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Homemade Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

Homemade Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

We love fixing cocktails at home, but after a long, hard day, sometimes we don’t have the energy to dig out the jigger, shaker, and juicer. What’s a thirsty drinker to do? Fortunately, we’ve discovered a solution that we think you’ll like: homemade bottled cocktails.

These concoctions have become quite popular recently and can be ordered in bars around the country, but ready-made elixirs don’t have to be difficult to make. In fact, we’ve found a few simple recipes that you can whip up in minutes and store pretty much indefinitely.

One of the easiest is the Sandeman Royale. We heard about this tipple from Sandeman Port’s chairman, George Sandeman, during this year’s Tales of the Cocktail convention. All you do is open a bottle of port, pour yourself a glass to enjoy right away, and refill the bottle with Scotch. Keep it in the freezer, and when you’re ready to serve, portion the Rob Roy-like drink into martini glasses. (Sandeman himself invented the formula, but he says a bartender at London’s Lanesborough Hotel suggested the ingenious mix-in-the-bottle method.)

If you prefer spicy to sweet, try the Cajun Martini instead. It’s a blend of jalapeño-infused vodka and dry vermouth that’ll stay good for months. advisory board member David Wondrich shared the recipe with us, which was created by famed chef Paul Prudhomme at his New Orleans restaurant K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen and was a big hit in the 1980s.

For people of a certain age, cocktails in bottles might remind you of the Zima craze. You’re not alone: After bottling a Bourbon Lemonade, Baltimore bartender Nick Jones decided to recreate the citrusy ‘90s favorite (pictured above) and added it to the menu at Pabu, the sushi spot and izakaya whose bar he runs. It calls for Calpico, a tangy Japanese soft drink, which is appropriate as Japan is the only place on Earth where you can still buy Zima today. Cheers!

Click here for the recipes for the Sandeman Royale and the Cajun Martini.

This story was originally published at Homemade Ready-to-Drink Cocktails. For more stories like this join and drink better. Plus, for a limited time get How to Cocktail in 2013, a cocktail recipe book — free! Join now.

24 Totally Delicious Classic Cocktails to Make at Home

Use this handy guide for making classic cocktails, from Daiquiris to Old-Fashioneds and more.

There are some things that one should know as an adult: How to make pasta (yes, even if you&rsquore avoiding carbs), how to sew on a button, and how to make a killer classic cocktail.

If you&rsquore craving a well-crafted vodka cocktail, a classic Old-Fashioned or a beautifully bitter Negroni (à la Stanley Tucci!), chances are good that neither hard seltzer nor sangria recipe will get the job done.

Some of these popular mixed drinks require learning how to use a shaker or breaking out the blender &mdash hello, perfect crushed ice! &mdash but it&rsquos fun to practice and will guarantee you eager volunteer tasters. On the other hand, many classic cocktail recipes call for only two or three ingredients and a few don&rsquot even need any special equipment. An easy cocktail stirred together after a long week can go a long way to making you feel just a little more civilized. (If you're wondering about the calories, take note that choosing wisely &mdash and drinking in moderation &mdash is key.)

Grab some mixers, some fresh citrus, and your favorite spirit and get shakin'!

Golden Margarita

Get out your gold tequila for this popular variation of the classic margarita which specifically calls for gold tequila. The recipe is fun to mix up and very easy, so it's perfect for any summer party.

The golden margarita was a very popular recipe before the most recent tequila revival which opened up tequila drinkers' eyes to the possibilities of truly great tequila. A few decades ago, gold tequilas were the norm and Jose Cuervo Especial Gold was the tequila of choice. Today, there are many more options and although gold tequilas are still not the best, there are some decent choices.

That said, don't hesitate to use another type of tequila in this recipe. Blanco tequilas are now the first choice for almost every margarita. Beyond the tequila, this recipe is a lot like the original Margarita, though it does have a bit more of a citrus bite because both lime juice and sour mix are used. While optional, the splash of orange juice helps balance the drink out. It also gives the drink a nice, golden color.

There is yet another version called the golden grand margarita. It is the same as this recipe but specifically ​uses Grand Marnier as the orange liqueur. Otherwise, triple sec, curacao, Cointreau, or any other orange liqueur will do just fine.


The Mudslide is the quintessential boozy milkshake: sweet, creamy and rich. Its popularity harkens back to a time when we took our cocktail cues from the laminated menus of chain restaurants. Which is to say, it’s not generally an exercise in balance and craftsmanship.

The Mudslide was born in the 1970s at Wreck Bar in Rum Point Club on Grand Cayman Island. Yes, it seems more like an après-ski cocktail than something you’d sip on a sandy beach. But it was invented when a customer wanted a White Russian and the bar tweaked the recipe to feature Irish cream. The effortless drink was a hit, finding its way to American shores and quickly becoming a favorite at TGI Friday’s and at-home cocktail parties.

Most versions of the Mudslide are drowned in ice cream and served in circus-size glassware, resulting in a brain freeze and your daily dose of calories in one cocktail. This Mudslide sways leaner and showcases the spirits rather than just the sugar and dairy. The vodka, coffee liqueur and Baileys provide a boozy kick that cuts through the rich cream, while the chocolate garnish adds a visual hint of “mud” to the drink and lends additional aroma and flavor.

Make a Mudslide after dinner or whenever you have a sweet tooth. Using heavy cream is the best bet here, as 2% milk or skim won’t produce the same results. If you really want to fancify your drink, swap the vodka for your favorite French brandy, and you’ll enjoy an extra dose of flavor.

Cocktail recipes

Serve these fan-favourite cocktails at your next party. See our best ever classic cocktails, including cosmopolitans, old fashioneds and mojitos.

Mojito recipe

Mix this classic cocktail for a party using fresh mint, white rum, sugar, zesty lime and cooling soda water. Play with the quantities to suit your taste.

Rhubarb gin

Use seasonal rhubarb to make this G&T-with-a-difference, or top the finished gin with soda water for a refreshing and gloriously pink summertime drink

Easy sangria

Embrace balmy summer days with a jug of sangria. With red wine, Spanish brandy, sparkling water, cinnamon and chopped fruit, it's a lovely sharing cocktail

Espresso martini

Learn how to make this classic coffee cocktail. Our easy recipe uses freshly brewed espresso, a dash of coffee liqueur and a simple sugar syrup.

New York sour

Kick back and enjoy a New York sour. With whiskey, red wine, orange bitters and lemon juice, one sip will whisk you away to a Manhattan cocktail bar


Share this creamy adults-only drink with the chocolate lover in your life. For extra indulgence, grate over some chocolate before serving

Sex on the beach cocktail

Combine vodka with peach schnapps and cranberry juice to make a classic sex on the beach cocktail. Garnish with cocktail cherries and orange slices

Pink gin iced tea

Blend pink gin with iced tea and you have this unique cocktail, made with spiced rum, elderflower and pink grapefruit. Serve in a jug for a sharing cocktail

Hurricane cocktail

Our tropical, rum-based hurricane cocktail is easy to make and sure to get your party started. Garnish with orange and cocktail cherries for a kitsch touch

Pink negroni

Go pink with this fabulous cocktail flavoured with pink gin, rose vermouth and Aperol. Garnish with a wedge of pink grapefruit and a basil leaf to serve

Vodka martini

Make an easy vodka martini with our simple recipe for an elegant party tipple. Serve your cool cocktail with an olive or a twist of lemon peel


Try your hand at recreating a classic 1920s cocktail, the sidecar. It's easy to adapt – simply use cognac, or go with equal parts cognac, triple sec and lemon juice

What does a Cosmo taste like?

I think the cosmo is the perfect blend of flavors. The lime adds sour, the Cointreau add citrus and sweetness, and the cranberry adds berry and tartness. It&rsquos a really delicious combination!

I don&rsquot want to sound like a snob, but I think when any recipe is comprised of just a few ingredients, you should use the best ingredients possible. A lesson I learned from Ina Garten actually.

Sidenote: I really love this Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker. You can find them here. (affiliate link)

All right, let&rsquos get this drink in our shakers!

Like this Cosmo drink recipe? Here are more of my favorite martinis:

Delicious, right? I told you! And that pink color is perfection. When I&rsquom out and order a cosmopolitan, I can tell by the color whether it&rsquos going to be good even before taking a sip!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone! Can you handle one more photo? It&rsquos probably my favorite.

Sebastian (my cat) photo bomb!

I hope you enjoyed this classic cosmo drink recipe. Shake up one and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur cocktail recipes

Blend ingredients until of milkshake consistancy. Serve in a highball glass and garnish with whipped cream.

Pour the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, Haagen Dazs cream liqueur, Grand Marnier and Kahlua coffee liqueur into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Float the cream on top, and serve.

Pour into a collins glass and blend briefly. Garnish with a mint leaf and cherry, and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Pour frangelico into a double-cocktail glass and add the ice-cream. Coarsely chop the pecan nuts and put them in.

Pour the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, strawberry liqueur, advocaat and cream into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with lemonade until frothy. Garnish with a strawberry, and serve.

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice,shake until completely cold then strain into a chilled stemmed glass or Rocks glass filled with ice.

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice,shake until completely cold then strain into a chilled stemmed glass or Rocks glass filled with ice.

Pour the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, creme de bananes, pineapple juice and bitters into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes, and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Put all the ingredients in a shaker (except the nuts), add ice, and shake well. Pour in the glass, and add the nuts on top.

Pour the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur into a mug of hot chocolate, stir briefly and serve.

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve in a highball glass and garnish with whipped cream.

Pour the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, triple sec, lime juice and pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a highball glass, and serve.

Shake and pour into a v-shape, and garnish with cinnamon.

Blend briefly with half a glassful of crushed ice. Serve in a collins glass, and garnish with a cherry.

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Strain into an old-fashioned glass 1/3 filled with ice cubes, and serve.

Pour frangelico into a brandy snifter glass. Add honey, lemon peel and cloves and fill snifter with hot water.

Pour Amaretto and Frangelico into a coffee mug then fill with prepared Nestle Hot Chocolate.Top with whipped cream then slowly pour 1/8 oz. Cherry Brandy in a circular motion on to the whipped cream,top with a cherry.

Pour liqueurs into an irish coffee cup. Fill with good quality hot chocolate. Add plenty of whipped cream.

Add all ingredients to a highball glass, stir, and serve.

Pour frangelico, butterscotch schnapps, and creme de cacao over ice. Add milk (or cream) if desired, and stir.

Pour the coffee into an Irish coffee cup or glass. Add the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and creme de cacao stir. Float the heavy cream on top, and serve.

Blend briefly with half a glassful of crushed ice in a wine goblet. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts, and serve.

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice, and shake until completely cold. Strain into a chilled, stemmed or rocks glass filled with ice.

Blend with half a glassful of crushed ice until smooth. Serve in a collins glass, and garnish with a banana slice and cherry.

Add a splash of Coca-Cola to the Frangelico over Ice, and fill add the cream.

Blend ingredients in a blender with a scoop of crushed ice. Strain into cocktail glass(es).

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker
over ice,shake until completely cold then strain
into a chilled stemmed glass or Rocks glass filled with ice.

Blend with ice and serve in a tall glass. Garnish with chocolate flakes and optionally chocolate topping drizzled down the inside of the glass.

Blend ingredients with ice until a creamy consistancy is reached. Don't add too much ice, this will make the drink too thick.

Pour into a honey lined glass. Garnish with chocolate flakes and an open strawberry.

Mix in cocktail shaker with ice. Serve on the rocks. Garnish with chocolate shavings & chopped roast nuts.

Pour grenadine and frangelico into an ice-filled cocktail shaker, and shake until frothy. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and slowly add the kahlua. Garnish with a cherry or hershey's kiss, and serve.

Blow Job

The Blow Job shot belongs to an era of provocatively named cocktails dating back to the 1980s and ’90s. By the time this layered shot appeared on the scene, bartenders had been making fun cocktails and shooters for several years, perhaps none more popular than the Sex on the Beach. Most of these drinks were characterized more by their lascivious names than their quality, but their appeal was widespread.

The Blow Job shot is relatively low-alcohol and easy to make, combining just three ingredients: amaretto, Irish cream and whipped cream. The Irish cream is layered onto the amaretto, and the whipped cream is applied as a topper.

The drink is meant to be tipped back in one go. You can pick it up with your hand, of course. That is the easiest, least messy way to go. But traditionally, the shot is consumed hands-free. In this case, the drinker puts their hands at their sides or behind their back and picks up the entire shot glass with their mouth, downing it all by tilting their head back.

Whichever route you choose for imbibing the cocktail, the shot is sweet and creamy. So, pour a round the next time you’re entertaining a crowd—it’s difficult to have a bad time when Blow Job shots are on the menu.

In a mixing glass filled with ice cubes, pour the gin and dry vermouth.

Garnish with cocktail onions. Serve and enjoy.

  • As with the gin martini, use a premium gin and vermouth and adjust the ratio to suit your taste.
  • It's customary to use either one or three cocktail onions for the garnish. It's an old bar superstition that an even number of onions or olives is bad luck.
  • Cocktail onions can be found in jars at most grocers, typically right next to the olives.
  • Make pickled onions and create a custom Gibson garnish. Be sure to select small onions that are no more than 1 inch in diameter.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch from gin to vodka if you prefer.
  • Similar to the dirty martini, a small amount of onion brine creates a dirty Gibson. Use about 1/2 ounce (more or less to taste) of brine from the cocktail onion jar.

How Strong Is a Gibson?

The martini and the Gibson are identical in everything except the garnish, so they are also the same strength. When made with 80-proof gin using the recipe's ratio, this drink weighs in at a hefty 31 percent ABV (62 proof).

Does Vermouth Go Bad?

Vermouth is a fortified wine, not a liqueur, so it does not have the long shelf life of distilled spirits. Once open, it will go bad after about three months, though you may start to notice a stale taste after the first month or so. Refrigerate open bottles of dry vermouth and get in the habit of writing the open date on bottles to ensure all of your martinis taste great.

Why Is It Called a Gibson Cocktail?

For many years, the standard history of the Gibson cocktail attributed its creation to the 1930s. It was said that magazine illustrator Charles Dana Gibson asked Charlie Conolly at New York's Players Club to make "something different." Conolly used a cocktail onion to garnish a martini, and the resulting drink came to be known as a Gibson. Another version places the drink's creation 40 years earlier. In a personal email to me, Charles Pollok Gibson relayed a family story that says his father's great uncle, Walter D.K. Gibson made the first Gibson sometime around 1898 at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

Talking Monkey

You may not have heard of the talking monkey, but you'll soon be talking about this obscure little martini. For this recipe, you'll pick up chocolate and espresso vodkas, then grab that banana liqueur and your favorite coffee liqueur. Toss in a little cream and shake it up for a truly delightful drink.