Equal-parts cocktails are the answer for the novice mixologist and busy bartender alike. They’re simple to measure and mix with equal proportions, and they’re delicious. The balance of ingredients means that no flavor dominates another, yet together they create an intricate cocktail that tastes better than the sum of its parts. From refreshing spritzes to boozy classics, here are eleven easy cocktail recipes perfect for a casual evening or entertaining guests.
1. Last Word
The Last Word is the OG of equal-parts cocktails. It has inspired countless other cocktails of the same format. This pre-Prohibition cocktail mixes equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur for a palate cleanser that is equally sweet, sour, and sharp. It’s often recognizable for its pale green color, which adds an air of mystique to this drink.
What is now a modern classic, the Paper Plane, is one of the more notable riffs on the Last Word. Its equal-parts recipe combines bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon juice together. The flavor is reminiscent of a whiskey sour but with a slightly bitter and herbal undertone to the otherwise sour and fruity cocktail.
In the Naked and Famous smoky mezcal balances the bright and bitter flavors of yellow Chartreuse, Aperol, and lime juice in this equal-parts cocktail. It’s a delightful riff on the classic Last Word cocktail that’s quick to become a new favorite.
When you want a tequila-based cocktail without the tang of a margarita and the smooth mouthfeel of a Manhattan, the Manhattan Blanco cocktail delivers. It’s an equal-parts cocktail made from mezcal, blanco tequila, blanc vermouth, and orange liqueur that’s succulent and inviting.
There are many variations to the classic Martini, but the 50/50 Martini balances the gin and dry vermouth for a perfectly balanced libation. An addition of orange bitters provides the perfect amount of zest to the smoothness of this easy to make cocktail recipe.
The first record of the Angel Face cocktail was during Prohibition, and it’s ridden the wave of cocktail trends since. Made with equal proportions of gin, apricot brandy, and apple brandy, it’s a spirited drink without much acidity.
A quintessential classic cocktail, the Negroni is easier to make than may be perceived. It’s a simple mixture of equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. This bitter cocktail has just the right amount of slightly sweet and herbaceaous notes.
Meaning “Last Word” in Spanish, the Ultima Palabra is a mezcal riff on the Last Word cocktail. Keeping with its inspiration’s equal proportions recipe, the cocktail is made with equal parts mezcal, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice for a well-balanced cocktail.
This mezcal variation on the classic Negroni is made with equal parts mezcal, sweet vermouth, and Campari for a smoky and bittersweet cocktail. This seemingly simple riff creates an entirely different flavor experience. It is a smoky, bittersweet concoction that has spread like wildfire through the cocktail industry.
This pre-Prohibition cocktail is a part of a family of cocktails that are drunk as a tongue-in-cheek hangover cures. While it’s proven to be a poor hangover cure, the equal mix of gin, orange liqueur, apéritif wine, and lemon juice with a dash of absinthe is dangerously easy to drink. The cold, tart, and refreshing flavors mingle so perfectly that you might forget how potent Corpse Reviver No. 2 really is.
Blood and Sand is an easy-to-make Scotch-based cocktail that is complexly layered. The flavors of Scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, and orange juice shine brightly and melange seamlessly together, and the dusty red color of the drink adds to the intrigue of it all.