Easy Cocktail Recipes – Two-Ingredient Drinks

The Liber boys enjoy elaborate cocktails as much as anyone, and when you have the time and energy to craft a five-ingredient masterpiece, the payoff is worth it. But often when we get home from a long day at the office and our eyes go straight to our bar, we want to quickly whip up a drink that is easy and enjoyable. That’s when we turn to some tried and true two-ingredient staples that are convenient enough to make when your energy reserve is running on “E”. Adding these two-ingredient drinks to your core rotation will up your home bartending game without being a chore to make:

The Martini – The Martini is one of the most well-known cocktails around, and for good reason. Regardless of whether you stir or shake it, the Martini is a bracing, crisp cocktail that is heavy on the booze

While the traditional martini calls for gin and vermouth, vodka is a common variation. The “Dirty Martini” calls for an added splash of olive juice. We encourage you to experiment with your choice of spirit and vermouth, as well as the ratio between the two. Some prefer a "wet" Martini (i.e. a larger measure of vermouth), while famed English playwright Noel Coward shirked vermouth entirely, claiming that the perfect method was to:
“Fill a glass with gin and wave it in the general direction of Italy.”
Regardless of your preference, the Martini is the quintessential two-ingredient cocktail, and one should be well-versed in its structure.

 

Dry Martini Recipe:
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/4 oz. dry vermouth
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive or a lemon twist.

Gimlet – The combination of gin and lime is about as old as the cocktail itself. The classic Gimlet calls for gin and lime cordial (you’ll find it as "sweetened lime juice" in the US). The gimlet is a fantastic and unique cocktail. Despite being classic, it has fallen off the radar due in part to backlash against the most commonly available lime cordial, Rose's. The resurgence in craft cocktails has been left wanting for a better lime cordial. 

Gimlet cocktailWe (Liber & Co.) are currently developing a lime cordial which will have the complex, intense lime flavors needed in a great cordial.

Gimlet Recipe
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 2/3 oz. lime cordial
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.



Scotch & Soda – As the original highball cocktail, the scotch & soda is perhaps the easiest cocktail on this list to make. The carbonated water and ice lengthen the complex scotch flavors and open the aromatic structure of the spirit. For a slight variation on the build, try a good bourbon instead of scotch. The woody sweetness of the spirit is heightened by the carbonation, and the dilution means you can enjoy a couple of them slowly over the course of an evening without regretting it the next morning.

Scotch and Soda Recipe
  • 2 oz. scotch whisky 
  • 4 oz. soda water
Add ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Stir.


The Greyhound – Grapefruit has long been a favorite ingredient among bartenders because of its tart, acidic flavor profile and subtle sweetness. The Greyhound utilizes these characteristics alongside gin for a punchy cocktail that is refreshing and straightforward. A common variation on the Greyhound replaces gin with vodka. Here’s our preferred greyhound cocktail:

Greyhound Recipe
  • 2 oz. gin 
  • 5 oz. grapefruit juice

Add ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Stir.

Rusty Nail – A favorite of the Rat Pack, the Rusty Nail combines the woody, hot flavors of Scotch whiskey with the sweet herbal tones of Drambuie (a whiskey-based liqueur). Almost regardless of your ratio of Scotch:Drambuie, the Rusty Nail is a complex yet surprisingly accessible cocktail that combines two storied spirits into one Scottish sipper. Although it can get a bit pricey if it becomes your favorite, the Rusty Nail is the perfect next step for Old Fashioned drinkers.

Rusty Nail Recipe
  • 1.5 oz. scotch whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. Drambuie

Add ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. Stir.


Gin and tonic recipeThe Gin & TonicWe at Liber & Co. have a special relationship with the G&T. Tonic and its origins are what gave birth to our passion and respect for quality cocktail ingredients and their histories.

Originally used as an anti-malarial ration for British soldiers occupying India, tonic quickly found its way into a pairing with the UK’s favorite spirit to form one of the most iconic cocktail duos there is.

The gin & tonic’s crisp, clean bite has made it a favorite among warm-climate cultures (see Spain’s G&T craze). The strong, aromatic flavors of most gins are perfectly balanced by tonic's acidic and bitter taste. This iconic pairing makes for what is likely the most popular cocktail around.



Gin and Tonic Recipe
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 4 oz. tonic water*

Add ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Stir and garnish with a lime.


*We would be remiss not to mention that today’s mass-produced tonic waters, especially those served out of a bar gun, are a far cry from the original quinine tonic that gave rise to the beloved G&T. Our Spiced Tonic Syrup and other quinine- concentrated syrups are more authentic to the original tonic of Colonial India.