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Published on December 21, 2023.

Ad-Hoctails - Cocktails for Everyone

Delightful drinks that only call for three or four readily available ingredients!

Cocktails are truly remarkable because even with simplicity, they can still be incredibly delicious. You don’t have to go overboard with fancy equipment and ingredients to create an impressive cocktail menu at your venue. The reason why classic cocktails have stood the test of time is because they often require just a few basic ingredients. You don’t need to stress about memorizing complex proportions or techniques to feel like a skilled mixologist. That’s why we’ve curated a collection of ‘ad-hoctails’ for you – delightful drinks that only call for three or four readily available ingredients. Cheers to easy yet amazing cocktails! 


The Manhattan cocktail has a rich history and a delightful simplicity. It was first crafted in 1894 by a talented bartender at the iconic Waldorf Astoria in New York City. What sets this cocktail apart is its use of Scotch whiskey, giving it a unique flavour profile. To add a touch of excitement, experiment with different bitters like walnut, lavender, or black cherry. These small additions can bring a fun twist to your Manhattan experience.


Recommended: Antica Formula Vermouth 1LTR – Antica Formula’s presence behind a bar is a clear sign of the bar’s exceptional Manhattan cocktail. Renowned among skilled bartenders, this vermouth is rich, flavourful, and delightfully robust. It offers a distinct herbal aroma and a delightful blend of tropical vanilla, cocoa, orange, and a subtle touch of saffron


60ml bourbon

30ml sweet vermouth

2 maraschino cherry

Bitters, for serving



Fill a liquid measuring cup or mixing glass with ice. Add bourbon and vermouth and stir until well chilled. Strain into a (preferably frosty) coupe glass. Garnish with cherries and a few dashes of bitters


When it comes to brunch, nothing sets the tone better than a refreshing mimosa. With just 2 ingredients, this classic cocktail effortlessly elevates your brunch game. For a delightful contrast to the sweet orange juice, we recommend opting for a crisp and refreshing sparkling white wine that is either dry or semi-dry.


Recommended: Della Vite Superiore Prosecco 75CL – Della Vite Prosecco DOCG is rich and extra-dry with a highly mineral palate and a lingering finish. The hints of crostini and chamomile open plenty of potential for food pairings, making it the perfect addition to your brunch mimosa.


60ml orange juice

Top with chilled dry Champagne, Prosecco or Cava

Orange slices, for garnish



Pour the juice into a champagne flute, then top with your choice of dry sparkling wine. Garnish each with a slice of orange if desired


Calimocho (Kalimotxo)

In the UK, the notion of blending wine with anything might be met with scepticism. However, in the captivating Basque region of Spain, they not only indulge in Sangria but also have a fervent obsession with mixing wine and soft drinks. This delightful practice can be seen throughout Spain, with one of the most beloved concoctions being the renowned Calimocho, or Kalimotxo. All it takes to make a Calimocho is two ingredients: Coke and red wine. You don’t have to purchase Spanish wine, but if you’re looking to fully embrace the Basque classic, consider trying a Tempranillo or a Rioja.


Recommended: Vina Arroba Tempranillo 75CL – A soft, easy drinking dry red wine full of delicious ripe fruit flavours. Affordable price, making it perfect to mix with Coke for the Calimocho.


125ml Coke

125ml red wine

Lemon wheel, to garnish



Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour in the red wine and coke, then give the drink a quick stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve with a straw

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

A classic Dark ‘N’ Stormy is a delightful blend of richness, subtle sweetness, and a refreshing kick of zesty lime juice. It’s a drink that goes down smoothly, leaving you craving for more. The flavour combination is so exceptional that Gosling’s took the step of trademarking it in 1991. To officially label your drink as a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, you must use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. However, if you prefer to experiment, any dark rum can be used, just remember to update the name on your menu. Safe Harbour or Rum Mule are two popular name alternatives.


Recommended: Gosling’s Black Seal Rum 70CL – Gosling’s Black Seal has a rich, intricate flavour, well balanced and nuanced with butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel. Very fragrant with herbal sharpness. At the finish there is a softness and elegance.


60ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, or other dark rum

90ml ginger beer

Squeeze of fresh lime, to taste

Lime wheel, to garnish



Fill a glass with ice, then add rum and ginger beer. Add fresh lime juice to taste. Garnish as desired

Brown Sugar Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned stands as the bedrock and cornerstone of the cocktail realm. Perhaps the most legendary and enduring cocktail of all time, its composition—consisting merely of spirit, water, sugar, and bitters—renders it remarkably uncomplicated. By incorporating brown sugar, this version gains an added touch of warmth and comfort, with a subtle hint of caramel, guaranteeing the taste is anything but old fashioned.


Recommended: Angostura Bitters 200ML – Bitters, an indispensable ingredient in bars, are extracts of flavours created by infusing various botanical elements into a liquid. Consider them as seasonings for cocktails, they hold the same significance for bartenders as salt does for chefs. The absence of bitters would mean the absence of an Old Fashioned.


60ml bourbon

1 tsp packed brown sugar

1 tsp water

2 dashes angostura bitters

Orange peel, for garnish



Add sugar, water, and bitters to glass. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add bourbon and ice and stir to combine. Garnish with an orange peel.


Antica Formula Vermouth 1LTR

Della Vite Superiore Prosecco 75CL

Arroba Tempranillo 75CL

Gosling's Black Seal Rum

Angostura Aromatic Bitters 200ML

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About the author

Madison King

Madison looks after all copywriting and proofreading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She spent many years in the hospitality sector across bars, clubs and cafes before moving to Asia to gain new experiences. You can find more from Madison about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media, and Set The Bar magazine. 

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