“During a crisis, a cocktail hour can be almost any hour." - Ina Garten

By Betty Gold
Updated April 13, 2020
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Bartending—even in your own home—can be intimidating business, particularly 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 person, sometimes we prefer the idea of a simple sip—especially when we're following proper protocol for social distancing, avoiding public places, and hunkering down indoors. Case in point: this collection of some of our favorite two-ingredient drinks. Hopefully you can stir up at least a few of these without having to dash out to the liquor store.

The Equipment

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. So keep the correct tool for measuring ingredients in the right ratios, known as a jigger, close by. I'm also a strong proponent of good glassware—just like with wine, a crumby glass can make even the best of cocktails taste flat and imbalanced. (Anything from Riedel will kick your quarantine cocktail up a notch.)

You’ll also need to consider your ingredients, just as you would when you’re cooking. Remember: the simpler the recipe, the better the ingredients should be. If you can't make them from scratch, 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. To make the drinks featured in the video above, I used Casamigos Tequila and Gus Ruby Grapefruit soda in the Paloma, The Botanist Gin with Rose's Lime Juice in the Gimlet, and Lillet with J Vineyards California Cuvée in the Lillet Spritz. Most importantly, use what you have on hand over running out to the liquor store.

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 Drinks

Paloma Cocktail: 2 ounces tequila + 2 ounces grapefruit soda. Stir over ice; garnish with a lime wedge or slice of grapefruit.

Gimlet Cocktail: 2 ounces gin + 2/3 ounce Rose's lime juice. Stir over ice; garnish with a sprig of rosemary, fresh mint, or a wedge of lime.

Lillet Spritz: 1 ounce Lillet + 4 ounces sparkling wine. Garnish with fresh cucumber and strawberry slices, or a slice of orange.

Here are 12 easy two-ingredient cocktail recipes to try at home.

The Easiest Cocktails Ever
Credit: RealSimple.com

Illustrations by Sarah Ferone