Whether you’re a cocktail novice, short on time or just want to get from point A to point booze with as little effort as possible, these easy cocktails are for you. One step above the basic two-ingredient Highball of spirit and soda, these cocktails require zero prep work—that means no fresh squeezed juices, syrups (even simple syrup), spice mixes, spirit infusions or elaborate garnishes. You also won’t need a shaker or blender to make any of these drinks, so clean-up will be a breeze. Here, the 12 best drinks you can make in under five minutes.
12 Drinks You Can Make in Under Five Minutes
A well-crafted Martini doesn’t require expert level skills, just attention to detail. The key is to measure out your ingredients, and stir the gin and dry vermouth for about 30 seconds, before straining into a chilled coupe—that’s it. Once you’ve mastered that, feel free to mix it up by creating Dirty Martinis, Perfect Martinis, Gibsons and even sweet Manhattans or Rob Roys.
If soldiers in the Revolutionary War had time to mix this classic cocktail then so do you. Top rum with bubbly hard cider and a few dashes of Angostura for a spritzy-sweet drink.
Hard apple cider
The Spanish love to kick back with a glass of iced coffee and tonic, and this simple cocktail takes that tradition up a notch with the addition of Fernet and St-Germain. Stir them all in a highball glass then take a much-needed siesta.
This Brazilian classic is the easiest way to get down with a tropical cocktail without any complicated tiki ingredients. Simply muddle grassy cachaça with whole lime wedges (no need to measure juice) and some sugar. The resulting mix doesn’t even need to be strained—just stir lightly and serve.
Measuring this cocktail is a snap since all of its ingredients are equal parts. Stir an ounce each of London Dry gin, Campari and sweet vermouth with ice, and you’ll have a potent cocktail with far more depth and complexity than your efforts deserve. For a more rounded flavor, swap out gin for rye whiskey to make a Boulevardier.
Maple syrup and apple cider vinegar naturally flavor this autumnal bourbon cocktail. Top it off with spritzy and spicy ginger beer, and you’ll feel that electrolyte-packed burst of energy in no time.
If a Negroni sounds delicious but you crave something even lighter, look to the Americano—a sparkling aperitif that replaces gin with club soda, but keeps the bitter Campari and sweet vermouth. It’s the perfect low-proof sipper for daytime drinking.
The epitome of simplicity and timelessness, the Old Fashioned has long endured as one of the most popular cocktails because it’s as easy to drink as it is to make. Just muddle a sugar cube with some Angostura bitters, add your favorite whiskey and garnish with a twist, if desired.
Yes, it’s possible to make cocktails for a large crowd in under five minutes with this fruity and fun punch. No need to measure anything—just dump whole bottles of cranberry juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, lemonade and rum into a gallon-sized container, shake it up and serve.
Unlike its grapefruity cousin, the Sea Breeze, this cocktail can be made with bottled juices instead of the fresh-squeezed kind—just make sure to opt for a high-quality, natural cranberry juice instead of syrupy cranberry juice cocktail.
One of the few creamy drinks that does not require a shaker, the White Russian is the ultimate after-dinner tipple. Try using a small-batch coffee liqueur from brands like St. George or New Deal for a more flavorful, bittersweet White Russian. For a less decadent but equally easy coffee cocktail, forgo the cream to make a Black Russian, or top that latter one off with soda water to create a Mind Eraser.
This quick, boozy dessert drink calls for two things you should always have on hand in case of emergency: rosé and ice cream. Bitter orange-flavored Aperol mixes nicely with fruity rosé and strawberry ice cream for a grownup take on an ice cream float. If strawberries aren’t your thing, this Boozy Apple Float or Rum and Coke Float are just as easy to make.