Pulling up a seat at your favorite bar and watching the bartender craft cocktails from rare liqueurs and funky tinctures can stir up a sense of magic. In the modern era of mixology trends, it can seem as if that magic simply won't translate when trying to recreate it at home.
But guess what? You can make cocktail magic too.
Even the fanciest of mixology bars create three-ingredient cocktails. Sure, high-quality menu options utilize rare ingredients, but bars are also about service. Standing between a guest and their cocktail can create tension, so it's crucial to have fast, three-ingredient options on their cocktail menus when things need to move along quickly.
Mint, Cucumber, Lime: The Ingredient Trio For Cocktail Magic
Some flavors come and go when thinking about cocktail trends, as do fancy tricks and flare. But a few standards come to the forefront and remain in constant demand. While there are numerous standards nowadays, three cocktail ingredients that can stand the test of time are mint, cucumber, and lime.
Three simple ingredients that deliver delicious cocktail magic.
Let's look inside at some frequent fliers found on cocktail menus with few ingredients. We'll give you the step-by-step guide to recreate their magic at home. And who knows? Perhaps you'll take these three cocktail ingredients and transform them into something downright crave-worthy, all from the comforts of home.
Three Ingredient Cocktails To Make At Home
Our three cocktail ingredients at play here (mint, cucumber, and lime) are a classic trio. They're simple enough to create endless variations while providing impactful, fresh flavor.
Many cocktail lovers associate these three ingredients with gin, vodka, and prosecco. However, their classic flavors pair well with liquors of all kinds, and we want to highlight a few of our favorites you may not naturally stir up.
Mint, cucumber, and lime are a genuinely magical trio. Let's check out a few well-loved cocktails.
Gin lovers can enjoy three-ingredient cocktails that are classic fan-favorites. From martinis to negronis, gin seems drawn to the three-ingredient tipple. But when it comes to the refreshing flavors of cucumber, mint, and lime, one mixology fan-favorite comes to mind: the Southside.
The South Side isn't, on its own, a three-ingredient cocktail. But with Mixly's Cucumber Mint Lime Mixer, it can be.
The recipe consists of gin, citrus, sweetener, and mint. The origin of the cocktail, however, is not as simple. Stories vary from bartender to bartender, saying it's named after the South Side of Chicago or invented in Long Island at the famed Southside Sportsmen's Club. All that said, the recipe's foundation dates to 1916, if not further.
Huge Enslinn's cocktail book, "Recipes for Mixed Drinks," called it the South Side Fizz. His variation also surpassed three ingredients. The cocktail's fizz variation consisted of gin, lemon and lime, sugar, mint, and club soda. All that's to say: we mean it when we say, "When it comes to cocktails, these three ingredients forever stand the test of time."
South Side Recipe
- 5 mint leaves
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz simple syrup
- Add ice, shake, and garnish with a mint sprig.
- 2 oz gin
- 4 oz Mixly Cucumber Mint Lime Mixer
- Stir and top with club soda.
Garnish with a mint sprig, if available. The splash of club soda adds a fizzy nod to the cocktail's history. You can swap out the gin in this recipe for vodka, and it will be equally delicious.
And there you have it! Gin, Mixly, and soda: a three-ingredient cocktail variation on a mixology staple.
Any whiskey lovers out there? If you're looking for a refreshing new way to drink your favorite liquor, this one is for you. It's hard not to think of a few classic mixology favorites when thinking of how to combine whiskey into a three-ingredient cocktail. A few that come to mind are the Mint Julep and the Gold Rush.
The Mint Julep became the Kentucky Derby's official drink in 1938. This well-loved classic mixes it up bourbon, sugar, and mint over crushed ice for a refreshing three-ingredient drink for imbibing under the hot summer sun.
Mint Julep Recipe
- Handful mint leaves (muddled)
- .25oz Simple syrup
- 2oz Bourbon
- Dash Angostura bitters (optional)
- Muddle mint, and then add bourbon and simple. Pack in crushed ice, stir and add more crushed ice. If preferred, top with a dash of Angostura bitters, then garnish with a mint sprig.
Better known as a modern classic, the Gold Rush is a variant of a Whiskey Sour combining bourbon, honey, and lemon. Another simple yet timeless, three-ingredient cocktail. We can thank T.J. Siegal for dreaming the cocktail into existence while working at the famed Milk & Honey in 2000. The Gold Rush swiftly rose to popularity.
Gold Rush Recipe
- 2oz Bourbon
- 1oz Honey syrup
- .75oz Lemon juice
- Add ice, shake, and strain. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
For Mixly's take on these well-loved three-ingredient cocktails, we're pulling from their standout ingredients: mint and honey. Did you know that the Cucumber Mint Lime Mix contains honey as its only sweetener? Surprise!
- 2oz Whiskey
- 4oz Mixly Cucumber Mint Lime Mixer
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- Stir and serve
In this three-ingredient cocktail, the touch of bitters will add a hint of complexity utilized by mixologists across the globe (and decades). Plus, adding Angostura bitters to your spice rack is a great way to boost baking recipes too!
Rum, mint, and lime are a three-ingredient cocktail combo that bartenders have shaken up for decades. Who knew such simple, easy-to-find beverage components could be so versatile? Let's peek at a few modern classics found on cocktail menus across the globe.
The modern area of cocktail making is often called the Cocktail Renaissance. The Old Cuban is a product of that Renaissance: a contemporary classic delivered by Audrey Saunders, best known for working at New York's famed Pegu Club. However, the Old Cuban came before her time there. Saunders combined flavors of the famous Mojito and the French 75 while working at an NYC midtown restaurant to deliver her bubbly refresher.
Old Cuban Recipe
- 6 Mint leaves
- 1oz Simple syrup
- .75oz Lime juice
- 5 Aged rum
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 2oz Champagne
- Muddle mint, then add all other ingredients except champagne. Add ice and shake. Strain and top off with champagne, and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Not a three-ingredient cocktail, but four, this rum cocktail is a honey-filled variation on a classic daiquiri. Unlike the Old Cuban, the Airmail has been around for decades with a varied understanding of its origins. However, the Cocktail Renaissance sprung it to life, and its frequently found in many bartenders' toolkits.
- .75oz Honey syrup
- .75oz Lime juice
- 5oz Rum
- Add all ingredients except champagne into a shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain, and top with champagne. Garnish with a twist of orange or lemon.
Along with these simple recipes combining flavors of lime, mint, and honey, cucumber frequently finds its way in to add another layer of fresh flavor for a bartender variation. And with that, we present Mixly's three-ingredient rum cocktail.
- 5oz Rum
- 3oz Mixly Cucumber Mint Lime Mixer
- Stir, top with champagne, and serve.
Simple as that! While the Old Cuban and Airmail aren't themselves three-ingredient cocktails, Mixly takes out the effort and brings the mixology fandom to your home. With the simple addition of the Cucumber Mint Lime, you can serve up fresh ingredients that are easy to serve while reminiscing in the magic of the Cocktail Renaissance.
Three Ingredient Cocktails: The Bottom Line
When looking to make three-ingredient cocktails, the opportunities are endless. We could practically write an entire recipe book, but we wanted to expand your possibilities for easy yet delicious cocktail-making at home. Mix it up and impress with Mixly.
Three cheers for three-ingredient cocktails!