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cocktails

Best cocktails and alcoholic drinks you can make at home

As summer is in full swing and people are spending more time in the garden, nothing quite beats entertaining friends and family than with delicious homemade cocktails. With that in mind, we’ve listed some of the best easy cocktails and alcoholic drinks for you to make at home, with everything you need to make them and the recipes yourself. Cheers!

What do you need to make cocktails at home?

Making cocktails is as much art as science, and to make cocktails well you’ll need the right range of ingredients and equipment. Different cocktails might need very specific apparatus, but generally speaking, any bar can do with the following.

Cocktail Shaker

The holy grail of the countertop, cocktail shakers are simply a must-have for any self-respecting martini mixer. Ideally these will also come with some means to measure and evenly pour your drink, and we recommend the Barvivo model outlined below. This also comes with a measuring jigger – another essential piece of apparatus you’ll need behind the bar.

Cocktail Glasses

Sounds obvious, but there’s a surprising range of choice when it comes to how you want to serve your drinks. There’s the classic V-shaped martini glass, the larger Pina Colada glass, and the round-bottomed Margarita glass (our personal favourite). None of them are wrong – you could technically serve your drinks in a bucket if you were so inclined – but it’s fun to get glassware that matches what’s inside it.

Pina Colada Cocktail glasses

Julep Strainer

This one technically depends on what you’re making – not every drink requires a julep strainer – but they’re cheap and helpful to have, and the aspiring cocktail maker will definitely want one to hand. Bundle one in with the rest of your purchases and you’ll be good from that point on.

Ice Tray/Ice Shaver

A small addendum, but so many cocktails include ice that you’d be crazy not to have a quick way of producing it. You can also get machines for producing ice shavings, allowing you to make any manner of smoothies and crushed-ice cocktails – delicious on a warm day.

Of course, there’s a lot more that can/will help you piece together a perfect array of drinks, but that’s the core of what you’ll need (supported by a broad selection of spirits and booze, of course). Now you just need to know what’s worth making, and with that in mind, we’ve assembled this great starting selection of cocktail recipes.

Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini cocktail recipe

To make this, you’ll need:

Ah, the Espresso Martini – the perfect blend of caffeine and booze, elegantly chilled and with a crisp chill to it. It’s a pleasantly sweet drink that leaves you as alert as inebriated, and having this drink on tap can make for an excellent desert after a great meal.

Find our favourite recipe here.

Pink Lady

Pink lady cocktail recipe

To make this, you’ll need:

Valentines Day might be over, but that doesn’t mean you and your significant other can’t enjoy a Pink Lady. These rosey-looking cocktails have a syrupy quality that ensures that they go down easily, sweet and delicious with just a small amount of citric tartness behind it. Cheers!

Find our favourite recipe here.

Old-Fashioned

Old fahsioned cocktail recipe

To make this, you’ll need:

The Old-Fashioned is the favourite drink of one of our writers, and you can see why – it’s basically an enhanced form of bourbon whiskey (though you can technically do it with any form of liquor), and it gives it a sweet spice and fruit tang that only serves to strengthen and compliment the flavours of the whiskey itself.

Find our favourite recipe here.

Long Island Iced Tea

long island iced tea cocktail recipe

To make this, you’ll need:

Ah, a truly classic drink, a light staple of beachside bars up and down the world. The Long Island Iced Tea is a slightly more complex drink than is usually thrown together after a long day of work, but it’s a superb thing to make a batch of for a barbecue or family dinner. It’s delicious, complex and accessible enough that nobody could say no.

Find our favourite recipe here.

Pina Colada

pina colada recipe and ingredients

To make this, you’ll need:

  • Bacardi Carta Blanca
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Coconut Cream
  • Caster Sugar
  • Orange/Cherries
  • Ice

Call it a summer holiday in a glass; the Pina Colada is a perfect mix of tropical elements to create something that barely tastes like alcohol at all – at least until you’ve drank six and suddenly need to sit down. The pineapple makes it pop, the coconut makes it smooth, and the cherries provide a perfect garnish and visual flourish to the whole thing. Drink it for a moment of perfect, liquid sunshine.

Find our favourite recipe here.


Of course, there’s plenty more ways to enjoy your time with friends and family! We wrote a whole range of Valentine’s Day guides recently, including how to make a delicious dinner and what snacks and drinks you can share with your loved ones! Or just feel free to head over to the Jelly Deals Twitter for info on every big discount you’ll ever need!

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