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Cocktails For Beginners - Easy Cocktail Recipes

Updated on April 11, 2010

Cocktails For Beginners

Time for a party? Not sure what drinks to serve your guests?

Look no further, here I'll give you some cocktails for beginners, easy cocktail recipes that anyone can master.

I'll also pick cocktails which use ingredients most people are likely to have in the home, nothing too obscure.

I have been mixing cocktails for 35 years, so have thousands in my head to choose from, but here I'll start with the basics.

Also, every cocktail listed below can be poured into a glass and simply stirred. Managing a cocktail shaker is something you can practice with time.


Fun to make and enjoy!
Fun to make and enjoy!

Easy Cocktail Recipes

One old classic, which takes its name from the fuzzy Peach, and navel oranges, is


2 parts vodka,

1 part peach schnapps

Orange juice

served in a tall glass over ice

In recent years, this recipe has been changed slightly, to become;


The same recipe as above, with added grenadine, a sweet red syrup which turns the whole concoction pink-ish.


The original of this drink was developed in the Caribbean, where they used white rum mixed with fresh Coconut milk and fresh pineapple juice. Delicious!

In bars they normally have a creamy coconut liqueur and the recipe is as follows;

2 parts white rum

1 part coconut cream liqueur

Pineapple juice

Served over plenty of ice

If you are making this at home, and can't get this creamy coconut liqueur, you can improvise by mixing Malibu, or white coconut rum, with pineapple juice, and then add a few drops of fresh cream (not too much or it will curdle). Piña colada can be mixed in the glass, or pitcher, but benefits from a shaker or blender as it will appear frothy and more appetising.

A very simple and delicious aperitif is the


2 parts Bourbon

1 part red vermouth

As simple as that! Served in a martini glass, room temperature or mixed first over ice and then strained into a martini glass. Extremely simple and extremely tasty.

Frequently ordered in recent years, thanks to the girls of ' Sex and the City' is the delicious


2 parts vodka

1 part triple sec (or cointreau)

a little lime juice

Cranberry juice

Mix in a tall glass or a pitcher with ice, but strain and

Serve in a martini glass, just as it is, or with a slice of lime or a cherry


is another old favourite, but in the past the first thing to go in the champagne glass was a sugar cube, with a few drops of Angostura bitters. Nowadays most people prefer a little grenadine.

2 parts brandy or cognac

1 part triple sec


When using a sugar cube, this goes in first and the other ingredients poured over the top. If using grenadine this is added last, slowly and just a few drops, which will drop to the bottom of the glass. Add a cherry and enjoy. (You can substitute these spirits for others of your choosing, but these are the classics, as brandy has always been a good partner for champagne, both coming from the grape, and triple sec with its orangey fruitiness, is a wonderful partner.


A very popular choice.It's very strong, but if made right, tastes like regular iced tea. Served in a tall glass over ice, with a wedge of lemon on the side.

Equal parts of each spirit:




White rum

Triple sec

A little lime juice

Home-made lemonade, or old-fashioned lemonade, (or Lemon Fanta with added fresh lemon juice as it's not very lemony)

Add just a small splash of Coke, to give it the colour of tea.

Be careful! Tastes good, very refreshing, but potent!

Some more tried and tested classics which also can be classed as cocktails for beginners, as they are easy recipes:


2 parts Scotch whiskey

1 part Martini Bianco or sweet vermouth

7up, Sprite, or clear lemonade

Mixed and served in a tall glass over ice


In a large tall glass with ice, add

A generous measure of tequila

Orange juice

mix together, then add

Grenadine, added last and poured slowly, so it sinks to the bottom but starts to rise up again, creating the 'sunrise' effect.


2 parts Gin

1 part cherry brandy

Lemon juice

Mix over ice to chill, then pour into martini glass. Add a cherry.


2 parts vodka

1 part pernod

1 part blackcurrant cordial

Home-made lemonade, or old-fashioned ' cloudy' lemonade.

Mixed and served in a tall glass over ice

Another cocktail becoming very popular in bars nowadays is the Cuban cocktail Mojito. This is slightly more complicated to make, not really one of the cocktails for beginners, or easy cocktail recipes, but I'm adding it here as it's popular, and it's really not that difficult.


You need just a good tasty white or golden rum, i.e.Havana Club.

Fresh limes, mint leaves, sugar, and soda water.

Very easy to make as long as you have a pestle, the baton-shaped 'pounder' part of mortar and pestle, the gadget found in some kitchens. If you don't have this, again you have to improvise, using the rounded handle of a kitchen implement or tool, which will fit in the glass.

You need to pound the mint leaves, and the pieces of lime, to extract all the flavour, and line the glass with it. So it doesn't do to pound your ingredients on a board, as you lose half the flavour.

Place 4 or 5 minute leaves in your glass, and pound them to extract some juice, but leaving a few pieces of leaf.

Take half a medium-sized lime, cut this into about six wedges, add them to the glass and press and squeeze with your pestle, to extract juices, and until the peel starts to break up, as you need some of the zest from the peel too.

Cubans like their drinks very sweet, so they would add about 3 teaspoons of sugar next, but you add enough to suit your tastes. I would suggest about one & a half teaspoons, unless you're a really sweet tooth. Mix the sugar in well.

Next pour over all this, a generous measure of rum.

Top up with a little soda water, stir well, drop a small sprig of mint on the surface, and a wedge of lime on the side of the glass. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy making your cocktails as much as I do. They're a lot of fun to make, and a lot more fun to enjoy!

Once you've mastered your first cocktails, you can move on to some of the slightly more complicated mixes, still a lot of fun to do. Another article on cocktails which may interest you Cocktails - How To Mix Your Favourite Cocktails


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    • aliveandfree profile image

      Sarah Cook 

      2 years ago from Wasaga Beach

      Thank you

    • dianew profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spain

      Thanks WWN for taking the time to read and comment, and for the votes. I'm sure your parties are not boring, but the next one will be great, for sure.

    • whatswhatnow profile image


      7 years ago from Spain

      I always wanted to do this, now I'm going to try some for my next party, instead of the usual beer, wine, few spirits; boring stuff on the kitchen counter. Great hub and useful, voted up and stuff.

    • dianew profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Spain

      Thanks for that and I'll check out your blog.

    • shin_rocka04 profile image


      8 years ago from Maryland

      this is a pretty cool start for people that are just getting into social drinking. PIÑA COLADA is def a fav being caribbean myself. hahaha. i actually have a blog dedicated to some cool cocktail recipes i've come across, recipes i've tried and posted, and just some exotic bartending tricks:

    • dianew profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Spain

      Thanks Nica,

      Enjoy the cocktails, but not too many at once!!

      I will certainly look at your broth

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      After trying one of your cocktail recipe, I will try making all of those. Aside from cocktails, I love chicken. You may also check my homemade chicken broth at

    • dianew profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Spain

      Thanks S G and welcome to hubpages. I'll take a look at some of your articles too.

    • S G Hupp profile image

      S G Hupp 

      9 years ago from United States

      Good article. I think everyone should have a couple of cocktail recipes that they can mix for guests. Often when I'm entertaining and I ask the question, "What can I get you to drink?", the answer is "I don't know, what do you have?" I always make sure I have a few simple mixed options. Thanks!


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