The incomparable taste of a smooth martini after a rough day. Or a relaxed Sunday screwdriver in the sunshine. Cocktails don’t just create delicious flavours. They also create moods. Which is why there’s nothing more annoying than forking over a ridiculous amount of money for something you could easily make and enjoy at home with just a few ingredients. Below you’ll find recipes for popular cocktails that are both affordable and delicious.
Also known as vodka cranberry, this simple drink is a great option for people on a low budget who don’t compromise when it comes to quality. All you need is a bottle of cranberry juice and a carefully chosen vodka. These two ingredients can also be tweaked to create new cocktails so you never run out of options.
Make a crantini by shaking the vodka and cranberry juice and serving it up in a glass. Or just add some fresh lime for a frog in a blender. You can also add grapefruit juice to create Sea Breezes or pineapple juice to make a Bay Breeze.
Margaritas and Daiquiris
These popular favourites are also one of the most inexpensive ways to diversify the kinds of drinks available to you. For both, all you need is tequila or rum and a few fresh seasonal fruits. For an apple margarita, blend your liquor with apple pucker and apple juice. Want an exotic Hawaiian Margarita? Blend with pineapple and strawberries. For the classic golden margarita, just add some extra lime and orange juice and shake it well. If you prefer daiquiris, add some maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. Or stick to fresh strawberries for the deliciously refreshing Strawberry Daiquiri.
A bottle of whiskey and a six-pack of ginger ale can see you through the week. ‘Tall’ drinks like a highball save you the most money. Simply because they take longer to drink. To make an Old-Fashioned, just add some orange, cherry and a bit of sugar to your whiskey. Or you could try using ginger instead for the Ginger Ale Highball that’s loved by Irish whiskey drinks.
Gin and Tonic
This classic cocktail is the perfect summer drink. It can be cheap or extravagant: that depends on you. If you’re reading this, we’re guessing it’s the former so you should know that you can pick up some great gins at low prices – and a six pack of tonic water obviously won’t cost much either. Instead of the traditional gin and tonic, you can add some strawberries for a tasty twist. Don’t like gin? Use vodka instead. Or Irish whiskey. Tonic water is surprisingly obliging in the way it mixes with different liquors to create never-ending cocktails for you.
For a mojito, all you need is a bottle of white rum, some mint and club soda. It’s a brilliantly inexpensive, amazingly delicious, surprisingly easy-to-make cocktail. It’s also versatile. Use leftover watermelon and fresh raspberries to create the Independence Day Mojito. Or use rum instead of whiskey and enjoy a Mint Julep.
Lemon Drop Martini
Is there a better combination than vodka, lemon juice and sugar? Not when you’re looking for an inexpensive but elegant drink. The lemon drop martini is full of rich flavour and can be tweaked in so many ways, to give you options as good as the overpriced ones at that snooty bar you’re never going to set foot in again. Add green apple schnapps to make the classic Apple Martini. Lime for a delicious April Rain. You could even steep some sweet tea to make a Tea Tini.
As you probably know, this delicious cocktail comprises vodka and the coffee liquor called Kahlua. What you might not know is that there are plenty of delicious coffee liquors that are cheaper than Kahlua which could save you some money at your liquor store. There are many tweaks you can make to the traditional vodka and Kahlua base to create an infinite number of recipes: cinnamon syrup for a Midnight Martini or simple cream for a White Russian. You can add cola to a White Russian to make the Colorado Bulldog. Or tequila for the Dirty Bird. The possibilities are endless.