With party season on the way, here are five great cocktails you can easily make in your own home to impress your guests…

Cocktails are great for any occasion. Whether youâ??re throwing a party, serving drinks to a few friends, or just want simple concoctions you can make and enjoy at the end of a long day, there are plenty of easy recipes to fit any occasion. Below are five drinks you can make at home with just a few ingredients.

There are a few essential tools youâ??ll need

If you do not have the exact items, you can substitute them with a few easy to find household staples. 

1. Jigger (substitute with an egg cup for measuring)

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2. Cocktail shaker (substitute with a thermos flask)

3. Muddler (substitute with a small rolling pin or the end of a wooden spoon)

4. Juicer (you can also squeeze by hand)

5. Mixing spoon (a long teaspoon or fork handle will work for this as well)

6. Strainer (use a tea strainer)

If you plan to make cocktails regularly, consider investing in the tools listed above. Quality can make a difference, especially if you will be making drinks for several people. Now for the cocktails:

Mojito

This will be served in a tall glass. Ingredients:

  • 50ml rum

  • 25ml gomme syrup or two tsp brown sugar

  • Half a lime

  • Four mint sprigs

  • Soda water

  • Crushed ice

Cut a lime into quarters and place two of them in a glass. Add the gomme syrup or sugar, and then add the rum and muddle. Be sure to squeeze the juice from the limes. Next, add the crushed ice and top with soda water. Add the mint sprigs, teasing them to the bottom of the glass with a spoon while simultaneously lifting the lime, sugar and rum upwards. Now itâ??s ready to drink.

Dark and Stormy

This, too, will be served in a tall glass. Ingredients include:

  • 50ml black rum

  • 25ml lime juice

  • Ginger beer

  • Ice cubes

Place the rum and lime juice in the glass. Rub lime around the rim and fill with ice cubes. Top up with the ginger beer. This is very simple and will take no time to make.

Martini

This popular drink should be served in a cocktail glass. Ingredients include:

  • 50ml good-quality gin or vodka (depending on preference)

  • 25ml dry vermouth

  • Crushed ice

  • Ice cubes

Fill a cocktail glass with ice and set aside. Fill a large glass with crushed ice and water or soda water. This will help make the glass very cold. Once it is cold to the touch, discard the ice and water. Pour the gin or vodka and vermouth into the glass and add ice cubes. Stir slowly until the ice dilutes the drink to your taste preference. Now go back to the cocktail glass and discard the ice. Next, strain in the drink you have just prepared from the larger glass using a strainer.

Add your choice of garnish: fruit zest, a cherry, or an olive. Now it is ready to drink. Martinis taste best when cold.

Mint Julep

This should be served in a tall glass or tumbler. Ingredients include:

  • 50ml rum or whisky (depending on preference)

  • Two teaspoons caster sugar (gomme syrup or another type of sugar will work as well)

  • Four mint sprigs

  • Crushed ice

  • Soda water (this is optional)

Add the mint sprigs, caster sugar, and a few table spoons of crushed ice to the glass. Massage the mix with a spoon. The caster sugar will help bring out the mint flavor. Breaking or crushing the mint only makes it sour, so be sure to gently fold and stir. Add 25ml of rum and more crushed ice. Continue gently massaging the mixture. Now pour in the last 25ml of rum and fill with ice. Add a dash of soda water if youâ??d like.

Margarita

Serve this drink in a tumbler or cocktail glass, either straight up or with salt around the rim. Ingredients include:

  • 50ml tequila

  • 25ml lime juice

  • Two teaspoons agave syrup

  • Ice cubes

  • Salt (optional)

Fill a glass with ice and set aside. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, adding ice. Shake vigorously for 45 seconds to one minute. If you are using a tumbler, leave the ice in the glass. If you choose a cocktail glass, discard the ice. If you wish to use salt, pour either table salt or sea salt onto a small plate. Rub the rim with lime and roll it into the salt. Strain the drink into the glass using a strainer.