2-Ingredient cocktails are not only tasty but also ridiculously easy to make. If you want to throw together a drink, it is almost a sure thing that you can make one of these drink ideas for the items you have in your home. And best of all, these cocktail recipes come together in just minutes!
Why simple cocktails are awesome
This is why these are some of my favorite simple two-ingredient cocktails. They’re fast, they quench my thirst, and they take literally seconds to make. Take my Vodka and Coke. Two quick pours and it’s ready! You won’t find any complex cocktails on this list!
I like to keep my home bar on the small side. I have a handful of specialty liquors but mostly I try to keep things simple. And I’m always amazed at just how many cocktails can be made with the basics.
If you love a good, classic cocktail, a lot of those recipes can be found in this post.
And if you want to feel like you are drinking a cocktail but can’t, make a Bitters and Soda.
2-ingredient cocktails to make at home
I’ve broken up these easy two-ingredient cocktails by liquor to make it easy to find one to make based on the spirit you want to use. Some may require a cocktail shaker while most can be made simply in a mixing glass or high ball glass.
The easiest way to make these would be using equal parts, but there are a lot of ways to tailer these to your taste preferences. And of course, if you’re willing to add in a 3rd ingredient, fresh lime juice always makes everything better.
This 2-ingredient cocktail is a classic drink. The sweetness from the cola makes a perfect pairing for the vodka. Served over ice, it’s super refreshing and super easy drinking.
I didn’t think I would like a Vodka Gimlet as much as I do! It’s pretty much all vodka, but the little bit of Rose’s Lime Juice adds sweetness and flavor. This refreshing classic cocktail can be served in a martini glass or coupe and gets bonus points for not requiring any fancy tools.
You can also make a gimlet with gin if you prefer it. And when you’re ready to add a 3rd ingredient you need to try this Cucumber Gimlet.
One of my favorite cocktails is the Screwdriver, or vodka and orange juice. It uses two ingredients that are popular that you probably already have at home. It’s easy drinking and works great at brunch or any time of day.
A Black Russian is an even easier relative of the White Russian (which has cream). These are 2-ingredient cocktails using vodka and coffee liqueur to make a bold drinks that you’ll want to sip slowly. Above image from the Kahlua website.
A basic version of Vodka and Apple Juice is so tasty! But you can make it even better with an upgraded (think cold-pressed, apple cider or Honeycrisp) apple juice. Served over ice, this one is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.
A Gibson can be made with either vodka or gin mixed with a little bit of dry vermouth. Grab a chilled glass and try one tonight! Just like the traditional martini, this is all liquor. These types of drinks call for 2 aspirin and lots of water after. Image credit: The Spruce.
A basic Vodka Soda is one of the best 2-ingredient cocktails. But this version with Limonata Pellegrino takes the flavor and hits it out of the park. This lemon flavored soda has a sweeter flavor with a little bit of tang that does all the heavy lifting making this feel like a legit cocktail.
This one is super refreshing and great for sipping by a pool. Add a lemon twist or a slice and you’re good to go.
A classic martini is quick and easy and can be made with things that are probably on your bar cart. Vodka (or gin) mixed with half sweet vermouth is a classic two-ingredient cocktail that you may not have tried before. Image credit: Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
While many people drink Green Tea for the health benefits, it also makes an amazing little hot toddy with some vodka. It’s comforting and just as easy to make as it is to drink! If you’re looking for something to warm you up from the inside out, this drink idea is for you. Don’t want a hot drink? Mix Vodka with Iced Tea.
A Cape Codder is a mix of vodka and cranberry juice. It’s an easy drink to make and drink as are most that have fruit juice as a mixer (Thanks, natural and added sugars!). It’s refreshing and easy to serve over ice. Image credit: Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
This is one of my top 2 favorite 2-ingredient cocktails to make. Tequila is my favorite liquor and it is so crisp and refreshing with soda. Garnished or not, it’s full of flavor and wonderful for sipping any time of year. Add a little lime to level it up even more.
Bet you didn’t think about making a 2-ingredient pitcher cocktail! Use my recipe above for the easiest ever Margarita recipe, made a pitcher at a time! It’s refreshing and easy to serve in a rocks glass.
I’m on the fence about this Tequila and Kahlua cocktail called a Brave Bull. I love tequila. And I like coffee, but typically not in my cocktails. I’d be willing to give it a try, you know in the name of research. Photo credit: Kahlua website
The Salty Dog and Greyhound are basically the same drinks. With 1 parts gin to 2 parts grapefruit juice, the only difference is whether you rim the glass. I’ll let you guess which one has salt… Not a fan of gin, no problem. Just swap it out with vodka. I love that so many of these 2-ingredient cocktails are interchangeable.
A Gin and Tonic is a classic combination. But one that I don’t totally love. I’m not a big fan of tonic. It’s a popular choice but you can always make a Gin and Soda instead! You can also make this with vodka. But for me to really enjoy this, I need another flavor, like in my Grapefruit Vodka and Tonic. Image credit: Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
A Cuba Libre is a fancy way to say Rum and Coke. With just a little bit of lime, this easy drink with dark rum and cola is full of flavor and is always a crowd pleaser. Add in some mint and it becomes a Coke-ijto! Image credit: Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
A Dark and Stormy is made with spiced rum and spicy ginger beer. A wedge of lime does wonders to level up this drink. The spice of ginger beer pairs really well with the spices found in the rum to create really flavorful 2-ingredient cocktails. It’s one of my favorite rum cocktails. Image credit: Dale DeGroff via Epicurious.com
Light rum and a little sweet vermouth makes a simple Rum Martini. Made in equal measures, this drink recipe sounds unique and I’m sure has a taste that a rum lover would really be into. I’m not a huge fan of martinis but I might be into this if it used a little spiced rum. Image Credit: Hemera Technologies
Sonja Morgan (of the Real Housewives of New York) always adds a little bit of fun wherever she goes. She ordered rosé with a little bit of coke in it and my mind was blown! It sounds crazy but it really does work. And it’s perfect any time of day. (Day drinking always calls for rosé).
In my recipe for a Red Wine Spritzer I use a third ingredient (a little bit of fresh orange juice). But you can make a refreshing drink with just wine and club soda! I’m not a huge red wine fan but love to sip these when the weather warms up. Play around with the red wine you use for different flavors.
Looking for something super easy but totally unique? Skip the orange juice and pair your sparkling wine with kombucha instead. Kombucha comes in lots of flavors and is slightly fermented to bring a really tangy flavor component. It’s a great match for champagne.
A classic Mimosa is just champagne and a varying amount of orange juice. It’s sweet and refreshing and an easy drink to put together that feels extra celebratory and totally acceptable to drink in the morning. These are probably the most popular 2-ingredient cocktails, ever. Image credit: Inspiredtaste.net
A simple peach puree topped with chilled Prosecco creates a tasty and super easy Peach Bellini. Frozen peaches tossed in the blender create a simple way to elevate a glass of sparkling wine. Sometimes sugar and peach Schnapps are added to enhance the peach flavor but you can absolutely keep this to two ingredients. Don’t forget to try my Spiced Pear Bellini this fall! Image credit: The Novice Chef
A Kir Royale is made easy with a little Creme de Cassis. This champagne cocktail is sweet and perfect for when you want an easy drink but not a basic mimosa. You’ll love the pretty color and the black currant flavor. Photo credit: Cookie and Kate.
The elderflower flavor of this liqueur adds the perfect, floral finishing touch to a simple glass of champagne. Often served with a bit of lemon peel, this sparkling wine cocktail is one of my favorites! Make sure you pick up a bottle of St. Germain at the liquor store if you don’t already have one. Photo Credit: Kitchen Konfidence
An Aperol Spritz is super refreshing and this shortcut version is just as tasty. Grab a wine glass and pair sparkling wine and Aperol for a bitter orange almost spritzer. Traditionally it also has some sparkling water, but trust me, you won’t miss it!
The version of a White Wine Spritzer linked above has a few extra ingredients, but if you want to stick with 2-ingredient cocktails all you really need is white wine and sparkling water! It’s a great summer drink idea and one I drink when I don’t want too much alcohol. An equal measure of wine and fizzy water keeps things super easy.
Bourbon and Whiskey Cocktails
Bourbon Lemonade is super simple and totally delicious. Store-bought lemonade keeps this recipe to just two ingredients and gives it the right amount of sweetness to pair with Bourbon. Over ice, this is one of those 2-ingredient cocktails that is perfect any time of year.
A mix of Scotch and Drambuie, which is a Whiskey Liquor, this Rusty Nail cocktail is not for the faint of heart. Made of two types of liquor, this is a kind of drinks that will knock you on your behind. It’s strong! Image credit: The Spruce.
This Fireball and Ginger Ale cocktail idea takes a basic Whiskey and Ginger Ale and adds cinnamon to it. It’s super easy to make and the sweetness of both the Fireball and ginger ale makes it super drinkable.
Scotch and Amaretto is delicious! The smokiness from the Scotch is smoothed out a bit thanks to the ounce of amaretto. It gives it a boost of flavor that makes this easier to drink than you may think! It’s great for sipping, especially on a cold night. Image credit: Liquor.com / Tim Nusog
Scotch and Soda is another simple way to make 2-ingredient cocktails with Scotch. The sparkling water helps to make the Scotch a little more mellow but if you are more a fruity cocktail type of person, this isn’t for you. Image credit: EDALIN / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO via Esquire.com
7 and 7, or 7-Up and Whiskey is another easy to drink cocktail thanks to the sweetness of the lemon lime soda. I’ve also heard that this combination works so well because of the specific flavor of the Seagram’s 7 whiskey. So although you can use any whiskey to make this drink, you’ll get the best results with Seagram’s 7.
Just beer and ice cream is all you need for this drink. Use an old-fashioned glass and a stout beer to make a good cocktail for Father’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and beyond.
Apple Cider and Lager is another of the beer based easy 2 ingredient cocktails. This one, also sometimes called a Snakebite, is said to be British in origin and I can understand the appeal. I loved cider when I was in London so pairing it with a lager style beer sounds refreshing and tasty! Image credit: Culinary Ginger
Hear me out. Sometimes cocktails from rap songs are delicious. In a recent themed happy hour with our neighbors, we made Brass Monkey. It’s a mix of Malt Liquor and orange juice and it wasn’t bad at all. I can see why this was a drink of choice for struggling artists and college students but you’ll probably never hear about this from any drink experts. I would absolutely make it again. Give it a try! Image credit: The Glut Life via Food Beast.
Have you ever had a Shandy? Made of Beer and orange juice this is sometimes called a Beermosa. This easy, sweet drink is a great idea for Father’s Day and hot summer barbecues! Image credit: Wide Open Eats
Pimm’s and Ginger Ale is an easy cocktail that you probably have never tried. Pimm’s is slightly bitter with herbal undertones and when paired with sweet ginger ale, it’s a yummy treat for your mouth! Pimm’s can also be added to sparkling wine for a little spritz. This one is great in warm weather. Image credit: Taste.com
These 2-ingredient cocktails feel a little elegant. Make Campari and Orange Juice for your friends. Similar to Aperol the bitter flavor of Campari is easy to drink with some fresh orange juice which will also cut through the sweet Italian liqueur. This one is sometimes also called a Garibaldi. Image credit: Emiko for Food 52
Another Campari drink, this one, mixed with a hoppy IPA, is one of those drinks that just works. There’s no real reason that these ingredients should pair so well. But Campari and Beer is cocktail magic. Also sometimes referred to as a Campari Shandy. Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)
The best mixers
With a well rounded group of mixers, you can easily make 2-ingredient cocktails from the liquor you have in your liquor cabinet.
- Fruit juices like orange juice, grapefruit juice, apple cider, and cranberry juice are great. But you can even use passion fruit, mango, grape and more to create even more yummy drink options.
- Ginger Ale has a great, sweet flavor that helps to mellow out strong alcohol like whiskey.
- Soda Water (also known as Club Soda) is super fizzy and a great option for making drinks where you want the flavor of the alcohol to come through.
- Flavored sodas (like grapefruit soda) are a way to take a basic drink and add another flavor element without adding any more ingredients.
- Tonic Water (and flavored tonic water) has such an interesting flavor that it takes something basic and makes it feel totally different. A Gin and Tonic is wildly different from Gin and Soda.
- You can use any flavor of Haus to make a 2 ingredient drink! They come in delicious flavors and you can mix them in equal parts with club soda or champagne! Learn more about Haus Cocktails.
Ways to make them even better
Two ingredient cocktails are delicious as is, but if you can kick them up a notch with just a few other items. I consider these more as a garnish than as another whole ingredient.
Garnish with lime wedge or other citrus. A squeeze of fresh citrus instantly punches up anything it’s added to.
Fresh herbs either muddled or added as a garnish are a great way to add in a subtle flavor of your favorite herbs.
There is something about a cucumber slice that instantly makes everything more refreshing. While it wouldn’t probably work in all of the above drink recipes, adding cucumber slices to a lot of the cocktails above would be delightful.
Bitters are a great way to add complexity to a drink. It’s like finishing a recipe off with salt and pepper. It helps to bring out the flavors.
Tips and Tricks
- If you’re uncertain about your drink combination, just add ice! Having a drink chilled tends to make it taste that much better.
- If after creating your 2-ingredient cocktails you’re not super crazy about it, go ahead and add a third ingredient.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new! You may not think to mix beer with other things but it can be really tasty and opens up a whole new world of drink ideas.
- The key to making two ingredient cocktails you love is to know what you like. If you aren’t a fan of tequila, you will taste it too much in a cocktail with only 2 flavors. So start by choosing the liquor you like and adding in the mixer you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Beer and vodka do not taste that great together and will leave you with a pretty wicked hangover.
A part refers to a measuring increment that is not exact. A part cocktail uses a ratio rather than exact measurements to keep the drink in balance. 1 part vodka to 2 parts soda means to use one measure (for example an ounce) of vodka and twice as many parts (2 ounces) of soda. You get to pick the measurement.
Have fun taking just a few seconds of time to make these drink recipes. They’re the best way to put your feet up and relax!