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Cocktails with 3 ingredients

How many ingredients do you think a cocktail has? Four, five, six? Well, if you look at the first definition of the word cocktail from 1806, a cocktail consists of spirit, sugar, bitters and water. Four ingredients, where the water comes from the dilution of ice. So three ingredients you need to actually buy.

Throughout history some great recipes with three ingredients have been made. Great recipes and easy recipes to make. Cocktail recipes that have stood the test of time. The complexity of the base spirit is used and only slightly modified or adjusted by the addition of liqueurs, fortified wines, or bitters.

The main focus when you make these 'three-ingredient cocktails' is balance. Here are my favorite three-ingredient cocktails in the balance I like. Great to make at home or in your bar. From these basic recipes, you can commence your experiments. Change balance and see what that does, change ingredients, and create your own cocktail. Small and easy steps can create big changes.

Red Light Negroni

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and add ice cubes. Stir the cocktail for 20 seconds and strain into a rocks or old fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes and garnish with orange zest. If you wanna go all out and surprise your guests with a unique serve, strain the cocktail in our special light bulb glass before pouring it in the glass.

The Negroni was first made in 1909. It is a twist on a classic Italian drink the Mi-To. A drink with sweet vermouth and an amaro. The negroni is named after the man it was made for, Count Negroni. A bon vivant from Florence. The Red Light Negroni is the Dutch twist on it with Bols Genever. Named after a famous part of Amsterdam…

Holland Gin Cocktail

Place a sugar cube or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) loose sugar in a rocks glass. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) water. Muddle this until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 oz (60 ml) Bols Genever and ice cubes and stir for 20 seconds. Garnish with a lemon zest

This is one of the oldest cocktail recipes known. This drink can be dated back to the 1820s where it was a popular drink in the United States. Genever was one of the most popular spirits back then and used in many mixed drinks.

Rob Roy

  • 60 ml Blended Scotch whisky

  • 20 ml Sweet Vermouth

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice cubes. Stir for 20 seconds and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Zest with an orange peel and discard the orange peel.

This drink similar to a Manhattan is first made in 1894 in honor of the premiere of Rob Roy. An operetta first premiered in New York and based on the story of the Scottish hero Rob Roy McGregor. By using a Scottish blended whiskey, the Rob Roy is less sweet than the Manhattan and has more smokey notes to it. A great cocktail recipe, easy to make at home.

The Old Fashioned

  • 60 ml Bourbon Whiskey

  • 10 ml Sugar Syrup

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Add all the ingredients to an old fashioned or rocks glass and add ice cubes. Stir in glass for 20 seconds and garnish with orange zest.

This is a true bartenders' drink and a drink that is gaining popularity with the speed of light. And rightly so. Full of flavor, and easy recipe yet complex in taste. And if you look closely at the recipe you can recognize its precursor the Holland Gin Cocktail in the recipe.

Want to learn more about classic cocktails? Check out our Master Bartender course.

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