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Student Recipes

11 easy cocktails to make at home

You're probably used to pre-drinking on cheap wine or a few bargain beers. But how much better would it be if you made your own delicious cheap cocktails?

different cocktails

Credit: Serhiy Shullye (foreground) - Shutterstock

We wouldn't normally advise mixing your drinks (we all know how badly that can end!), but cocktails are a rare exception, and knowing how to make them can be a great way to make friends at uni.

You can make cocktails at home by mixing the drinks in a glass or large bowl, but we'd definitely recommend investing in a proper cocktail shaker like this bit of kit. This should help you in conjuring up your 'shaken-not-stirred' delights without any hassle or spills.

Allow us to share a few of our favourite cheap and easy cocktails along with recipes on how to make them for yourself. 🙂

We'd never recommend these cocktails without trying them ourselves. Find out how nice (or not...) some of these are in our podcast, No More Beans.

Best cocktail recipes

Pre-drinks shouldn't be a complicated affair, so we've put together a list of the best and easiest cocktails to make:

  1. Cheeky Vimto

    Cheeky vimto

    An old student favourite, but with good reason! Cheeky Vimtos are ridiculously easy to make, and they come out a pretty yummy colour too. Need we say more?

    Cheeky Vimto ingredients

    • 1 bottle of WKD Blue (or a cheaper brand)
    • 50ml of port (small bottle)
    • 25ml of vodka.

    Cheeky Vimto recipe

    1. Mix together the bottle of WKD with the port
    2. Add your vodka and stir.
  2. Jammy Dodger Shot

    Jammy Dodger shot

    Ok, so this one is more of a shot than a cocktail, but the Jammy Dodger cocktail shot is the best-tasting shot that will ever grace your mouth. You won't be grimacing when you knock this one back!

    Jammy Dodger Shot ingredients

    • A bottle of Chambord (blackberry liquor)
    • Double cream (yes, really)
    • Sugar (available from all well-stocked cupboards).

    Jammy Dodger Shot recipe

    1. Fill the shot glass three-quarters full with Chambord
    2. Top up the shot with cream
    3. Sprinkle a little sugar on top, knock it back and enjoy!
  3. Sex On The Beach

    Sex on the beach

    Perfect for the summer. Or the winter. Or whenever, really.

    Sex On The Beach ingredients

    • 200ml of cranberry juice
    • 100ml of orange juice
    • 75ml of vodka
    • 75ml of peach schnapps.

    Sex On The Beach recipe

    1. Mix together all of the ingredients (use a shaker if you've got one)
    2. Pour into a glass of ice and enjoy.
  4. Piña Colada

    Pina Colada

    If you haven't tried a homemade Piña Colada before, you're in for a tropical treat. It's a personal favourite of ours (we also like getting caught in the rain) and comes highly recommended!

    Piña Colada ingredients

    • 50ml of white rum
    • 25ml of coconut cream
    • 25ml of single cream
    • 200ml of pineapple juice.

    Piña Colada recipe

    1. Mix together all of the ingredients (again, use a shaker if you've got one)
    2. Serve over ice
    3. If you want to cheat, you can save buying the first three ingredients and just use Malibu instead!
  5. Woo Woo

    woo woo cocktail

    Credit: Kasia - Shutterstock

    Woo Woo is a Wetherspoons favourite, but you can easily make this at home too – and it's cheaper. Here's how.

    Woo Woo ingredients

    • 25ml of peach schnapps
    • 25ml of vodka
    • 50ml of cranberry juice.

    Woo Woo recipe

    1. Mix the vodka and peach schnapps together
    2. Add the cranberry juice and enjoy!
  6. Mojito


    Credit: Evgeny Karandaev - Shutterstock

    Mojitos have definitely risen in popularity recently (especially amongst students), and it's easy to see why! Best of all, they're pretty damn simple to make, too.

    Mojito ingredients

    • Half a lime (cut into 4 pieces)
    • 5 fresh mint leaves
    • Tablespoon of sugar
    • 50ml golden rum (Captain Morgan's spiced or Havana Club should do)
    • Soda water
    • Handful of strawberries or raspberries (optional, but it gives an extra burst of flavour).

    Mojito recipe

    1. Put the lime, mint leaves and sugar (plus the berries, if you're using them) into a glass and mash them together with any utensil you can find (the handle of a plastic utensil, like a spatula, can work)
    2. Add the rum, top up with soda water and stir. Your mojito is now ready!
  7. Long Island Iced Tea

    long island iced tea

    Credit: S_Photo - Shutterstock

    Perhaps one of the most alcoholic cocktails out there, so take great care with the Long Island Iced Tea. But it does taste really bloody good.

    Long Island Iced Tea ingredients

    • 25ml of light rum
    • 25ml of vodka
    • 25ml of gin
    • 25ml of tequila
    • 25ml of lime juice
    • Coke.

    Long Island Iced Tea recipe

    1. Mix all of the alcohols together, along with the lime juice
    2. Pour into a glass over ice
    3. Top up with coke and your Long Island Iced Tea is now ready!
  8. Tequila Sunrise

    tequila sunrise

    Zingy, refreshing and a pretty cool colour to boot – we've got to confess, we're a little bit addicted to Tequila Sunrises at Save the Student...

    Tequila Sunrise ingredients

    • 50ml of tequila
    • 25ml of grenadine
    • 175ml of orange juice.

    Tequila Sunrise recipe

    1. Mix the tequila and orange juice together
    2. Pour into a glass over ice
    3. Slowly pour in the grenadine, allowing it to settle at the bottom of the glass. Looks like a sunrise, doesn't it?
  9. Fluffy Duck

    Fluffy Duck cocktail

    Who doesn't want to drink a drink with name like 'Fluffy Duck'? And it's yellow. Who even cares what it tastes like (not bad, as it happens)?

    Fluffy Duck ingredients

    • 25ml of advocaat
    • 25ml of white rum
    • 25ml of cream
    • Lemonade.

    Fluffy Duck recipe

    1. Mix the rum, cream and advocaat together in a glass
    2. Top up the glass with lemonade
    3. If you're feeling adventurous, try replacing the cream with ice cream. Trust us on this one!
  10. Singapore Sling

    Singapore sling cocktails

    Credit: Yosomono - Flickr

    Anything with alliteration in the title sounds good to us! The Singapore Sling is probably the most demanding in terms of ingredients, but we promise it's easy to make and totally worth it!

    Singapore Sling ingredients

    • 25ml of gin
    • 25ml of cherry brandy
    • 50ml of pineapple juice
    • 10ml of benedictine
    • 10ml of grenadine
    • 10ml of cointreau
    • Soda water.

    Singapore Sling recipe

    1. Literally mix everything apart from the soda water together
    2. Pour into a glass of ice
    3. Top it up with soda water. Told you it was an easy one to make!
  11. Lemon Drop

    Lemon Drop

    Everyone needs a bit of zest in their life every once in a while. And who knows, a Lemon Drop might even count towards your five a day?

    Lemon Drop ingredients

    • 50ml of vodka
    • 50ml of lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar
    • Lemonade.

    Lemon Drop recipe

    1. Wet the rim of a glass and roll it in the sugar
    2. Mix the vodka and the lemon juice together in the glass
    3. Top it up with lemonade.
Cocktails make the perfect pre-drinks for those who aren't keen on beer.

We hope you enjoy these cocktails and always remember to drink responsibly!

Headed out after your homemade cocktails? Check out our guide to saving money on a night out.


Lydia Balmforth

I recently made a mixture and everyone in my flat loved it, I made a fishbowl of it but it was simple Black Cactus Jacks, blue wkd and cream soda, it kinda tastes like sherbet, but not too sweet.

Raine Screwball Eaday

.... Those arn't cheap..

Matt Arredondo

This. As much as I enjoy gin I've never made a Singapore Sling as it's so cost prohibitive.

Samson Ehiosun

MOJITOS add all the following in a glass and crush them together with a bar molar in side a long ice bulb cryster glass: Lime – cut into 4 pieces 5 Fresh MINT leaves Tablespoon of BROWN sugar Add and stir: 50ml Nice Golden Rum (Havana Club or Morgan's spiced) Top with: Soda water – For a twist, add a small handful of strawberry's or raspberry's at the start, yum!

Always serve cocktails with plenty of ice it help to save your coctaik also ganish with a holsome mint leave @the end for presentation


Try a baileynog, pick a glass any size put ice in it pour in half advocat and top it off with baileys. Or why not a vvgb, pick a glass any size and add equal amounts of vodka, vermouth and ginger beer over ice

Phil Jarvis

We used to sell loads of these FAT FROG you need 2 pint pots with Ice, then split a Blue WkD into the 2 pints, do the same with a bottle of Orange Breezer and a Smirnoff Ice and serve taste like a Swizzels Refresher .


Ooo I like contests! Best cocktail wins!

Here's my favourites: Pina Colada 50ml White Rum 25ml Coconut Cream 25ml Single Cream 200ml Pineapple Juice If you want to cheat, swap the first three ingredients for Malibu!

Mojito Put the following in a glass and smush them together with any utensil you can find: Half a lime - cut into 4 pieces 5 Fresh mint leaves Tablespoon of sugar Add and stir: 50ml Nice Golden Rum (Havana Club or Morgan's spiced) Top with: Soda water - For a twist, add a small handful of strawberry's or raspberry's at the start, yum!

Always serve cocktails with plenty of ice


oooohhhhh!!!! the green monster one sounds epic! What are the ingredients??? is it only the green skittles you use then?


Yeah, green skittles but not too many! There seem to be a few different versions of the drink. Think it had vodka, barcardi, cider and lager in it too, topped up with a double measure of Blue Curacao! Dangerous!

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