6 cocktail recipes that will blow your standard cranberry vodka away

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Whether you’re pregaming the real party or enjoying a drink with dinner, skip the one-shot-one-mixer combo. No shame to Jack and Coke or cranberry vodka, but they’ve got nothing on these cocktail recipes.

Admittedly, the most annoying part of making good cocktails at home is buying all of the ingredients. One glass can pack in a lost list of tonics, fruit, booze and more. However, the ingredients for most of these cocktails are at your local grocery store or liquor store — no specialty shops required. And every single one of these recipes is worth making the special trip out.

It couldn’t hurt to get a good cocktail shaker set, too. Think of it as a small investment into adulthood — or at least into your bar cart. You can get a 14-piece cocktail shaker and barware set for less than $50 on Amazon, with everything you’ll ever need.

14-Piece Cocktail Shaker And Barware Set, $29.99 (Orig. $49.99)

Credit: Amazon

However, you can always skip the barware all together if you’re not quite ready to commit to full-fledged cocktails. Just make sure you have a solid shot glass for measuring, maybe a pitcher, a long spoon for stirring and definitely some ice cubes.

Go on now! Try one of these cocktail recipes and kick off the weekend, celebrate a win at work or sip with friends, just because.

1. Spicy Cucumber Margarita

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These spicy cucumber margaritas are refreshing, yet have a kick from the added jalapeños. They taste extra special with a sweet chili-salted rim. Have one with chips and guacamole ASAP.

2. Blackberry Gimlet

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The gimlet is a classic cocktail made with lime juice and gin. It may be an old school favorite, but that doesn’t mean it can’t use a modern twist every once in a while. Try this version with muddled blackberries!

3. Lychee Martini

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This lychee martini is refreshing and tangy with fruity and floral notes. The lychee, native to Southern China, is the perfect cocktail fruit because it strikes a great balance between sweet and tart. Its taste is often described as a cross between a grape and a rose or a pear and watermelon. Lychees combined with St. Germaine and grenadine taste divine in this cocktail.

4. Chocolate Russian

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Indulge in the sweet, chocolatey goodness of this classic white Russian with a twist. The amaretto’s nutty almond flavor combined with the chocolate syrup, white chocolate liqueur and a kick of cinnamon will make you feel like you’re drinking dessert.

5. Strawberry Chamomile Paloma

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Celebrate warmer weather with this twist on the paloma cocktail. Mix strawberry, honey and chamomile tea to make one refreshing drink. It’s so easy to sip, you’ll forget there’s tequila in it.

6. Golden Peach Slushy

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This golden peach slushy is super simple, but elevated enough to impress guests — or, you know, your friends over Zoom. This bubbly, peachy beverage is the perfect easy-breezy, warm-weather drink to enjoy while longingly gazing out the window, longingly gazing on the balcony or longingly gazing in the garden. P.S. There’s sorbet in it.

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