Overcomplicated drinks have a habit of coming out during the holidays, dressed up with candy-cane stirrers and marshmallow garnishes. There’s never a great time to encounter bad cocktails, but it can be especially alarming when liquor stores are closed.
How to cope? Many respectable drinks can be made with just two ingredients. We’ll assume you know the classics already: the martini, the screwdriver, the bellini and any pair of common mixer with common spirit: rum and cola, gin and tonic, whiskey and ginger. Here are 11 more excellent combinations to try.
1. Beer and Absinthe
Look for a beer that has hoppy, piney notes (like many IPAs) and a light, herbal absinthe (consider Vieux Carré Absinthe Superiéure). Combine one part absinthe with two parts beer. This also works with root beer, thanks to the licoricey flavors that it shares with absinthe. Best on ice.