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7 Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktails: Your Solution For Last-Minute Guests Stress

Gin Sour

Last-minute visitors can be simultaneously a wonderful surprise and a logistical nightmare, especially when it comes to whipping up last-minute libations that will wow your guests. Fortunately, when it comes to cocktails, sometimes the simplest solutions are the ones that end up being the most memorable. 

In the eyes of a mixologist, less can be more and keeping things minimalistic and uncomplicated can translate to elegance in a glass, and the best part is that you’ll often find everything you need is already in your kitchen. 3-ingredient cocktails can be deceiving with their simplicity, but sometimes all it takes is a little precision and some smart pairings to level up even the most basic spirit to something spectacular. 

So whether you’re a pro or a novice behind the bar, trying out some punchy 3-ingredient cocktails can be a lifesaver when you’re in a pinch. So embrace the need to be a little bit basic, and start cranking out cocktails that will be the talk of the talk. Cheers to that!

Gin Sour

Nothing goes together more effortlessly than gin and citrus, and a Gin Sour is one of the simplest but most effective ways to highlight the botanical notes of a delicious dry gin. To make it, all you’ll need is some gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, gently heated until all the sugar has dissolved). Simply add all your ingredients to a shaker with ice, adjusting based on whether you want something more sweet, or more sour – and then strain into a chilled glass. Magic in minutes.

Mexican Margarita:

Margarita nights are everyone’s favourite for a reason. Whether frozen or shaken, it's a timeless choice for bar-goers and home mixologists alike, especially since it’s a simple way to create a jaw-dropping drink. The original margarita usually calls for Triple Sec or Cointreau for an orange edge, but a Mexican Margarita is a much more simple affair. Be sure to pick some high-quality tequila, pair it with some agave for sweetness, and fresh lime juice for a sour edge, shake with crushed ice, pour and drink up!

Curry Leaf Cocktail:

Channel the taste of India with a simple cocktail that plays up the earthy notes of curry leaves while pairing it with the clean edge of vodka. A touch of sweetness brings out the best of all the flavours. Simply muddle some curry leaves in a shaker, add in your vodka, a dash of simple syrup and shake with ice and pour. If desired, top up with a splash of soda for a bubbly finish. 

Old Fashioned:

A classic for a reason, The Old Fashioned is known for its adaptability and timeless appeal. Though traditionally made with whiskey, it can effortlessly translate to any spirit of your choice. To make it muddle sugar with a dash of bitters and top off with either whisky, bourbon, vodka or even gin. To add an extra edge you can wipe down the rim of the glass with an orange peel for a slight citrus kick.

Instant Espresso Martini:

While the Espresso Martini may have had its time as the trendiest drink of the 2000s, it still has a lot of dedicated fans who swear by its coffee-laced kick, even today. But you don’t need the fanciest freshly ground coffee beans to make this cocktail successfully, you can achieve similar results with a blend of instant coffee powder dissolved in hot water to form a thick paste and then mixed with vodka and a simple syrup. A truly electrifying experience.

Bee’s Knees:

The name definitely gives it away, because this sweet treat really is the Bee’s Knees! This classic gin sour is remarkably easy to prepare at home. You'll need gin, lemons, and honey to create honey syrup. It serves as a delightful introduction to the world of gin, with honey syrup imparting body and subtle floral notes that harmonise beautifully with citrus and botanicals. Once you start shaking these up, you might find yourself having more than one.

Daiquiri:

Take a tropical trip with this beloved classic which is still a popular go-to among professional bartenders, the Daiquiri is a genuinely simple drink that's hard not to appreciate when expertly crafted. The true Daiquiri consists of high-quality aged white rum, fresh lime juice, and homemade simple syrup. Using cane syrup or demerara is also a great option for a slightly more unique edge and Caribbean feel. Even those with reservations about rum will be won over by this refreshing sour.