12 Easy Cocktail Recipes that Make You Look Like a Pro

Ango and Soda
Photo: © Carey Jones

Mixing a great cocktail doesn't have to be complicated. There are plenty of great drinks out there that don't take the touch of a professional mixologist. Here are 12 drinks that will let you show off your bartending skills, even if those bartending skills don't exist.

01 of 12

Carda-Grapefruit

Carda-Grapefruit
© Carey Jones

In a tall glass with ice, combine 1.5 ounces of Cardamaro, 2 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice, and 2 ounces of club soda. Give a quick stir and garnish with a grapefruit slice.

02 of 12

Bénédictine & Tonic

Bénédictine & Tonic
© Carey Jones

In a tall glass with ice, combine 1 ounce of Bénédictine and 4 ounces of a high-quality tonic water. Squeeze a lime wedge into the drink.

03 of 12

Pamplemousse & Bubbles

Pamplemousse & Bubbles
© Carey Jones

In a champagne flute or coupe, combine 1 ounce pamplemousse and 4-5 ounces French sparkling wine. Garnish with a long grapefruit peel — twisting the peel over the top of the drink to spray its citrus oils all over.

04 of 12

Mind Eraser

Mind Eraser
© Carey Jones

In a rocks glass with ice, pour 1 ounce of Kahlúa and then float 2 ounces of vodka on top, pouring down the side of the glass so that it separates. Top with 2 ounces of club soda, poured down the side of the glass in the same way. Using two straws, suck the whole damn thing down.

05 of 12

Harvey Wallbanger

Harvey Wallbanger
Carey Jones

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 1/2 an ounce of Galliano, and 2 ounces of orange juice. Dash in some orange bitters. Shake all that up and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange wedge and/or brandied cherries.

06 of 12

Classic Margarita Done Right

Classic Margarita Done Right
© Carey Jones

To your blender add 4 cups of ice, 8 ounces blanco tequila, 4 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice, and 1.5 ounces of light agave. Blend it all up until good and frosty. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime wheels.

07 of 12

Irish Old Fashioned

Irish Old Fashioned
© Carey Jones

In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces of Redbreast 12 Year and a ½ ounce of honey syrup (equal part honey cut with hot water). Add 2 dashes each of orange bitters and Angostura. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a big twist each of orange and lemon peel, twisting both over the surface of the drink to spray their citrus oils all over.

08 of 12

Planter's Punch

Planter's Punch
© Carey Jones

In a big cocktail shaker with ice, combine 8 ounces dark rum -- we highly recommend Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old—4 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 ounces of grenadine, and 8 dashes of Angostura. Shake that all up and strain into a pitcher with lots of ice. (A big shaker should just be able to handle all this. Alternatively, do it in two batches; or make it a frozen punch and run everything a blender.) Serve with four glasses and garnish with lime wheels.

09 of 12

Italian Gentleman

Italian Gentleman
© Carey Jones

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of Campari, 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon, 3/4 ounce of lemon juice, and 1/4 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and hot water). Add a couple dashes of orange bitters. Shake that all up and strain into a coupe class. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

10 of 12

The Classic Bloody Mary

The Classic Bloody Mary
© Carey Jones

In a tall glass with ice, stir together 4 ounces Bloody mix and 1 1/2 ounces vodka. Garnish with a celery stalk, lemon slice and a few olives.

11 of 12

Death in the Afternoon

Death in the Afternoon
© Carey Jones

Pour 1 ounce of absinthe into a Champagne flute and fill with sparkling wine (about 5 ounces). No garnish necessary.

12 of 12

Ango and Soda

Ango and Soda
© Carey Jones

In a tall glass with ice, pour 1/4 ounce of Angostura (that's 20 dashes, should you prefer to dash) and then 5 ounces soda. (It'll foam up into a pretty aggressive head, so watch out.) Garnish with a lemon wedge.

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