Your go-to cocktails (the easier the better!)?

Anyone got any ideas for easy but delicious cocktails?

We’re hoping to move house soon and we have an enormous drinks cabinet filled with all kinds of booze that we don’t use often enough, and we’d like to gradually make our way through depleting a few bottles to make the move easier!

But I’m also incurably lazy and looking for things that:

A. Don’t contain 18 ingredients, most of which I’ve never heard of
B. Don’t require me to do daft things like add ‘smoke’/infuse things/set the cocktail on fire (although cocktails with umbrellas are welcome). :smile:

I do have a cocktail kit and various glassware so welcome all suggestions!

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I’ve in the same situation and have been trying to deplete my stocks too. The following won’t necessarily help you clear out that half bottle of Midori or Amarula but are quite simple, tasty and also aren’t just a G&T which is always the simplest and often best option:

Bourbon Sidecar - this apparently serves 2 - I have my doubts…
4 oz (120 ml) bourbon
2 oz (60 ml) Cointreau
1 1/2 oz (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 dashes lemon bitters (I never bother with this to be honest)
twists of lemon as garnish

Shake the Bourbon, Cointreau, lemon juice and bitters with ice cubes until a thin layer of frost appears on the outside of the shaker. Pour into cocktail glasses. Garnish each glass with a twist of lemon and serve immediately.

Dark & Stormy
Since living in Brixton this has been a bit of a go-to. The corner shops tend to have a better variety of rums than any other spirits. This works fine with any golden - or dark rum. Often this will be a half bottle of Cockspur Fine from Top Joe’s on Brixton Hill.
Ingredients: Rum (a solid slug), coke to top up (edit - yes, got this wrong - ginger beer!). Big lime wedge - squeezed and then dropped in. Ice. Combine all in a decent sized glass. You need the lime to make it classy :wink:

Finally, the Hawksmoor classic - Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew:
Shaky Pete’s ginger brew

This turbo shandy is Hawksmoor’s most popular cocktail.

50ml lemon juice
35ml gin (we use Beefeater)
50ml ginger syrup (whizz peeled ginger in a blender with a basic sugar syrup)
Ale, to top (we use Fuller’s London Pride)

In a heavy-duty blender (a NutriBullet would be ideal), blitz the lemon, gin and syrup with five ice cubes. Pour into a beer glass and top with ale.


Even some of the oddest liqueurs are tolerable in a sweet soufflée, and that just needs eggs. Or poured over almost any fruit and baked.

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I love the sound of this! And the sidecar, despite the fact that I normally avoid all-booze cocktails and go for something wimpier with mixers. It just sounds lovely - and I have all of those things (even the bitters!) handy… :smiley:

This is very good to hear, as we have a LOT of odd liqueurs! Ooh, maybe we should do some boozy crumbles or something (and I’ve always wanted to attempt a soufflee…) Thanks!

I was introduced to Dark & Stormys in Bermuda, but I was under the impression that these were a combination of Dark Rum (in my case Gosling’s Black Seal) and Ginger Beer rather than Coke

I’m no cocktail drinker, but on the deck of the glass-bottomed boat after an afternoon snorkelling in crystal clear waters … heaven!!


Funny, me too! Was there 8 years ago and just finished the bottle of rum I brought back last year.

Yep, Dark & Stormy is ginger beer, cuba libre is coke.

Mules are a bit of a thing at the moment, basically anything with ginger beer and lime (Moscow Mule is vodka…) served in one of these with ice:

I say get a set and get clearing!

I think it is part of the Bermuda tourist “experience” … sadly mine was over 18 years ago (for a friend’s wedding) … and I still don’t think we’ve finished that bottle of rum :wink:

Any Bourbon for an easy as Old Fashioned; Bourbon, brown sugar, bitters orange peel and ice. Use up Baileys, Tia Maria and Disarrono in coffee/hot chocolate or in the case of Disarrono just over ice. Make a Black Russian with kahlua/coffee liquer and vodka, it’s quite potent so you can make it Dirty by topping up with coke. Long Island Iced Tea is a great way to use up everything!

This website is really useful too, gives you suggestions on what to make based on what you have :cocktail::tumbler_glass::tropical_drink: Happy Mixing!


Ooh I love an Old Fashioned! Like the Jamie Oliver recipe very much. Sugar syrup (icing sugar and water in equal quantities is a good quick way to make this) in glass with angostura bitters, add 2 ice cubes and stir; add two more ice cubes and stir; add good class booze of choice (we like Makers) and stir. By now glass should be pretty full. Add more ice if req’d - we do t think so!


Absolutely right - serves me right for typing out before coffee! Old Jamaica is the corner shop ginger beer of choice :slight_smile:

Ooh that’s a great sugar syrup tip! I often want to try recipes that need it but am loathed to buy a full bottle and have it just sit there.

Ditto. Making it in advance with hot water gives best results ie nice clear sugar syrup. Just let down and away you go. Also means you can just make the quantity you want. We have been known to be really lazy and make it with cold water as we make the cocktail. A bit cloudy but it’s the taste that counts!

A Negroni, every time.

A better quality red martini, like Carpano Antica helps and you could use the WS Contratto instead of Campari. No need for a designer gin. Ratio is 1:1:1, add ice, stir, orange peel if you like.


A drink without Campari may be nice, but it is not a Negroni.

‘The Exceptional’. One part dark rum (not spiced); one part cointreau; one part vodka (I think, but it may be something else); top up with ice and cranberry or cherry juice.

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They’ve both already been posted. But, I can’t see how any self respecting person, could be missing bourbon, angostura, gin, red martini and campari in their drinks cabinet. So yes again, to old fashioned’s and Negronis.

At a pinch a Martini is pretty hard to beat as well, albeit horrendously dangerous.

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Re Negroni - You can also put in orange juice or prosecco or tonic or combination. If you do have a smoker thing, then you could always add smoke to plain Negroni in a carafe.

Just wonderful! With brandy or bourbon this is an excellent way to start the day…errr i mean ‘evening’.


This is genius!!!

Loving the negroni ( @Richard) and twist-on-a-negroni suggestions! Would never have thought to add orange juice.

On that note, any recommended cocktails with mixers e.g fruit juice/tonic/soda etc so it’s a little lighter would be amazing. I have a lot of booze to get through so need to pace myself…

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