There's a misconception out there that just because cocktails have evolved, there's something wrong with going back to basics. But the fact is, even if you're a bartender, there are plenty of occasions where you don't want a masterpiece -- sometimes you just want something you can mix with your finger. Let's take a moment to really appreciate the casual magnificence of the two-ingredient cocktail.
More From Simple Pleasures
1. Because brevity is the soul of wit
Or so said Shakespeare. But whether it’s cocktails or conversation, keeping things simple is a powerful way to go. As Hemingway (probably) said, “I like drink. Drink good, and drink cold.”
2. It will save you money and time
Two-drink cocktails are cheaper because mixers are cheap (soda, coffee, et al.) and you avoid costly additions. And keeping your formula simple is a recipe for a better night, as you'll be spending way less time waiting for a drink to be made or whipping it up yourself.
3. You can name your cocktail something cool, as there are a lot of ways to say “two”
Duo? Pair? Couple? Twosome? All of these words mean two, which means if you use two ingredients, your drink can be the Tank-you Twosome, the Prickly Pair, the Drinkable Duo, or whatever mad thing you desire, you simple-drink-making wordsmith.
4. There’s no chance someone screws this up
The fanciest restaurant, the dirtiest roadhouse, your cousin who had a cinderblock fall on his head’s house -- nobody will screw this order up.
5. You can just add ice back into an old drink and it’s fine
What’s this? An old drink you seem to have forgotten on the coffee table. Two ice cubes and it’s good to go.
6. You can just top it off
No matter how good the cocktail, you can’t just refill it to the exact specifications of the original. Some poor bartender has to re-muddle all that mint and crack an egg and who knows what other herculean efforts it takes to get you that tasty beverage. Give the guy a rest.
7. The old adage is true: three’s a crowd
If you’ve ever been a third wheel, you know it’s a drag. There you are, an unnecessary flavor stuck into a solid couple. Sure, you’re all bowling together. And Cindy and Travis are both nice; they told you they wanted you there. But deep down, all three of you know your presence has just made things knotty, and that you’re unnecessary at best. The same can be said for grenadine.
8. You can still get plenty of variety in that second ingredient
Like cola. And ginger ale. And soda. You could even use some sort of artisanal soda. Look at you, so cosmopolitan with your wildly varied tastes.
Make this one of your ingredients
ProTip: If there’s one whiskey you’ll be using to mix your preferred drink with, make it Double-Gold winning Canadian Mist. A simple cocktail needs a spirit that can handle some heavy lifting.
9. You can make them quickly
You always have the appropriate amount of stuff laying around the house. If you don’t have the appropriate stuff, EVERYBODY SELLS THE APPROPRIATE STUFF. So you’re guaranteed that the appropriate stuff is at some store no more than five minutes away. Complex drinks are great, but sometimes your brain just isn’t ready for complexity -- sometimes it wants a novel, sometimes it wants a beach read.
10. No worries if you only have, like, one giant ice sphere mold...
...and it’s not even currently filled with a giant ice sphere -- convenience store bag ice actually complements the taste of 2-ingredient cocktails. Don’t ask, it’s science.
11. You can make it with no bar tools
Again, just a finger stir, or centrifugal force if you’re classy.
12. There’s no cleanup
Every ingredient will be consumed. If you want to add a lemon… you could probably eat the lemon. Either way, there’s no leftover pulp at the bottom or other detritus clogging the garbage disposal.
13. You can watch television while you make it and never miss a down
Too bad your football team is terrible!
14. You can have as many friends over as you want
It's fun to impress friends with your perfect negroni once. But it's not fun to impress them twice, and it's not fun even once if you have more than two friends to make your perfect negroni for. So basically if you have a lot of friends, or just a few friends who'll drink more than one drink, 2-ingredient cocktails are your hero.
15. Your glassware doesn’t matter at all
Solo cup? Rocks glass? Novelty yard-long margarita plastic goblet from a time you’d rather not recall? All fine. Two-ingredient drinks don’t call for any specific glass because they don’t ask much of you, like the best kind of friend or guy you owe a lot of money to.
16. You can easily make them anywhere.
Like tailgates. And museums.