a T is for a Tablespoon, a t is for a teaspoon. There are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon. And the honey whisky and sprite it good-it has a bite but not a harsh one.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

      What's a T? (IS that stand in for ounce? or "part?"... tablespoon?) And is there a difference between a capital T and a small t? (The honey whiskey and Sprite sounds good.)

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      I hope you do, if you have any to add please feel free

    • old-cruise-advise profile image

      old-cruise-advise 7 years ago from Antelope

      I will try all...