15 Cheap Drinks That Wont Break The Bank

Entertaining friends and family is a cherished tradition for many, but it can be challenging to strike the right balance between fun and financial responsibility. With liquor costs adding up quickly, planning carefully becomes crucial to avoiding a blowout on happy hour expenses.

The solution lies in mixing smartly, focusing on cost-effective ingredients that bring big flavor without breaking the bank. Imagine being able to serve an impressive array of cheap mixed drinks that won’t leave you feeling drained financially or creatively.

Screwdriver Cocktail


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A simple yet affordable classic, the Screwdriver is a drink that’s hard to beat on price. With just vodka and orange juice required, it’s no wonder this cocktail has become a staple for many. The best part? You don’t need to break the bank on expensive spirits – flavored vodkas can also be used to give your Screwdriver a unique twist. To complete the look, garnish with an orange slice and serve over ice in a rocks glass.

Gin Gimlet


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For those seeking refreshing and affordable cocktails that also impress, the classic Gin Gimlet is an excellent choice. To elevate this drink, combine gin, freshly squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup in equal measure. To add a touch of elegance, garnish your glass with a lime wedge, if you have one available. This timeless recipe can be attributed to knobcreek.com.

Classic Old Fashioned


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For those seeking sophisticated yet affordable happy hour cocktails, the Old Fashioned is an enduring classic. This timeless drink requires only three ingredients: bourbon, angostura bitters, and sugar – simplicity itself. To serve, pour the mixture over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a cherry for a touch of elegance.

Gin and Tonic


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Indulge in the refined delight of a homemade gin and tonic, a classic cocktail that can be crafted for a mere fraction of its value. As you sip on this sophisticated concoction, a sprig of citrus freshness from a lime wedge serves as the perfect garnish, elevating the experience to new heights.

Cuba Libre


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When it comes to affordable drinks at happy hour, Rum and Coke is often the go-to choice. But, why settle for the ordinary when you can elevate your experience with a simple twist? Adding a lime wedge can transform your classic drink into a Cuba Libre, giving it a touch of sophistication without breaking the bank.

Red Wine and Coke (Kalimotxo)


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While the name ‘Kalimotxo’ might evoke images of broke college kids concocting drinks for social hour, this Spanish cocktail has a surprisingly rich history. A Kalimotxo is made by combining red wine and Coca-Cola, which may not sound like an obvious pairing, but it’s actually quite tasty. The beauty of the drink lies in its versatility – you can use any type of red house wine, such as Pinot Noir, to create your perfect blend. Additionally, feel free to experiment with different types of soda or cola to find your preferred flavor profile.

Vodka Tonic


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A classic vodka tonic is essentially a happy hour gin and tonic variant, but with vodka replacing the gin. While you don’t need to break the bank on premium vodka, using the best quality you can find will elevate the overall drinking experience. To take it to the next level, garnish your vodka tonic with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a crisp cucumber slice, or a fragrant sprig of rosemary. Serve the drink in a tall glass filled to the brim with ice cubes and get ready to unwind.

Dark and Stormy


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A Happy Hour Classic, the Dark and Stormy cocktail can be easily crafted with just two additional ingredients beyond ginger beer – fresh lime juice and ice. To complete this refreshing drink, simply squeeze in a splash of lime juice over ice, top with ginger beer, and garnish with a lime wedge for a touch of citrus flair.

Classic Moscow Mule


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When it’s time to stock your bar cabinet for happy hour, don’t overlook the importance of having ginger beer and ginger ale on hand. These versatile mixers can be used to craft a wide range of innovative cocktails. For instance, you can combine ginger beer with fresh lime juice, vodka, and a splash of lime wedge to create a refreshing Moscow Mule. By keeping both ginger beer and ginger ale in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to shake (or stir) things up and impress your friends with your mixology skills.

Salty Dog


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With just two simple ingredients – a bottle of gin and some grapefruit juice – you can whip up a refreshing Salty Dog in no time. But what’s behind the name of this citrusy cocktail? The answer lies in the salt that’s applied to the rim of the glass, giving the drink its distinctive moniker.

White Russian


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A White Russian is an elegant cocktail that requires only three ingredients to craft. This refined drink’s simplicity belies its sophisticated taste profile, which is achieved by combining Kahlúa, vodka, and heavy cream – or a suitable substitute such as half-and-half or whole milk. For those seeking a thrifty alternative, omitting the cream component yields a Black Russian, another bonus cheap drink option.

Classic Daiquiri


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In Cuba’s rich history of cocktails, the classic daiquiri stands out as a refreshing and understated drink that defies the sweet and fruity associations often linked to its name. Unlike its more sugary counterparts, this timeless cocktail is composed of only three essential ingredients: crisp white rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a touch of simple syrup. To craft the perfect classic daiquiri, combine these ingredients with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and shake until the mixture reaches a chilling temperature. Finish your creation by garnishing it with a lime wheel, allowing its citrusy aroma to linger.

Vodka Cranberry (Cape Codder)


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When it comes to having a quick and affordable beverage option, storing fruit juices like grapefruit, orange, and cranberry in the fridge can be a convenient solution. Additionally, a Vodka Cranberry drink, also known as a Cape Cod or Cape Codder, is a simple yet refreshing concoction that requires only two ingredients: vodka and cranberry juice. To serve, pour the mixture over ice cubes in a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wedge for a touch of elegance.

Tequila Sunrise Cocktail


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To craft a classic Tequila Sunrise, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients, including a bottle of affordable tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. For added depth and zest, consider supplementing with fresh lime juice or Rose’s Lime Juice – though this is purely optional. Similarly, club soda can be used to introduce a refreshing fizziness, but feel free to omit it if you prefer your drink straightforward.

Long Island Iced Tea

While it may seem like a pricey cocktail at first glance, due to its numerous liquor components, the Long Island Iced Tea can be surprisingly affordable if you already have some basic spirits on hand. The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility – simply combine tequila, white rum, vodka, Triple Sec, and gin for a potent concoction. To bring everything together, all you’ll need are simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of soda like Coca-Cola. Finish it off with a lemon or lime wedge garnish for added flair.

How to Save Money on Cocktail Equipment and Tools

When it comes to creating professional-grade cocktails at home without breaking the bank, there’s no need to feel limited by your equipment options. In fact, with a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can still shake (pun intended) things up. Here’s the thing: you don’t necessarily need a fancy cocktail shaker to mix up a mean drink. A mason jar with a lid can serve as a perfectly serviceable substitute, especially if you’re on a budget. Simply toss your ingredients in the jar along with some ice, give it a good shake, and then strain using any fine-mesh strainer. If a mason jar isn’t your thing, don’t worry – an old jelly jar or similar container can also do the trick after a thorough cleaning and run through the dishwasher. And as for muddling, which is sometimes necessary to release certain flavors in cocktails? No problem there either. A sturdy wooden spoon will suffice just fine, eliminating the need for a fancy cocktail muddler altogether.

A Cheap Simple Syrup Recipe That Will Make Your Happy Hour Happier

For those who have ventured into our happy hour drink ideas, it’s likely no surprise that simple syrup is a staple ingredient in many of our recipes. In fact, we’ve featured the Tequila Sunrise, which relies on red grenadine syrup for its signature flavor. However, more often than not, simple syrup is the go-to sweetener for mixologists. And the best part? It’s ridiculously easy to whip up at home in just a few minutes. Here’s our take on how to make this essential ingredient: start by combining equal parts of water and white granulated sugar in a small saucepan. A half cup each will suffice, but feel free to scale up or down depending on your needs.Next, heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved. This process should take around 1-2 minutes – just long enough to get the job done without allowing the syrup to simmer. Your only goal here is to dissolve that sugar, so don’t worry too much about achieving a precise temperature.

Final Words

Savor the flavor with these delectable recipes. Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or simply seeking a pick-me-up, these treats are sure to delight. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

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