NEW Recipes from the August Issue

It's time to take it outside. We're sharing recipes that are best served al fresco with friends. Salute summer, from drinks to dessert, with the latest recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

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How to Make Popcorn Balls

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I chip, you chip, we chip. Our love affair with America's favorite snack goes well beyond the bag. We're sharing dishes that were made better (way better) by potato chips.

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Dress Up a Dessert in 8 Seconds (or Less!)

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Canning Basics

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DIY Drink Stations

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Popular in Food

Bar Guide to Mixed Drinks

Serving a selection of mixed drinks is a fun and easy way to welcome your party guests. If you don't know how to bartend, don't worry! Here are our tips for bringing delicious, bar-worthy alcoholic drinks to your home, complete with a party drink shopping list and several easy alcoholic drink recipes.

Party Drink Supply List

Before your party, decide what mixed drinks you'd like to serve, and make a list of the supplies you will need.

Our checklist for essential party drinks:

  • Liquor: Choose spirits your guests will love, or base your liquor list off of your favorite alcoholic drink recipes. If you're unsure what mixed drinks to serve, buy a few basics: whiskey, Scotch, gin, vodka, tequila, rum, or vermouth.
  • Mixers: Mixers are an essential part of most cocktails. Some basic mixers include carbonated water, tonic water, lemon-lime seltzer, and ginger ale.
  • Garnishes: Top off mixed drinks with garnishes. Maraschino cherries, olives, lemon peels, and lime and lemon wedges are popular drink garnishes.
  • Ice: To keep your cocktails cool and refreshing, have about a pound of cubes per person, and more for warm-weather parties.
  • Bar glasses: You don't need a huge selection of glassware. Ten- or 12-ounce all-purpose glasses will work for nearly every alcoholic drink.
  • Various bar tools: Be sure to have a few essential bar tools handy, like a bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail napkins, small towel, sponge, and wastebasket. You may also want to have a blender nearby to make frozen drinks, like blended margaritas or daiquiris.

Easy Mixed-Drink Recipes

Even if you're new at mixing drinks, you can make gorgeous and delicious cocktails with the help of our alcoholic drink recipes.

For delicious drinks in a snap, refer to this list of alcoholic drink recipes. Print your favorites to keep by the bar during your party.

  • Bloody Mary: In a cocktail shaker combine ice cubes, 1/3 cup chilled tomato juice, 3 tablespoons vodka, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, dash Worcestershire sauce, dash celery salt, and dash black pepper or bottled hot pepper sauce. Shake well to mix. Pour into a chilled glass; add ice cubes, if desired. Garnish with a celery stalk. Makes 1 serving. (Note: You may prefer to make Bloody Marys ahead and chill for flavors to blend. Stir before serving.)
  • Tom Collins: In a tall glass stir together 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar or simple syrup. Stir in 3 tablespoons gin, vodka, or light rum. Add ice cubes. Pour 3/4 cup chilled carbonated water down the side of the glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 serving.
  • Frozen Daiquiris: In a blender combine one 6-ounce can frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate and 2/3 cup rum. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add 2-1/2 to 3 cups ice cubes, one at a time, through opening in lid. Blend until slushy. Makes 6 (about 4-ounce) servings. Also check out our recipes for peach daiquiris and strawberry daiquiris.
  • Gimlet: In a cocktail shaker combine ice cubes, 3 tablespoons gin or vodka, and 1 tablespoon bottled sweetened lime juice. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Makes 1 serving.
  • Gin and Tonic: Place ice cubes in a glass. Add 1/4 cup gin. Pour 1/2 cup chilled tonic water (quinine water) down the side. Squeeze a lime wedge into glass; stir gently. Add wedge to drink. Makes 1 serving.
  • Manhattan: In a cocktail shaker combine cracked ice, 3 tablespoons blended whiskey, 1 tablespoon sweet vermouth, and dash aromatic bitters. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 serving.
  • MargaritaIn a cocktail shaker combine ice cubes, 3 tablespoons tequila, 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Shake well to mix. For a salt-rimmed glass, rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with a lime wedge; invert into a dish of coarse salt. Strain drink into glass. Makes 1 serving.
  • Martini: For a classic martini, in a cocktail shaker combine cracked ice, 1/4 cup gin, and 1 tablespoon dry vermouth. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a green olive or a lemon twist. Makes 1 serving.
  • Old-Fashioned: Pour 1 tablespoon simple syrup into an old-fashioned glass. Stir in dash aromatic bitters. Add ice cubes and 3 tablespoons bourbon, brandy, Scotch whisky, or Southern Comfort. Pour in 3 tablespoons chilled carbonated water; stir gently to mix. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a skewer. Makes 1 serving.
  • Screwdriver: Place 3 or 4 ice cubes in a tall glass. Add 3 tablespoons vodka and, if desired, 1 tablespoon orange liqueur. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice to fill the glass; stir to mix. Makes 1 serving.
  • Whiskey Sour: In a cocktail shaker combine cracked ice, 3 tablespoons bourbon or blended whiskey, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons simple syrup. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If desired, add cracked ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a skewer. Makes 1 serving.

Our Best Drink Recipes and Party Tips

Our low-calorie mixed drinks pack plenty of flavor, and you won't miss the extra calories! Pictured here is The Porcupine, a four-ingredient white wine cocktail. Get the Recipe!


Make Low-Calorie Cocktails

Easy Cocktail Party Ideas

Delicious Cocktail Classics to Try

What's Your Dream Dessert? Find Out!

More Easy Cocktail Recipes

  • Bourbon Sour: In a cocktail shaker, combine ice cubes; 1/4 cup bourbon, Scotch whisky, or rye whiskey; 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice; and 2 teaspoons powdered sugar. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled glass. Pour 2 tablespoons chilled grapefruit carbonated beverage down the side of the glass; stir gently to mix. Add ice cubes, if desired. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a skewer. Makes 1 serving.
  • Vodka Sour: Prepare Bourbon Sour as directed, except substitute 1/4 cup vodka for the bourbon.
  • Daiquiri: In a cocktail shaker, combine cracked ice, 3 tablespoons light rum, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon orange liqueur. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Makes 1 serving.
  • Raspberry or Strawberry Daiquiris: Prepare Daiquiris as directed, except use half of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate. Add one 10-ounce package frozen red raspberries or sliced strawberries and, if desired, 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar. Makes 7 (4-ounce) servings.
  • Peach Daiquiris: Prepare Daiquiris as directed, except use half of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate. Add 3 ripe medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut up (1-1/2 cups) or 1-1/2 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices. If desired, add 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar. Makes 8 (about 4-ounce) servings.
  • Kir: Pour 3/4 cup chilled dry white wine into a chilled wine glass. Add 1 tablespoon crème de cassis; stir gently to mix. If desired, add ice cubes. Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired. Makes 1 serving.
  • Dry Manhattan: Prepare Manhattan as directed, except substitute dry vermouth for the sweet vermouth. Garnish with a green olive.
  • Frozen Margaritas: In a blender container, combine one 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, 2/3 cup tequila, and 1/2 cup orange liqueur. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add 4 cups ice cubes, 1 at a time, through opening in lid. Blend until slushy. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses. Garnish with lime slices, if desired. Makes 8 (4-ounce) servings.
  • Orange Champagne: Thinly peel 1/2 of a medium orange into a spiral of peel about 12 inches long; place in a chilled champagne glass. Add 2 teaspoons orange liqueur; pour in 1/2 cup chilled champagne. Stir gently to mix. Makes 1 serving.
  • Rusty Nail: Place 2 ice cubes in a cocktail glass. Pour in 1/4 cup Scotch whisky and 2 tablespoons Drambuie; stir to mix. Makes 1 serving.
  • Wine Spritzer: Combine 3/4 cup chilled dry white, red, or rose wine with 1/4 cup chilled club soda or lemon-lime carbonated beverage. Serve over ice. Makes 1 (8-ounce) serving.
  • Simple Syrup: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill in the refrigerator before using; store in the refrigerator.
  • Lime and Tonic: Place ice cubes in a tall glass. Add 2 teaspoons lime juice. Pour 1 cup chilled tonic water (quinine water) down the side of the glass; stir gently with an up-and-down motion to mix. Garnish with a lime wedge. Makes 1 serving.
  • Orange Collins: Squeeze the juice from 1 medium orange (about 1/3 cup). Combine the freshly-squeezed orange juice and 1/4 cup chilled collins mixer. Pour over ice cubes in a tall glass. Pour chilled carbonated water (about 1/2 cup) down the side of the glass to fill; stir gently with an up-and-down motion to mix. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 serving.
  • Spicy Tomato Cocktail: In a cocktail shaker, combine several ice cubes, one chilled 9-ounce can vegetable juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, dash bottled hot pepper sauce, and dash celery salt. Shake well to mix. Strain over ice cubes in a tall glass. Garnish with a celery stalk. Makes 1 serving.

Make an Arnold Palmer in Five Easy Steps!

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