10 Classic Two-Ingredient Cocktails [Infographic]

Take a moment to think of your favorite cocktail. Now, think about how many ingredients you need to create it. Is it more than two? Interestingly, once you become aware, it’s surprising just how many cocktails are composed of only two key ingredients. From the classics to brunch-inspired beverages and more, you don’t need to be a certified bartender to mix up these popular two-ingredient cocktails. See if your favorites made the list below.

two ingredient cocktails list

Rum & Coke

Blending the spiced, natural flavors in rum with the vanilla notes in Coca Cola, one should never leave disappointed when ordering a Rum and Coke. And, while there isn’t a proper ratio for this cocktail, a good rule of thumb is to go with 1 part rum to 3 parts Coke. Needless to say, this is one of the world’s greatest two-ingredient cocktails that will never go out of style.


Often seen on the breakfast or brunch table, the beauty is in the simplicity of the Screwdriver cocktail. The sweet, acidic beverage combines orange juice and a splash of vodka for one delightful, sunny pick-me-up. And, you can take it up a notch and elevate your next batch of Screwdrivers with fresh, hand-squeezed OJ.


For a slight twist on the Screwdriver, simply substitute grapefruit juice for orange juice. The sweet and sour cocktail tastes like summer in a glass. To create, just add 2 oz. of vodka and fresh grapefruit juice to a rocks glass with ice. Or, turn your Greyhound into a Salty Dog cocktail by adding salt to the rim.

Gin & Tonic

While this classic, old-school cocktail may remind you of your grandmother’s signature drink, it’s undeniably tasty. And, above all, the most important ingredient is the high-quality tonic water, which makes a huge difference in the flavor profile of your cocktail. To create, simply pour a shot of your favorite gin into a highball glass over ice and top with 4 oz. of tonic water.


Surprisingly, one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages requires minimal barmaid skills. However, in order to blend the perfect martini, the cocktail must be chilled. To do so, pour 1 oz. vodka into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake it up. Then, using a chilled martini glass, pour 2 oz. of sweet vermouth into the glass and strain the vodka on top. Enjoy every single sophisticated sip.

Dark & Stormy

Similar to the Moscow Mule, the Dark and Stormy cocktail features dark rum (instead of vodka) and ginger beer. With origins in Bermuda, the tropical, sweet, and tart cocktail is traditionally served in a highball glass. Create the Dark and Stormy by first filling a glass with ice. Then, pour in 4-6 oz. of fresh ginger beer and float 2 oz. of dark rum on top. Some bartenders will add lime juice as well, but it’s not a necessity. In fact, the true Bermudian recipe leaves out the lime.

Tequila Sunrise

Originating in sunny California in the 1970s, the Tequila Sunrise beverage looks like a work of art in a glass. Admittedly, to achieve its colorful appearance, you will need a third ingredient, Grenadine syrup. First, shake 1 ½ oz. of tequila and 3 oz. of orange juice with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Then, strain it into a large, chilled cocktail glass and gently stir in 1 tsp. of grenadine. This step will produce those beautiful layers of oranges and reds.

Rusty Nail

Scotch lovers know a thing or two about the Rusty Nail. Originally created in the 1920s, the cocktail is notoriously served in an old fashioned glass on the rocks. Featuring two ingredients, scotch whiskey, and Drambuie, a scotch-based liqueur, the Rusty Nail is meant for slow-sipping. In addition, you can make it as top-shelf as you like depending on your choice of scotch. To create, mix 2 oz. of Scotch whiskey and a 1/2 oz. of Drambuie, stir well and enjoy.


Unbeknownst to many, the Gimlet was first consumed for medicinal purposes in the 19th century as a way to prevent Navy sailors from getting scurvy. And, it didn’t hurt that it was refreshing and delicious too. Simply shake up one part gin with two parts fresh lime juice to make this classic cocktail.

Arnold Palmer

Named after the late professional golfer, Arnold Palmer, the classic beverage contains equal parts of sweet iced tea and lemonade. Although, Arnold’s original non-alcoholic recipe called for 3 parts iced tea and one part lemonade. Today, the boozy version typically includes equal parts of each mixer with the addition of vodka. Some restaurants even use iced tea flavored vodka. Yum!

Shop for Ingredients at Festival

Festival Wine & Spirits has everything you need to mix up those two-ingredient cocktails. From whiskey, gin, and tequila to rum, vodka and more, you’re sure to find your favorite bottles in our Annapolis store. Not to mention, we offer exclusive monthly discounts on spirits, wine, and beer. So, sign up for our Email Club to stay in the know!