‘Life is Complicated Enough’: Four Easy Cocktails to Make at Home

Classic cocktails and their ingredients
Photos by Katrin Björk

A good cocktail is meant to be an invitation to unwind, but some recipes are jaw-clenchingly complicated: precise measurements of this particular spirit or those exact bitters. If you don’t have the right bottle readily available, you can’t make the drink at all. It makes you want to throw up your hands and walk away.

Luckily, some drinks are made with a freer structure. They lend themselves to riffing and breezy improvisation. Tristan Willey made his name at high-end New York City bars like Booker & Dax and The Long Island Bar, where he discovered that drinks like Martinis and Manhattans work well when the rules are relaxed.

By playing with proportions, for example, what ends up in the glass “wasn’t a recipe that existed in my brain, but it works great,” he says. “I’ve fallen in love with this concept, the total looseness of it.”

Prefer a drink stronger, or perhaps sweeter? Do it. Have rum instead of whiskey? That’s fine. Life is complicated enough. Relax. Exhale. The drinks that follow are as forgiving as can be.

A martini cocktail
Photo by Katrin Björk
One Martini Recipe, Five Easy Variations

This simple Martini recipe provides the perfect base for you to use the provided options to customize this drink and make it your own.

Read More
A Negroni cocktail
Photo by Katrin Björk
One Negroni, Four Easy Variations

Normally a cocktail's ingredients need balance to work, except for the Negroni. Here's how to make and riff on this rule-breaking drink.

Read More
Highball cocktail ingredients
Photo by Katrin Björk
One Highball Recipe, Three Easy Variations

The Highball is one accommodating cocktail. Here's how to make the classic drink along with three different ways to customize it.

Read More
An old Fashioned Cocktail
Photo by Katrin Björk
One Old-Fashioned Recipe, Two Easy Variations

According to bartenders, the Old Fashioned is the easiest drink to riff on. Here's a look at the classic and its different variations.

Read More
Published on December 25, 2020