With the economy still recovering, you might not want to spend your hard-earned cash on fancy cocktail ingredients and artisanal mixers.
But with all the stresses associated with the current financial climate, you definitely should still be getting your drink on. There are plenty of cocktails that you can make with cheap ingredients from your local convenience store, and we’re not talking a standard rum-and-Coke with a bottle of off-brand cola. Mix up these inexpensive drinks and you’ll feel better about money in no time – and that’s not just because of the alcohol.
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 sodium chloride 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.
Sounds fancy, right? Nope. Pomegranate juice is readily available in the coolers at most convenience stores. Touted for its health benefits, it also makes for a pretty mean martini that’s not as boring as your typical old Cosmo. Just mix equal parts pomegranate and vodka together in a drink shaker, and you’re good to go. While the pomegranate juice is typically sweet enough on its own, you can add a pinch of sugar or two to taste.
Boozy 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.
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). You can also mix up a batch of these and pour them as shooters if you want to get the party started by sharing a quick round with your friends.
Frozen Slushie Cocktails
In the mood for a frozen margarita but don’t have the proper mixers? Some tequila mixed into a lemon-lime slushie is the next best thing (especially if you put a little salt on the rim and use a fresh lime as garnish). Just keep in mind that the stuff melts fast, so if you’re going to try to make a cocktail using your deli’s slushie machine, you should mix it together before it all turns into a soupy mess.
Frappuccino After-Dinner Drinks
Yep, it’s possible to make a creamy after-dinner drink without having fancy ingredients like Kahlua and Bailey’s on hand. Those pre-made cappuccino drinks taste pretty similar to some of the dessert cocktails that you’d have at a fancy restaurant, especially when they're pre-flavored with mocha or coconut. All you have to do to booze-ify them is add a shot or two of vodka – if you pour the end result into a martini glass and hide the empty bottle, no one will ever know the difference.
More Cocktail Love
While these drinks may seem like questionable (but delicious) inventions, they're nothing compared to the craziness of the Typewriter Cocktail Machine designed by Morskoiboy. So if you're looking for a little entertainment while you sip on your newfound, budget-friendly cocktail, kick back and watch.
Have a convenience store cocktail? Spill it!