Guaranteed to take the edge off in just 2 shakes... or stirs, as the case may be.

By Sarah Karnasiewicz

Bartending—even in your own home—can be intimidating business, especially when recipes start to call for special-order syrups, locally infused bitters, or sap tapped from your very own elderflower tree (you’ve got one of those, right?). And while we enjoy a bespoke bevvie as much as the next guy or gal, sometimes we prefer the idea of a simple sip. So we offer you a collection of our favorite two-ingredient drinks—that’s right, just two ingredients.

Mixology is all about balance, especially when you’re whipping up drinks as simple as these. Sure, you can pour some gin and vermouth in a glass and call it a martini, but it probably won’t taste very good if you don’t measure first. You’ll also need to consider your ingredients, just as you would when you’re cooking. And, like cooking, the simpler the recipe, the better the ingredients should be. Buy the best quality mixers you can or at the very least use your favorites. The same goes for spirits: each batch gets its distinct flavor profile from a unique combination of raw ingredients. Take gin for example: each brand uses a special blend of juniper and botanicals to extract that certain je ne sais quois. Don’t be afraid to try a few (or several) and identify exactly what you like.

Hey, no one said being a bartender was easy, but with this collection of perfect pairs you’ll be shaking and stirring perfectly balanced beverages in no time.The Easiest Cocktails Ever 

Illustrations by Sarah Ferone