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Pantry Cocktails for Your Virtual Happy Hour

Updated March 27, 2020
Just because you have to stay indoors, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some after-work drinks with friends. Facetime your buds and start digging in your kitchen cupboards—it’s time for a drink.

Even though we’re all keeping our social distance from one another, through the power of the internet we don’t have to miss out on happy hour with friends. Schedule a virtual hang and turn your kitchen into your own cocktail lounge. Even if you don’t have a bar stocked with mixers, bitters and a wide variety of booze, you can still whip up a few darn good drinks with what you have on hand.

Sparkling Water Cocktail

mango grapefruit lacroix mimosa

If you stocked up on canned sparkling water, you’ve already got a great base for a refreshing cocktail on your hands. Add some fruit juice and vodka to your bubbly and serve over ice. Cheers!

Fresca™ Salty Dog

A Salty Dog is traditionally made with fresh grapefruit juice and gin, but there’s no reason why you can’t substitute Fresca™ to make a drink that’s much less expensive and just as refreshing. Measure two parts gin to two parts grapefruit soda and put a light dusting of salt on the rim to get this dog salty. You also can make a version of a Greyhound with Fresca™—just nix the salt and use an affordable brand of vodka instead of gin.

Boozy Arnold Palmer

minty arnold palmer

This is just about the easiest drink you can make. You need three ingredients: lemonade, iced tea and vodka. Mix equal parts of all three together in a glass, and you’re done. Bam.

Lemon Drop

If you want to leave the iced tea out of the mix, you can make a modified version of a lemon drop using your favorite brand of lemonade. Mix together equal parts lemonade and vodka and pour into a martini glass. To make this drink seem fancier than it is, dust the rim of the martini glass rim with a light coating of sugar. The sweet nature of this drink makes it ideal to have during dessert—or for dessert, if you want to keep things liquid.

Jam Cocktail

gin and jam cocktails

If you usually order something sweet at the bar but don’t have any syrups at home, look no further than that jar of jam or jelly in your fridge. Diluted fruit jam mixed with liquor and some lemon juice is all you need to be sipping pretty. Pick a berry-based jam for your jammy drink—grape or apple would just be weird, right?

Irish Coffee

classic irish coffee

We’re not going to advocate for starting your morning with a nip of whiskey, but we’re not going to not advocate for it, either. Add a shot of whiskey to your cup of joe, and if you don’t have Irish liqueur on hand a heavy-handed pour of half-and-half or heavy whipping cream and a spoonful of sugar should do the trick in a pinch.

Zombie Cocktail

zombie cocktail

When all else fails, grab every bottle of liquor on your bar cart and throw it together in the same glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or a slice of orange and drink up.