3-Ingredient Cocktails for When You Need a Damn Drink Now

Craft cocktails. We all know them and most of us love them. Fancy drinks in trendy bars usually require north of a dozen ingredients and a solid 10 minutes for the bartender to whip up. And some of us complicated-cocktail fans have begun building our own bars to explore mixology in the comfort of our own home. Tinctures? Yup. Concentrations? You bet. We want it all.

Until we don’t. A day comes when we get home after work and can’t bear the idea of working so hard for just one damn drink. Our sophisticated palates demand drinks that take upwards of 15 minutes to prepare but our primal need for the taste and feel of alcohol doesn’t have that kind of patience. For these times, we’ve collected a few recipes that require just three ingredients to get you where you want to be: sipping something to take the edge off in the here and now.


Photo courtesy Cenote Tequila

Get the party started real quick with the national drink of Mexico.

1.5 oz tequila blanco
6 oz Jarritos Grapefruit Soda
.5 oz lime juice

Build the cocktail over ice in a highball glass; stir to mix.

Vesper Martini

Want an even quicker Martini? Find two recipes for 2-ingredient iterations here.

Photo by Molly Tavoletti

1.75 oz Fords Gin
1 oz Absolut Elyx Vodka
.75 oz Lillet Blanc

Fill a mixing glass with ice and add gin, vodka and Lillet Blanc; stir for 30 seconds before pouring into a coupe glass.


Photo by Molly Tavoletti

It’s hard to get this 1:1:1 classic cocktail with an interesting genesis story wrong. ()

1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz Campari

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with fresh ice for approximately 30 seconds, until very cold. Strain cocktail into a rocks glass with a single large ice cube.

Espresso Milkshake

From our chat with Anthony Merlino, Beverage Director of Bergamo’s, on zippy coffee-inclusive cocktails.

1.25 oz Baileys Irish Cream
1.25 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
3 oz chilled espresso

Add all ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake well. Strain into a small, 7-oz beer glass with 1 ice cube.