6 Popular Cocktail Mixes

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It might be easy to stock up for your next party with just wine and beer. But if you want to be a consummate host, it’s also worth coughing up a few cocktail options.

Just like fashion, the most popular cocktails cycle through trends. While certain drinks were trendy just a year or two ago, they may not be what people are drinking today. But even as these cocktails evolve and change, a few classics always endure through every era.

If you’re wondering which cocktail mixes you should memorize, this list will provide the top six you can always count on. Learn how to make these cocktails, and you’ll be ready for any event or party!

1.  Bourbon Old Fashioned

This classic remains exactly as it was when it was first invented over 200 years ago. A splash of spirit, sugar, water, and bitters is all it takes to create the perfect drink mix.


  • 2 oz. Bourbon (or rye whiskey)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist garnish


  1. Put the bitters and sugar in a mixing glass
  2. Add water and stir until the sugar dissolves
  3. Fill the mixing glass with ice, top with Bourbon
  4. Stir until well-chilled and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube
  5. Run the orange twist over the rim of the glass
  6. Drop it into the glass to garnish

While making this drink sounds simple, you’ll still need some essential barware, like a bar spoon and mixing glass, to make it.

2.  Espresso Martini

Caffeine is as good for the after-hours as it is for the morning hours! So you shouldn’t deny yourself a hint of that delicious coffee flavor just because it’s evening. Learn how to make this drink to enjoy an after-dinner espresso with a twist!


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. Espresso, fresh
  • ½ oz. Kahlua
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Coffee beans to garnish


  1. Fill a shaker cup with ice
  2. Add the vodka, espresso, coffee liquor, and simple syrup
  3. Shake until chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with coffee beans

3.  Strawberry Daiquiri

Refreshing and delicious, the strawberry daiquiri is the drink for any summer event. Muddle fresh fruit or skip out on the extra work with some fruit puree to create a pitcher of this classic!


  • 4 oz. puree or frozen fruit
  • ¾ cup rum
  • ¼ cup citrus soda
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅛ cup lime juice
  • 6 cups of ice


  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Garnish with fresh fruit

This light and easy drink goes great with all your favorite party snacks.

4.  Mango Margarita

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Another summer drink that has a more tropical twist, mango margaritas are blended heaven. You can use any fruit of your choice, but mango is a classic that mixes well with tequila. Blend up a pitcher for everyone at the party!


  • 3 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mango puree
  • 1 tbsp. simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • Sea salt for the rim
  • Lime wedges for garnishing


  1. Run the lime wedge around the glass rim
  2. Dip the rim into your plate of salt
  3. Blend tequila, Cointreau, mango, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice until frothy
  4. Pour into the glass
  5. Garnish with the lime wedge

Mango is an easy favorite. But you can experiment with any other fruit, like pomegranate or strawberry!

5.  Negroni

Another old-school original, the Negroni, is equal parts bitter and sweet. Enjoy the sharp aromas and flavors of this cocktail for any elevated event.


  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • Orange peel for garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Mix the gin, Campari, and vermouth until chilled
  3. Strain into a glass over a large ice cube
  4. Garnish with the orange peel

This is one of the easiest cocktails on the list to make!

6.  Whiskey Sour

One of the most well-known drinks from among the classics, the Whiskey Sour is all about balance. While many versions of this drink abound, this blend is the original recipe.


  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice, fresh
  • ½ oz. egg white, optional
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters to garnish


  1. Dry shake Bourbon, simple syrup, egg white, and lemon juice for 30 seconds
  2. Add ice to the cup and shake again until chilled
  3. Strain the drink into a coupe glass
  4. Add three to four drops of Angostura to garnish

Mix It Up!

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Now that you know how to make each of these popular cocktails, you can stock up a bit to have the essential ingredients on-hand for any party or event. Of course, you don’t need to be prepared for all of these, but knowing at least three or four will make you an excellent host that can meet your guests’ needs!

The Best Backyard BBQ: How to Throw the Perfect Outdoor Celebration

The kids might be back in school, the weather might be getting chilly, and the leaves might be slowly turning yellow, but that doesn’t mean that BBQ season is over. In fact, some would say that early fall is the perfect time to throw the ultimate outdoor party!

But what is it that makes a BBQ “the ultimate outdoor party”? Is it the food? The entertainment? The company? Yes, yes, and yes! Here are a few quick tips that will help you throw the kind of cookout the neighbors will rave about for years to come.

Get Good Meat

There’s a reason why we call cookouts “BBQs”: these parties live or die by the meat you serve. Make sure you purchase some quality meat ahead of time and make sure you’ve got someone nearby who knows how to cook it. Not only will the main course taste better, but you’ll also be able to avoid some major safety hazards!

Of course, you can’t just serve meat at your BBQ (although that does sound like heaven). Make sure you have a few tasty side dishes ready to go along with your cow, pig, or chicken. Even if you’re having a potluck, make sure to prepare at least one side yourself, as this will ensure you have enough for all your guests (and probably leftovers — yum!).

Keep That Pool Open

A lot of folks seem to think that September first is “National Close the Pool Day.” They put on the winter cover, lock the pool fence, and wash their hands of it until May rolls around. But come on, y’all — you know just as well as I do that September can be just as hot as Mid-July.

If you keep the pool open just a little longer this year, you’ll be able to entertain your guests more easily at your cookout. Just make sure you have a designated adult watching the pool at all times.


Dress up Your Yard

You usually clean up your house before having any company, right? Well, the same rule applies before having a cookout! Your yard needs to be dressed to impress a crowd. Trim any bushes, pull the weeds in your flower beds, and make sure your lawn is still looking fresh despite the coming autumn.

If you plan to continue your BBQ well into the night, you’ll need to outfit your yard with appropriate lighting to help set the mood. Consider stringing up some LED neon lights or adding solar lamps on your patio furniture. These will help your guests hang around even longer and keep the party going.

Invite Everyone!

Once you’ve taken all these steps, there’s really only one thing left to do: invite your friends, family, and neighbors to your incredible cookout! If your place looks great, your food is good (and there’s enough of it), and there’s plenty of entertainment, you’re just about guaranteed the perfect backyard BBQ.

Mixer Spillage Fix

I have a Kitchenaid mixture and use it all the time. I do have a splatter shield but when I am making a large recipe of something like butter cream there is bound to be a mess. Powdered sugar is always an obstacle to not get a cloud of it in the air even when you are careful. This is a simple solution that I saw and have used regularly. Such a cheap solution that can just be thrown away when I am done. Just take a piece of plastic cling and wrap it around the opening to the mixer. It keeps everything in the bowl and confined to that area. This also allows me to do other prep work while the mixer is beating something that has to take awhile.

A PERFECT Vegetable Tray

How much fun would it be to watch peoples faces when they come across this veggie platter when visiting you for the holidays. Of course, they aren’t veggies, but sugar cookies made to look like they are veggies. Use cookie cutters to cut cookies and a sugar cookie icing recipe for the icing. Even the middle cookie that looks like ranch dip looks sweet.