Learn how to make classic cocktails

Simple Cocktail Recipes to try At Home

You might already be a pro in drinking cocktails, but wouldn’t it be great if you could master the art of mixing cocktails in your own house? Here is a simple guide of what bar tools, type of alcohol and ingredients you need to start making professional cocktails in the comfort of your own home! Cocktails can be created based on how strong you like it, how sweet or sour you want it. Think of it like a little experiment, where you’ll be rewarded no matter the results.

The most important thing is to experiment and have fun. Try building your own cocktails based on the foundations above. Next, try making some of your favorite cocktails, starting with the simpler ones with fewer ingredients and working your way up.

The essential bar tools that you will need are a jigger cup, cocktail shaker, muddler, juicer, mixing spoon and a strainer. These bar tools can easily be bought online or substituted for everyday household items. However, if you are planning on making cocktails regularly at home, it is recommended that you invest in a decent shaker, juicer, jigger and strainer.

The 5 classic cocktails that everyone should start making at home are the mojito, dark and stormy, martini, margarita and a mint julep.


You will need

  1. 50ml rum
  2. 25ml gomme syrup or 2tsp brown sugar
  3. A lime
  4. 4 mint sprigs
  5. Soda water
  6. Crushed ice
  7. Highball Glass

Cut a lime into eight quarters and place seven quarters into the glass. Add the gomme syrup or sugar and rum and muddle together, making sure you squeeze the juice out of the limes. Fill with crushed ice and top up with soda (or apple juice for an apple mojito). Add the sprigs of mint and tease to the bottom of the glass with a spoon, at the same time as gently lifting the lime, sugar and rum upwards. Garnish with a mint sprig and the last quarter of lime. If you prefer, you can adjust the sweetness by reducing and increasing the syrup or sugar and adjust the sourness by adjusting the number of lime wedges.

Dark and Stormy

You will need

  1. 50ml dark rum
  2. 20ml lime juice
  3. Ginger beer
  4. Ice cubes
  5. Highball Glass

Add rum and lime juice to the glass. Rub lime around the rim. Fill with ice cubes. Top up with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge. Simple and tasty!


You will need

  1. 90ml gin or vodka
  2. 15ml dry vermouth
  3. Crushed ice
  4. Ice cubes
  5. Martini Glass

Fill a cocktail glass with ice and leave to one side. Fill a large glass with crushed ice and water/soda water. This is to help make the glass as cold as possible. Once the glass is very cold to the touch, discard the ice and water. Pour the gin (or vodka) and vermouth into the glass and fill with ice cubes. Slowly stir until the ice dilutes the drink to your taste. Discard the ice from the cocktail glass and strain in the drink, adding your choice of garnish: fruit zest, cherry, caper berry, olive … Martinis taste best when cold, so should be polished off within 7-10 minutes.

Mint Julep

You will need

  1. 60ml Bourbon
  2. 2 teaspoons of caster sugar or 15ml simple syrup
  3. 4 mint sprigs
  4. Crushed ice
  5. Highball Glass or Julep Cup

Add the mint sprigs, caster sugar and a couple of tablespoons of crushed ice. Begin ‘massaging’ the mix together with a spoon. The caster sugar helps to bring out the flavour of the mint. Breaking or crushing the mint makes the taste sour, hence the need to gently fold and stir. Add 30ml of Bourbon, more crushed ice and continue ‘massaging’. Fill with ice, pour in the second 30ml of Bourbon. Continue stirring until the glass is frosty, garnish with a mint sprig and you are good to go!


You will need

  1. 60ml tequila
  2. 30ml of Cointreau or triple sec
  3. 30ml of lime juice
  4. Ice cubes
  5. Salt
  6. Margarita Glass

Fill a glass with ice and leave to one side. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 45 seconds to a minute. If using a tumbler, leave the ice in the glass. If using a cocktail glass, discard the ice. To salt the rim, pour either table salt or sea salt onto a small plate, rub the rim with lime and roll into the salt. Strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with a lime wheel or lime rind.

Now that we have some basic recipes up and running, feel free to play around with the ingredients. Syrups don’t necessary have to be simple syrup, if you chance upon flavored syrups like hibiscus or rose, you can incorporate them to see how it changes a flavor. Bonus points if you can brew your own syrup. Same for citrus, other than the usual lime and lemon, we can also opt for grapefruit and yuzu juice. These will create many different flavors and scents that will help in discovering your palate!

If you would like some specially customized cocktails for your wedding or event, do check out our bespoke and customized menu options. Or if you already have an idea in your mind, drop us an enquiry and we will reach out to you shortly.



Peach Red Wine

Red Wine Cocktails

Red Wine Negroni


Red wine negroni

Boasting Italian origins and a typical dark orange colour, Negroni is a charming cosmopolitan red wine cocktail that pairs well with appetizers and snacks.



  • 2oz red vermouth
  • 2oz gin
  • 2oz Bitter Campari
  • 1 orange slice
  • Shredded ice


Fill a wine tumbler with shredded ice and pour the liquids in. Stir and squeeze in the slice of orange. Decorate the glass with orange peel and serve the drink immediately.


Port Melon Cocktail


Port Melon

Refreshing in summer and regenerating in winter, this surprising red wine cocktail will impress you and your guests. The perfumed aromas of yellow melon blend perfectly with the sweet flavour of Port to create an inebriating delight of the senses.


  • 7oz Port wine
  • 1 small slice of yellow melon
  • Melon balls for decoration
  • 1 can soda water
  • Ice


Reduce the melon pulp to a puree with a blender. Pour it into a high ball glass, add the ice and stir. Pour the Port and soda water into the glass, stir again, and decorate with melon balls. Serve immediately and pair with blue cheese, Italian ham or light snacks.


Peach Red Wine Cocktail


Peach Red Wine

There is a debate whether this cocktail is a drink or a dessert. Regardless of how you call it, these delicious peaches with red wine will become the stars of the party. Dip the soft peach cubes in red wine to achieve the best results.


  • 8oz Barolo wine;
  • 1 small peach;
  • 1oz lemon juice;


In a small bowl, mix the wine with the lemon juice and shredded mint leaves. Let it macerate at room temperature while you dice the peach. In an old fashion glass, add the peach cubes and pour the wine. Stir. Decorate with fresh mint and serve.


Caipirinha With Blueberries and Red Wine

Caipirinha Red Wine

 Caipirinha is probably the most representative cocktail of Brazil. Wine is not one of its original ingredients, yet this daring recipe will make you see this drink with new eyes. If you don’t like calling it Caipirinha, imagine this drink as a Brazilian Sangria.


  • 6oz Cachaça
  • 3oz Cabernet Sauvignon
  • The juice of half orange
  • A quarter of lime
  • 8 blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • Ice


Peel the lime and slice the flesh. Crush it in a shaker and mix well with the sugar. Add the cachaça, wine, and orange juice. Stir slowly and add more sugar if wanted. Add the ice, put a lid on the shaker and give it a shake. Serve the cocktail in a double old-fashioned glass.


If you will like to have cocktails made with red wine at your event, do feel free to drop us an enquiry and our mixologists will be most delighted to craft up unique cocktails made with red wine that will suit your preferences and our mobile bar crew will mix up some amazing drinks at your event!



Popular gin cocktails

Gin is a fascinating liquor to explore. Its botanicals give it a characteristic that no other liquor has; one brand can have a completely different profile from another and it is surprisingly versatile when it comes to flavour profiles. Gin is also the foundation for some of the best drinks ever made, including the iconic Martini.


Though certainly not as numerous as vodka cocktails, there are thousands of great gin cocktails to explore and the list can be quite overwhelming. Here are some of the best.


The Martini

We will begin with the most obvious of gin cocktails, the Martini. You can call any other beverage in a cocktail glass a “martini,” but there is only one real Martini and it requires gin.

The beauty of the Martini is in its simplicity: gin and dry vermouth mixed in your preferred proportions, best stirred, though shaking is not out of line. It is the cocktail that is the base for countless other drinks, can be made to your exact specifications and is the ultimate experience in fine drinking.


The Gin and Tonic


Reliable is the best word to describe the Gin & Tonic. It is another obvious, two-ingredient drink and it is the foundation for many other gin highballs. This is one that is very difficult to screw up and it is always there when you need it, whether that be at the bar or in your own kitchen.

The other key ingredient: lime. Swipe fresh lime around the rim before giving it a squeeze and dropping it inside.


The Gimlet


It is so true that this simple two-ingredient drink is a wonder on hot days and if you’re curious as to how gin and lime work together, this drink is the best way to test it.

This is also one of the few times when you can use an alternative to fresh lime juice. The Gimlet can be made with lime and simple syrup with a homemade lime cordial. The key is that you need some sort of sweetener to offset the tart lime so it does work with your favourite gin.


The Negroni


If you are looking for the ultimate before dinner cocktail, look no further than the Negroni. This popular drink includes gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, which are each the embodiment of aperitifs and combine for the perfect appetite stimulant.


The Monkey Gland


Gin and orange juice are another fantastic flavour combination and while the drinks listed below are more well-known, the Monkey Gland is far more interesting. It is, in fact, a personal favourite of all gin cocktails.

The Monkey Gland has a funny name, a bizarre inspiration and a little surprise. It all begins rather normally with a mix of gin, orange juice and grenadine. It’s fantastic and you could stop right there and have a wonderful drink.

It is, however, in need of a little absinthe to make it pop, but you have to keep that flavour in check because it will quickly ruin the effect.


Do drop us an enquiry today if you will like great gin tasting cocktails at your event!

Popular Vodka Cocktails

When it comes to cocktails, vodka seems to be everyone’s go-to liquor. It pairs well with pretty much anything, especially if you choose a vodka with no inherent flavour. It’s also really simple to make cocktails with vodka since it is neutral in flavour. As a liquor, it works really well in refreshing summer cocktails and there are countless recipes for vodka cocktails.

Here are the best vodka cocktail recipes, when you’re in the mood to step up your drinking game.


Lemon Drop Martini

The lemon drop martini is a simple, yet popular drink that almost anyone can make. Typically served with a bit of sugar on the rim of the glass, the drink is both sweet and a bit sour.

To make a lemon drop martini you need:

  • 1.25 oz. vodka
  • 0.25 oz. triple sec
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice

There’s no preparation beyond combining all the ingredients, simply pour them all into a glass, and preferably one with a sugar rim.


 White Russian

The White Russian is a classic vodka mixed drink that’s also incredibly easy to make. This particular recipe for the classic drink comes from Smirnoff, though you can make it with any brand of vodka that’s handy.

Smirnoff’s recipe for the drink is:

  • 1 oz. Smirnoff No. 21
  • 0.75 oz. Godiva Mocha Liqueur
  • 2 oz. heavy cream

To make the drink, start by mixing the vodka and liqueur in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, stir, and top it off with the heavy cream.



Black Russian

Like the White Russian, the Black Russian is a simple drink that anyone should be able to make. The idea for the drink comes from Grey Goose, though you can use any vodka you prefer or have on hand to make it. The Black Russian is bitter and sweet, and Grey Goose says it’s best as a night cap, or just any time after dinner.

To make a Black Russian you’ll need:

  • 1.5 parts vodka
  • 1 part coffee liqueur

To make the drink, simply build the it in a rocks glass, add ice cubes, and stir.



Dirty Martini

The Dirty Martini comes from Grey Goose vodka, which describes the drink as dry and savoury. The “dirty” in the name comes from the olive brine and muddled olives used to make it.

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 2 parts vodka
  • 2 parts Dry Vermouth
  • 4 Mediterranean olives
  • 2/3-part Mediterranean olive brine
  • 2 garnish Mediterranean olives

To prepare the drink, pit four olives and muddle them with olive brine in a Boston glass. Then add the vodka and vermouth, top with ice cubes, and stir. Finally, drain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with Mediterranean olives.



Light Pomegranate Berry Punch

The Light Pomegranate Berry Punch might have a bit too much berry for some people, but it’s a great drink for those who don’t mind something with a bit of a fruity flavour. The drink is served in a highball glass and is simple to make.

The ingredients for the Light Pomegranate Berry Punch are:

  • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Sorbet Light Raspberry Pomegranate
  • 2 oz. ginger ale
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish

To make the drink, simply combine the ingredients in a highball glass, squeeze in the lime, and stir.

Mixes From Mars uses vodka all the time in our cocktails as it is really easy to mix and it taste great in many of our cocktails! Do drop us an enquiry today if you will like to have awesome tasting cocktails made with vodka at your event!

Popular Rum Cocktails

Rum. Just the idea of it conjures up images of pirates, deserted beaches, buried treasure and beguiling senoritas… So, shake up one of these drinks to dream the day away.


The classic Daiquiri

One of the oldest Cuban cocktails, dating from the late 1800s. Its very simplicity is a recipe for perfection.

Fill a shaker with crushed ice, 50ml white rum, 20ml lime juice and 10ml sugar syrup. Shake hard until frothy. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

If you’d like it frozen, put all the ingredients in a blender with a cupful of ice, and blitz until smooth.


The Hemingway Daiquiri

Invented for Mr Ernest Hemingway himself at El Floridita, Havana.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add 60ml white rum, 25ml lime juice, 15ml grapefruit juice and 15ml Maraschino liqueur. Shake hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.


The Rum Ranch

Pop a sliver of medium hot red chilli into the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle gently. Add 60ml aged rum, 10 ml sugar syrup, 10ml lemon juice and 10ml orange juice and a dash of Pimento Bitters. Shake, shake, shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.


The Dark and Stormy

This straight-forward cocktail claims to be Bermuda’s national drink — it’s an easy way to conjure up some tropical vibes at home.

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in 60ml of rum, top up with ginger beer, add a squeeze of lime juice. Stir. Garnish with a slice of lime.


The Mae Nam


A Thai daiquiri variation, this should look like a muddy river and taste fresh and fiery.

Place 200g of palm sugar in a saucepan with 200ml water, 1 bruised chilli and 1 bruised stick of lemongrass. Dissolve the sugar over a medium heat and set aside to cool. Then strain the syrup into a clean jar, discarding the aromatics. To make the drink, fill a shaker with ice, add 60ml of rum, 30ml fresh lime juice and 20ml of the palm sugar syrup. Shake hard, then strain into a lowball glass or tumbler and garnish with a slice of lime.


El Presidente

With a hazy history buried deep in Havana’s 1920s heyday, this is a very grown up rum drink. No little umbrellas allowed.


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 50ml light rum, 25ml dry vermouth, 25ml dry curacao and a dash of grenadine (optional). Stir, stir, stir until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist if orange if desired.


The classic Rum Punch

An absolute classic, perfect for parties, weddings, any occasion really.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 20ml lime juice, 40ml sugar syrup, 60ml rum (I favour Appleton V/X for this). Shake or stir, as you like. Strain into a chilled tumbler full of ice. Garnish with a slice of orange, or a cheeky maraschino cherry if you like.


The Piña Colada

This drink needs no introduction. Think the beach, the sun and the sand in between your toes.

Put a few chunks of fresh pineapple and lots of ice into a blender. Add 60ml white rum, 60ml pineapple juice, 60ml coconut cream and a dash of sugar syrup (optional). Whizz it all up until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a wedge of pineapple and as many umbrellas as you like.


Rum is always a popular choice among many of our guests due to its sweetness and familiarity. If you will like to have rum cocktails at your event, do drop us an enquiry today! Rum is something that Mixes From Mars works with often and its a favourite among many of our bartenders as well!

Old Fashioned

Popular Whiskey Cocktails

Popular whiskey cocktails


Most of us know how to drink whisky and have mastered the art of drinking it neat. But did you know that classic whisky cocktails are just as great?

Many classic whisky cocktails include simple syrup. Making a syrup just for cocktails sounds complicated but it’s really simple, hence the term simple syrup. Over medium-low heat, put equal parts of water and white sugar into a saucepan and stir. Once the sugar has dissolved into the water, remove from the heat and let cool. Voila!


The Manhattan



The Manhattan is one of five cocktails named for the five boroughs in New York, but no one seems to know much about the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island or Queens cocktail. The Manhattan is flexible. You can have it stirred and strained into a cocktail glass with a maraschino cherry or if you want to be less dainty, it works well on ice in a low-ball glass. Serve straight or on the rocks.


2 oz whisky
1 oz dry vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash simple syrup
lemon peel
Zest lemon peel over rim of glass.


Old Fashioned


Old Fashioned

Every reference to the invention of this cocktail is that legend says it was created at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s traditionally served in a short tumbler glass, which is often called an Old-Fashioned glass.


2 dashes Angostura butters
1 tsp simple syrup
2.5 oz Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
2-3 ice cubes
orange peel to garnish

Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring thoroughly. Squeeze orange peel to release orange zest oil and drop into drink.


The Mint Julep


The Mint Julep

The Mint Julep

The very idea of the mint julep conjures up images of the Old South. Perhaps this is because the mint julep is the cocktail of the Kentucky Derby where over 120,000 mint julep cocktails are consumed each year. It’s often served in high ball glass or a sterling and pewter julep cup, which is similar to the Moscow Mule copper mug.


3 sprigs of fresh mint
3 tbsp simple syrup
2oz Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
crushed ice

Muddle the 1 sprig mint along with the Canadian Club and simple syrup. Strain into glass, add crushed ice and garnish with mint.


Hot Toddy


There’s nothing like a warm drink on cold rainy nights. This classic whisky cocktail wasn’t always a warm drink. Invented in the mid-1800s a toddy was any choice of spirits, water and honey that would cure whatever ailed you. Today, it’s almost always served warm. The only thing that could make a classic hot toddy better would be the addition of spice like a dash of sriracha or gochujang.


2oz Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
2 tsp honey
1 cloves
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
1 slice lemon to garnish

Place ingredients in mug and pour in hot water. Stir to combine.


Whiskey Sour


The whisky sour is similar to the pisco sour recipe, replacing pisco with whisky. It also includes frothy raw egg white, which many people aren’t used to. The key is to use fresh, quality eggs.


2 oz Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
1 egg white

Shake all ingredients vigorously, which will froth the egg white. Pour into your favourite glass. It’s traditionally served in a low-ball glass but I think the frothiness and maraschino lends itself to a more elegant glass.

Whiskey is a favourite drink among many here at Mixes From Mars and we definitely love and look forward to working with it all the time! Whether it is the good ol’ classics or bespoke cocktails, whiskey is always great to work with! Do drop us an enquiry if you will like to have awesome tasting whisky cocktails at your event!

How having a professional bartender at your party can help you or is good for you


When it comes to big events like weddings and milestone anniversaries, most people don’t think twice about hiring a bartender to serve drinks to guests. But for some reason, most of us baulk at the idea of hiring someone to pour drinks at more intimate gatherings like get-togethers and birthday parties. On those occasions, hiring a bartender may feel a little over-the-top. After all, guests can pour their own drinks, so why spend the money? The truth is, though, hiring a bartender can actually be a relatively affordable “splurge,” and having a professional behind the bar means you have one less thing to stress about and will be able to enjoy yourself that much more.

You’ll Know How Much Booze to Buy

A professional bartender or bartending service will not only help you figure out what to serve based on the type of event and your preferences but will also tell you how much of everything to buy. This also means you won’t buy excess booze and, ultimately, might save you a lot of money.

Help with Set Up and Clean Up

A bartender will get to your home or event space in plenty of time to get the bar area all set up before any of your guests arrive. He’ll also do his best to make sure there aren’t empty glasses and bottles littering the space and, at the end of the party, he’ll help with clean-up.

Have our professional bartenders join you for the next event that you are hosting!

The Host Shouldn’t Also Be the Bartender

A good host offers his guests a drink shortly after they walk into the party. Which means if you don’t have a bartender, you’re also the one making that drink. A good host also offers a guest whose drink is low or empty if she’d like it to be refreshed. Which means, yup, you’re making that next drink as well. And repeat. For the entire duration of the party.

Feel Like a Guest at Your Own Party

As we just mentioned, if you spend the entire party getting drinks for other people, you’ll feel more like the hired help than the host, but even more than that, if you have someone else pouring your drinks and making sure you’re okay, it allows you to actually enjoy the event.

It’s Probably Best if Guests Don’t Make Their Own Drinks

There are a few reasons you don’t want guests making their own drinks. First of all, it’s nice if guests can just relax and not worry about mixing drinks, especially since they may want a cocktail they aren’t quite sure how to make. Second, a lot of people over pour when they’re making a cocktail simply because they don’t realize how much is coming out of the bottle. A bartender can not only make the more complicated cocktails someone may want, he can ensure that those cocktails have the appropriate amount of alcohol so that no one is on the floor before the party’s even in full swing.

A Bartender Won’t Over Serve

In addition to making sure drinks are poured properly, a professional bartender is paid to serve responsibly and pour drinks accordingly as the night goes on. Ultimately, having a sober bartender paying attention to who might be starting to have a little “too much fun,” saves you from a potentially embarrassing conversation and means you can just relax and enjoy yourself.

Fancy Cocktails, not Just “Mixed Drinks”

Bartenders know how to make all sorts of cocktails. From a proper martini to an old fashioned to a refreshing gimlet, you can count on a professional mixologist to be able to pour anything your guests want well beyond the standard “rum and Coke” or “vodka soda.”

A Clean and Organized Bar Area

When people are in charge of making their own drinks, the bar area can quickly become chaotic and messy. A bartender will make sure the bar area isn’t covered in used limes, sticky bottles, and empty soda cans.

Your Guests Will Be Impressed

People expect bartenders at fancier events in big spaces, but they definitely don’t expect to walk into a backyard barbecue or intimate birthday party and see a paid professional serving up signature cocktails.


With our vast experience in the bar industry and every single member of our team having worked at numerous bars and are still doing so at our very own bar – Hopscotch – located at 45 Malan Road, you can be sure that our mixologists from Mixes From Mars will bartend at your event with a high level of service and mixology standards. Drop us an enquiry today to find out more about having our experienced bartenders at your event!