It’s an oppressively balmy summer afternoon; you’re hot, frustrated and in desperate need of a cooling cocktail. But the last thing you want to do is slog through a complicated recipe that requires crushing ice, whirring blenders or shaking shakers. Enter the amaro and soda. With more and more amari arriving stateside, and a banquet of craft sodas from which to choose, the options for refreshingly simple, two-ingredient tipples are nearly endless. After testing through a variety of combinations (it’s hard being us), we discovered a few favorites. Here, five no-fuss drinks to make this summer. The hardest task you’ll have is freezing the ice.
5 Super-Easy 2-Ingredient Summer Drinks
Made with Salers Gentiane, a classic, French apéritif, and spritzy-savory Cel-Ray soda, this cocktail is as easy to make as it is delicious. The two ingredients come together to create a wave of crisp, sharp bitterness and vegetal herbaceousness, with a finish of celery seed and honey. Refreshingly effervescent, this cocktail is the perfect, refreshing brunch time alternative to a Bloody Mary, when spicy tomato juice is just too heavy, or as a pre-dinner sipper to whet your appetite.
This effervescent, refreshingly bitter libation is like an Italian vacation in a glass. Made with pungently herbaceous Cynar—an artichoke-based amaro—and extra-tart San Pellegrino Limonata, this bright, cooling cocktail could temper even the hottest Sicilian summer. If you want to give the cocktail more alcoholic kick, swap out traditional Cynar for the heftier, boozier 70-proof version.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping an Aperol Spritz on a balmy afternoon, you know just how perfect the Italian aperitif is on a hot day. An even simpler version of that already simple cocktail, this low-ABV summer sipper swaps out the Prosecco and the seltzer for tart, semi-sweet grapefruit soda. It’s bittersweet, bubbly and downright chuggable.
A simple mix of Campari and soda is an easy, delicious refresher—but Campari and orange soda is even better. Simple as it is, the combo has just as much depth of flavor as more complex cocktails. There’s a blast of bright citrus on the first sip, with layers of bitterness and frothy orange sweetness, finishing with Campari’s signature herbal kick. Perfect for anytime of day (the warmer the day, the better), it’s as easy as buying a bottle of Campari and a six pack of San Pellegrino Aranciata.
This crazy-easy cocktail tastes like Cherry Coke from an alternate dimension. Made simply with the Italian digestif Ramazzotti and black cherry soda, the drink is dark and bitter, with the complexities of a Manhattan. The two ingredients come together to blossom into flavors of sarsaparilla, kola nut and tart summer cherries, with a robust, sweet finish. As versatile as it is easy to make, it can be served as a refreshing aperitif or stomach-settling dessert drink.
black cherry soda