Genuinely delicious cocktail recipes you can make with basic ingredients

It’s the weekend, it’s warm, and you want to sit and enjoy a delicious beverage. But, let’s be honest, most times you go looking for a cocktail recipe online to try something different, you’re bombarded with ingredients that are almost impossible to find.

By the time you’d have ordered these strange syrups and bitters, you’d have spent the equivalent of a few jars somewhere fancy, and have waited even longer than the current queues outside McDonald’s drive-thrus.

To save you the hassle of getting hold of some one-off, £40 ingredient, we’ve compiled some simple recipes from items you’ll either have already or can get at any supermarket.


The cosmo might be cocktail of choice for the SATC girls, but it’s surprisingly un-fiddly to make on your own.

What you’ll need:

  • Double shot vodka
  • Half shot triple sec or a dash of Cointreau
  • One shot cranberry juice
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Ice

How to make:

All you need to do is pop your ingredients into a cocktail shaker and have at it. If you’re feeling really fancy you can cut off a slice of orange zest, use a lighter to gently warm the outside, and pop that in your glass.

This recipe serves one, so change your amounts based on how many people are partaking.

White sangria

There’s nothing more refreshing than a sangria, and the white version offers something a little different for barbecues or warm summer evenings.

What you’ll need:

  • Bottle of dry white wine
  • One lime
  • One lemon
  • Handful of fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 300ml (or one can) of lemonade
  • Tin of peaches
  • Two tablespoons of sugar
  • Couple of shots of brandy (optional)
  • Ice

How to make:

Slice your citrus fruits and drain your peaches.

Add the sugar and lemonade (and brandy if using) to a pitcher, mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Then, add your fruits, wine, and ice.

Easy, and delicious.


If you’re having prosecco or champagne, you can bring it up a level with something as cheap and hassle-free to get as a tin of peaches.

What you’ll need:

  • Sparkling wine
  • Tin of peaches (or a couple of fresh peaches if you’re boujee)

How to make:

Blitz your peaches in a blender, pour a small amount into the bottom of a champagne flute, and top with your sparkling wine.

Some people prefer to add sugar to their peach puree, so you can experiment with this to taste if you wish.

Prosecco gin fizz

This cocktail is ideal for people who like gin but don’t like the taste of tonic (it’s genetic, apparently). For the fizz in this we’ll use prosecco, and give it a zesty hit with some lemon.

What you’ll need:

  • 75ml gin
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • One bottle prosecco
  • 4 tablespoons lemon sorbet (optional)
  • Sugar

How to make:

Put all the ingredients in a pitcher (except for the prosecco, and half the lemon juice). Then top with the prosecco after a stir.

You can decorate your glasses by dipping the rims in the remaining lemon juice and then into a plate of sugar.


A marg is quite a boozy cocktail, but the tangy taste is delicious sipped from a fancy coupe glass. You can customise these with different fruits and juices if you want, but here’s the original margarita recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • Three shots tequila
  • Two shots triple sec (or one if you’re using Cointreau)
  • One shot lime juice
  • Salt
  • Ice

How to make:

Put your ingredients – minus the salt – into a cocktail shaker and serve in a salt-rimmed glass (this can be done by rubbing the rim of the glass in lime juice then dipping it into a small plate of salt).

If you can’t get your hands on triple sec or Cointreau, freshly squeezed orange juice makes a nice alternative.

Rum punch

Although we’re not having gatherings right now, this recipe is ideal for putting into a bowl and serving to guests from a ladle. For now, there’s just more for you (or you can pop it in the fridge in a jug for later, just add the fruit before serving).

What you’ll need:

  • Dark rum
  • White rum
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Lime juice
  • Grenadine if you have it
  • Garnishes like lime or lemon slices or maraschino cherries
  • Ice

How to make:

This is quite an ad-hoc recipe given we haven’t told you specific quantities you’ll need, but the best rum punches often come from tasting as you go and adding what seems right.

Ideally you want around one cup of orange and one of pineapple to a quarter of a cup for lime juice and each type of rum.

Again, have fun with it, but make sure you add your garnishes before serving rather than ahead of time so they don’t turn bad.

Malibu moment

Lovers of coconut rum will enjoy this tropical delight. There are other coconut rums available, but we’ll just call it Malibu here as it tends to be the most widely stocked.

What you’ll need:

  • Once shot malibu
  • Two shots coconut water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Two shots prosecco
  • Ice

How to make:

Put your coconut water, lime juice, and Malibu into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Give it a good shake and put in your glass of choice.

Top with prosecco for a sparkling finish.

Infused berry gin cooler

This is actually just a way to make your own flavoured gin, but you can call it a cocktail once it’s all finished and you’ve put an umbrella in it.

It also takes a few weeks, but there’s basically no effort involved, and they do say good things come to those who wait.

What you’ll need:

  • One bottle of gin
  • One punnet of any berry of your choosing (strawberries work well)
  • 100g caster sugar

How to make:

Slice up your berries and put into a large, sterilised jar or sealable container. Add the gin and sugar, and leave in the fridge.

Every two days or so give it a good mix. Do this for three weeks.

Once the three weeks is up, strain your mixture over a muslin cloth or coffee filter paper, and it’s ready to go. Top with lemonade or tonic water for a summery take on your standard gin.

Pina colada

Pina coladas are a god-tier cocktail, and half the ingredients can be bought from a corner shop in a tin or carton. Here’s our recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • 50ml Malibu or other coconut rum
  • 75ml pineapple juice
  • One large tablespoon coconut cream
  • Pineapple chunks (optional)
  • Ice

How to make:

If you’re using pineapple chunks, pop around six of them into a blender along with the rest of the ingredients and give it a whizz until smooth.

If you can’t get your hands on them, put your juice, rum, and coconut cream into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until combined.

Serve in the most kitschy and extra glass you have available.

Do you have a great recipe to share?

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