25 Cheap Drinks To Make At Home So You Can Pour Like A Pro Without Breaking The Bank

pineapple margarita
25 Cheap Drink RecipesANDREW BUI

It's a truth universally known that going out for drinks gets... kinda expensive. But what if you brought the party home? These 25 cheap and easy cocktails will turn your home bar into the neighborhood's hottest cocktail bar in town. Just grab your favorite mixers and a bit of creativity, and you'll be on your way to mixing impressive drinks for your friends without breaking the budget. Don't be surprised when they start calling you their new favorite bartender!

It's probably no surprise that the shorter your cocktail's ingredient list is, the more affordable it will be to mix up at home. Luckily, some of the most classic cocktails of all don't require more than three ingredients (really!). When in doubt, mixer + booze = always a good time. If you prefer to set out some fun mixers (like flavored seltzers, sodas, juices, and bitters), your friends are basically halfway to a killer cocktail. Honestly, when has a rum & Coke (or a Cuba Libre if you like it a bit on the tart side), a whiskey ginger, a Dark 'N' Stormy, or a vodka tonic ever let you down? Even if you want to go to the next level, we've also included more advanced (yet still affordable) cocktails, like our recipes for pineapple margaritas and strawberry daiquiris.

If your bar cart is in need of some love, we've got plenty of guides on how to restock your cart so you'll be mixing in no time. We taste-tested all the best tequilas, rums, whiskey, vodkas, and gins on the market (hard job, we know) to complete your home bar. We've also rounded up all of our top bartending kits for you (or your favorite at-home bartender).

Still thirsty? We have plenty more summery cocktails and boozy popsicles for you to try next.

Classic Mimosa

Nothing kicks off brunch quite like a mimosa. If you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side, bump up the orange juice to 3 ounces per glass, or go for a sweeter bottle of bubbly. To play up the orange flavor, try adding a dash of orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, or a few dashes of orange bitters.

Get the Classic Mimosa recipe.

classic mimosa recipe

Rum and Coke

The right proportions are everything in the perfect rum and coke. For a spin on this classic, add a splash of lime juice to turn this cocktail into another rum-based standby: the Cuba Libre.

Get the Rum and Coke recipe.

rum coke
Park Feierbach

Pineapple Margarita

When we’re feeling the beach vibes, we reach for a pineapple margarita. Fresh and fruity with the perfect kick of tequila, this margarita will take you straight to the shore, frosty glass in hand, in less time than it takes to squeeze those limes.

Get the Pineapple Margarita recipe.

pineapple margarita

Tom Collins

What’s not to love about a simple, classic cocktail like the Tom Collins? It’s basically a spiked and sparkling lemonade, served in a Collins glass, obviously, which immediately inducts it into the summer cocktail hall of fame.

Get the Tom Collins recipe.

tom collins

Sex On The Beach

Peachy, tart, and citrusy, this is the perfect drink to wind down with after a long day. It's our favorite summer cocktail that makes us feel like we're on the beach no matter where we are. 😎

Get the Sex On The Beach recipe.

ombre red and orange sex on the beach cocktail garnished with an orange slice, a maraschino cherry, and a cocktail umbrella

Ranch Water

A sort of effervescent, less-sweet version of a margarita, only 3 ingredients are required for ranch eater: tequila, lime juice, and seltzer. (Preferably Topo Chico; some claim it’s not a real Ranch Water without it!) We like adding a splash of orange liqueur like Cointreau for a little added sweetness and citrus flavor too.

Get theRanch Water recipe.

ranch water

Dark 'N' Stormy

Deceptively simple to mix up, the Dark 'N' Stormy delivers a refreshingly complex wave of spice and zing. Want it with a twist? Try our Frozen Dark 'N’ Stormy!

Get the Dark 'N' Stormy recipe.

dark and stormy cocktail
Joel goldberg

Vodka Tonic

A similar vibe to a vodka soda, vodka tonic is a little bit sweeter. Adding citrus is a nonnegotiable for us. We love lemons and limes, but blood orange slices add a fun pop of color and zing too!

Get the Vodka Tonic recipe.

vodka tonic
Parker feierbach

Dirty Shirley

Bright and colorful, sweet with just a hint of booze, the Dirty Shirley Temple is quickly gaining popularity with cocktail drinkers. And who can blame them? It’s a boozy version of that nostalgic beverage so many of us grew up with—and let’s be honest, what too-sweet mocktail can’t be improved with a shot of vodka?

Get the Dirty Shirley recipe.

dirty shirley


In the states, people tend to scoff at the idea of mixing anything with wine (though we at Delish clearly do not, check out our red wine mules and Champagne margaritas); however, in the Basque region of Spain, they aren't only drinking sangria—in fact, mixing wine with soft drinks is somewhat of an obsession all over Spain. One of the most popular iterations is called Kalimotxo. All it takes to make a Kalimotxo is two ingredients: Coke and red wine. We know it might seem crazy, but this combo truly is something special.

Get the Kalimotxo recipe.

kalimotxo over ice

Whiskey Ginger

Is there any whiskey cocktail more iconic and simple than a whiskey ginger? It’s just two ingredients, but it’s truly one of the best bubbly/spirit combinations out there. To go the extra mile, we wanted a homemade, showstopper garnish, and we couldn’t think of anything more fitting than fresh, spicy candied ginger. Not only does it look great atop a drink, but it's also great for snacking.

Get the Whiskey Ginger recipe.

whiskey ginger
Lucy schaeffer

Red Sangria

Our classic version of sangria is light and bubbly with an addition of seltzer water and the perfect ratio of wine to brandy. It's also perfect all year round: Skip the summer berries and swap in fall fruits like pears and apples to keep enjoying this summer classic whenever the craving strikes.

Get the Red Sangria recipe.

red sangria with fruit and cinnamon sticks

Classic Margarita

The margarita, now one of the most popular cocktails in the world, is thought to have started out as the variation on another prohibition-era drink called the "Daisy." Spanish for "daisy," the marg swapped in tequila for the requisite brandy and lime juice for lemon juice, and a classic was born.

Get the Classic Margaritas recipe.

classic margaritas with a salt rim and lime garnish

Painkiller Cocktail

Created in the 1970s at the Soggy Dollar Bar in British Virgin Islands, the Painkiller lives up to its name, delivering plenty of booze in a frothy, nutmeg-dusted package.

Get the Painkiller Cocktail recipe.

painkiller cocktail
Suzanne Clements

Spiked Seltzer Slushies

If you thought a can of White Claw was perfect on its own, you haven't given it a whirl in your blender. This recipe (if you can even call it that!) can be easily customized based on what flavors and fruits you prefer. Our favorite combos: lemon-flavored spiked seltzer + frozen strawberries or mango + frozen pineapple.

Get the Spiked Seltzer Slushies recipe.

strawberry white claw slushies
Suzanne Clements

Mint Mojito

The key to a good mojito is in the muddling, but if you don’t have a muddler, that’s okay! You can use a wooden spoon or any other kitchen tool that could be used to mash and grind in a glass. For a mojito, you want to muddle mint just enough so that the leaves emit their natural oils, but not too much that they bruise or break into pieces. Mix the mint with lime, rum, and simple syrup, top with soda, and you’ll swear you’re on the beach.

Get the Mint Mojito recipe.

mojito cocktail with fresh lime juice and mint leaves

Perfect Strawberry Daiquiri

The mix of fresh and frozen strawberries in this recipe is the trick for a smooth, frosty daiquiri. If you love this drink, then we think you'll really love our strawberry frosé.

Get the Strawberry Daiquiri recipe.

strawberry daiquiri
Hearst Owned

Gin Rickey

Crafted with ingredients you already have in your fridge, the gin rickey is as refreshing as it is simple to make and, not to mention, low-carb! So if you have limes, club soda, and gin, you’re well on your way.

Get the Gin Rickey recipe.

gin rickey

Aperol Spritz

The Aperol Spritz, also known as the Spritz Veneziano, is an Italian classic that has an iconic bittersweetness reminiscent of burnt orange and tart rhubarb. When paired with Prosecco and a bit of soda water, it makes an amazing cocktail to drink in the warmer months.

Get the Aperol Spritz recipe.

aperol spritz
Hearst Owned

Spiked Sparkling Basil Lemonade

Basil-infused vodka? Sign us up. This lemonade cocktail brings out the sweetness of the herb and turns the spirit a vibrant green.

Get the Spiked Sparkling Basil Lemonade recipe.

sparkling basil lemonade
Joel Goldberg

Mojitos, 3 Ways

For when you just can’t choose—and why should you? These easy, customizable mojitos come together fast, muddled with fresh mint and pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries.

Get the Mojitos, Three Ways recipe.

mojitos 3 ways
Emily Hlavac Green

Moscow Mule Punch

This punch is basically one enormous Moscow mule, which means that you don't have to play bartender all night. Delicious drink, shareable portions, no shaking needed? Win, win, win!

Get the Moscow Mule Punch recipe.

moscow mule punch
Parker feierbach

Perfect Piña Colada

Tangy pineapple blended with spiced rum and rich coconut milk makes this a vacation in a glass. Pairs perfectly with getting caught in the rain.

Get the Classic Piña Colada recipe.

pina colada
Ethan Calabrese

Classic Paloma

Though the margarita has become a staple of American bars, the margarita's pink-hued cousin, the Paloma, is heralded by many in Mexico as the better cocktail. It's beloved not just for its bittersweet, citrusy grapefruit flavor but also for its simplicity. Not counting ice, all you need is 4 ingredients: tequila, lime juice, salt, and grapefruit soda.

Get the Classic Paloma recipe.

classic paloma cocktail

White Russian

This is a delicious cocktail every home bartender needs to know. It tastes like a chocolate boozy milkshake, and only requires three easy ingredients you likely already have on hand.

Get the White Russian recipe.

white russian

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