How To Make Ace Cocktails At Home

Whipping up cocktails at home always seems like a fun, new adventure when you’re fantasising about your weekend soiree. However, without the proper guidance, your dreams of executing an instagramable hit can quickly turn to crying over spilt sugar syrup.

In order to avoid wasted time and efforts, we spoke to cocktail bartender extraordinaire Jonothan Carr from Sydney’s Kittyhawk to give us some pointers, and his first piece of advice is that it’s “all in the tools”.

Jonothan advises that to make banging cocktails at home, you will need:

1 x stainless steel shaker

1 x Boston glass

1 x bar spoon

To acquire your pseudo-professional bar equipment, look past K-mart and your local supermarket and try an online store like Bargeek. That way your suave new toys can double as sophisticated lounge room décor.

OR if you are unwilling to invest in the good stuff and would rather (understandably) save your hipster pennies for smashed avocado on toast, you can use these household alternatives to fake it till you make it.

1 x Tupperware container

1 x large glass

1 x long spoon or even a knife

Below, Jonothan suggests five winning recipes that not only use similar ingredients, but are relatively straightforward so that you don’t spend all your time socialising from the kitchen.


For a fruity drink on a long and warm day, look no further than the sea-faring Mojito. The summer favourite came to being when an English sailor was looking for a cure for scurvy and his mates returned with rum, lime, sugarcane syrup and mint.  Which is all you need, built and stirred! This drink can be a little fiddly though, so Jonothan advises “prep your fresh ingredients first so that when you’re ready to make another batch, their already ready to go”.

Get the recipe here.

Whisky smash

Mint, lemon whisky and sugar are thrown together effortlessly for a fresh serving of masculine summer. Jonothan suggests it’s as simple as it sounds. “Shake it hard to combine all the flavours, dump it and your good to go”. Best enjoyed over rocks and feeling proud of your self.

Get the recipe here.

Tommy’s Margarita

For a night that is sure to end in the finest debauchery, wrap your head around how to make a perfectly blended margarita. Little known to many, it doesn’t have to be

served strained into a coup to retain its flavours. You can either shake it just like a whisky smash, or throw all the ingredients into a blender. Sombrero optional.

Get the recipe here.

Classic Dry Martini

For a truly risky evening (that hopefully won’t spiral out of control), your elegantly dangerous option is a Martini. With your choice of using vodka or gin for a base, simply buy a few base spirits and the possibility of a stiff nightcap will always reside in your pantry. And for the love of texture, no matter what you have heard, stir it. Every time. For this one though, Jonothan warns not to skimp on the quality of your spirits. “The better gin and vermouth you use, the better the cocktail will be”.

Get the recipe here.


We’ve saved the simplest for last! This two-ingredient champagne sparkling wine cocktail is easy to whip up faster than your guests can say “You’re so cool for knowing how to make cocktails”. Jonothan praises the humble Bellini for being a great party cocktail, because it’s super easy to make. Just pour, and add your pre-prepared peach nectar. The best part? It’s totally brunch appropriate. Breakfast Bellini’s for all.

This recipe includes peach liqueur, but you can safely leave it out.

Image source: Happiness Retreat, Food Network, The Things I Think About, Punch Drink, Komare.

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