There is only so much meditation and self-reflection we can do while confined in our homes before a stiff drink seems… appropriate. While I am doing my best to be grateful for the pause both professionally and personally, I am itching to get back behind a sticky, dimly lit bar serving overpriced Bud Lights to NYU students. For now, experimenting with kitchen staples has become my new gig.
Whether you are an out-of-work mixologist, shy away from convoluted-looking cocktail lists, or anywhere in between, now is the time to experiment with that random can of beans and the old bottle of Captain Morgan you’ve had since college. From tools to ingredients to creation, these five cocktails use your standard kitchen items… and cost nothing!Classy cocktails with a $0 price point? That’s a win-win.
Hey, by the way…
I’m Marissa Graham, nice to meet you all! Katie and Jeremy have an endless vault of worldly stories, advice, and puns and I am honored to be included in this smart and honest blog.
Katie and I originally met in our college dance program. We first bonded over shoving marshmallows in our mouths for sport, so you could say friendship was inevitable. We both have worked in varying areas of the dance world, and done gigs that include wearing ridiculous costumes- my first NYC gig was as a brown M&M mascot (yuuuup, college graduate). Dancing and gigging don’t exactly pay the bills, but bartending at a West Village music venue sure does, and as it turns out, it’s fun! It takes the patience of a pre-school teacher and marathon-runner stamina, and I love (almost) every minute of it.
Shaker: The most common and standard shaker is the Boston shaker, which includes a glass and metal tin. If you don’t own a shaker, grab a Mason jar! It will get the job done… just make sure that lid is secure.
Strainer: The job of a strainer is to keep mixed ice out of the finished product. For this, you can literally use a mesh strainer from the kitchen. No need for anything fancy.
Bar Spoon: This is a less common tool, but is important in mixing and making those drinks nice and cold. I am currently living with my parents (woooo #unemployment) and I have been using a chopstick. It works flawlessly and doubles as a utensil for your sushi dinner. Frugalicious.
Jigger: Used for measuring, the hourglass bar jigger has a 1 oz and 2 oz side. Alternatively, you can use a tablespoon/measuring cup. All recipes below include both measurements in both ounces and tablespoons/cups. You’re welcome.
Glassware/Terminology: Some cocktails are served up (liquid only) while some are on the rocks (with ice). Glass suggestions are included, but do whatever you like & use what you got. If you have fancy martini glasses with gold embossed letters, do it up. If you have a red solo cup, rock it. It’s what in the glass that matters!
Note: ALWAYS stir & shake with ice unless it is specifically noted not to.
That name is probably trying too hard, but this drink is not. A sexy & simple drink that’ll put your nighttime tea to shame.
- 2 ½ oz (1/3 c) green tea vodka
- 1 oz (2 TBSP) simple syrup
- .5 oz (1TBSP) lemon juice
For Green Tea Vodka: Add vodka to a small mason jar with desired amount and add tea bag. I filled one up about ½ so I could have extra. Let sit for about 10 min.
For simple syrup: Mix equal parts water and sugar in a medium saucepan on high until liquid consistency. (I used ½ cup of each since this appears in a few of these recipes). Store the remainder in Mason jar.
Shake, strain, & serve up. Glass suggestion: martini
2. Whiskey-ness (cures lonely-ness)
A simple & sweet cocktail for the days social distancing makes you bitter.
- 2 ½ oz (1/3 c) whiskey or bourbon
- 1 oz (2 TBSP) fresh squeezed orange (about ½ orange) or orange juice
- .25 oz (1/2 TBSP) maple syrup
Stir, strain, & serve on rocks. Glass suggestion: rocks
3. Golden Roommate
Remember that one time you wanted to make Indian food and bought a s** ton of turmeric? Put the latest health trend to use & become the apartment’s favorite roomie with this spiced- up margarita.
- 2 oz (1/4 C) tequila
- 1 oz (2 TBSP) simple syrup
- .75 oz (1.5 TBSP) lime juice
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chili powder
Mix turmeric & chili powder with a dash of water until spices are mixed. Add ingredients, shake, strain, serve on rocks. Glass suggestion: rocks
4. Chick, Peas!
Combine your drinking and arm workout with this delicious & refreshing fizz… shake it baby!
- 2 ½ oz (1/3 C) gin
- 1 oz (2 TBSP) simple syrup
- 1 oz (2 TBSP) chickpea water (from can)
- .5 oz (1 TBSP) lemon juice
- Seltzer (to top)
Add all ingredients except seltzer and shake without ice for about 15 seconds. Then add ice and shake vigorously. Strain, top with seltzer, & serve up.
Glass suggestion: highball
5. Hot & Buttered
Some people claim putting butter in coffee has health benefits. I can’t say this one is nutritious, but it’s definitely delicious.
NOTE: You will need about an hour to prep batter, so this is definitely the most time consuming of the bunch.
- 3 TBSP butter (softened)
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- ¼ TSP cinnamon
- ¼ TSP nutmeg
- Pinch salt
Mash ingredients butter has absorbed spices & syrup, lay out on plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm.
- 2 oz (1/4 C) dark booze
- 4 oz (1/2 C) hot water
- Scoop of batter
Take a dollop of your batter, your favorite dark booze (I would suggest spiced rum, Irish whiskey, even anejo tequila… experiment with what you got!) and add water. Yum! Glass suggestion: mug
To wrap it all up…
Let us know what you think of these recipes and how you experimented with your own kitchen cocktails! Be sure to post on Instagram and tag @the.frugal.foodies!
Times are rough, but we hope these take the edge off and make you the star of your next virtual happy hour. Cheers!
Follow Marissa on Instagram @mgraham826