I have a confession: I love perusing cocktail recipes more than I love making them. See, I’m a bit of a lightweight and it’s hard to conjure the energy to shake up a complicated cocktail when just one drink will be plenty. And when you drink one cocktail at a time—only one or two times a week—stocking a liquor cabinet with obscure booze, specialty bitters, and artisanal mixers seems a waste. For me, this has meant drinking wine most nights, but I miss sipping on the occasional fancy cocktail.

What’s a lazy drinker to do? Find a bunch of killer 3-ingredient cocktail recipes, that’s what.

These drinks may be simple, but they’re a far cry from your garden variety juice + booze drink. You may have to invest in one special bottle to make a few (but not all!) of these, but then making them is nearly as easy as pouring a glass of wine and you get to feel like you’re in a fancy cocktail lounge—even if you’re just in your PJ’s watching Netflix.

Top: Cuba Libre, PDX Food Love | Kalimotxo, Honestly Yum | Vesper Martini, Food52

Related: The perfect winter citrus cocktail and mocktail recipes.


A 3-ingredient cocktail recipe perfect for winter citrus season: Grapefruit Shandy cocktail | A Cozy Kitchen

You could technically say that this Grapefruit Shandy at A Cozy Kitchen is made with four ingredients, but I’m going to count sugar and water as simple syrup and call it even. (Or, uh, odd.) Besides just tasting great, this cocktail is perfect for right now thanks to in-season grapefruit and, well, beer — you know, all that game day stuff. Let the others sip brew out of the bottle while you whip up this easy and much tastier cocktail.


This Vesper Martini may be super classy, but you can whip it up anytime with only 3 ingredients. | Food52

This time of year tends to be about staying home, being cozy, hot drinks, and warming brown booze like bourbon. But you know what? Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that I’m always feeling the need for such things. Sometimes—yes, even at the end of January—I want to feel fancy. And when I’m in that mood, whether I’m going out or staying home for a nice dinner and movie with my guy, I want a cold, crisp, and elegant cocktail like this Vesper Martini at Food52. Made with one of my favorites, Lillet Blanc, and just two other ingredients, you might feel the same.


An easy 3-ingredient cocktail recipe that's fruit, complex, and will make you feel like a master mixologist: The Redheaded Ginger cocktail | POPSUGAR Food

If you like Lillet Rouge, you’ll love this three-ingredient Redheaded Ginger cocktail at POPSUGAR Food that is fruity, complex, and refreshing, served with a juicy slice of peak season grapefruit. Given Lillet’s low alcohol content, this is a good choice for lightweights like me. Or dare I suggest this as a perfect brunch cocktail?

Related: How to make mulled cider and mulled wine, too. Because sometimes hot cocoa doesn’t cut it.


One perfect little addition turns a simple rum and Coke into a 3-ingredient Cuba Libre. Perfect. | PDX Food Love

At PDX Food Love, I found a slight twist on a traditional two-ingredient cocktail to transform a run-of-the-mill rum and cola into the perfect Cuba Libre. Find out the secret ingredient and also get great tips on how to make this cocktail just right. Hint: the kind of cola and type of ice make a difference. And don’t forget the garnish. Though lime technically makes four ingredients—and could be skipped in a pinch—I think you should go the extra mile for authenticity sake. (Or, really, tiny fraction of a mile.)


What's better than a 3-ingredient cocktail recipe? A delicious cocktail made with only two—both of which you probably have on hand right now: Kalimotxo cocktail | Honestly Yum

My latest favorite cocktail, a Kalimotxo, is an unexpectedly delicious sip with only two ingredients — three if you count the ice — that you probably already have on hand. Not surprisingly, as I was looking for a recipe and additional validation that you should make this delicious cocktail, I found gorgeous inspiration at one of my favorite sources for cocktail recipes, Honestly Yum. If their post doesn’t get you to try this, I don’t know what will.