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21 and Counting: A Student's Guide to Party Cocktails



21 and Counting: A Student's Guide to Party Cocktails

Turning 21 is a rite of passage that's celebrated all over the world. For many students, it marks the end of a chapter in their lives and the beginning of a new one, as young adults leave the nest and strike out on their own.

In other words, you've almost graduated college, and you're finally free from homework and exams. It's time to occasionally celebrate, and there's no better way to do so than by throwing a fun party! A student party is a perfect excuse to let loose and have fun. And what better way to do that than to (responsibly!) drink some cocktails? 

Many college students are on a budget, so it's important to get the best bang for your drinking buck. When you're in college, alcohol is readily available - but where do you start? Should you stick with beer? What about margaritas? Make sure to pick the days without much homework, studying, or writing essays with your trusted essay editing service, and you’ll have much more time for appropriate cocktail research and party planning.

It's time to branch out! The options are endless. Whether you're hosting a party for all your friends or just a small get-together, there's sure to be a drink to satisfy your tastes. While bars might charge an arm and a leg for drinks, you can make party cocktails at home for a fraction of the cost! Instead of ordering drinks, get creative, and make your own.

Here’s a quick guide on the most popular and beginner-friendly cocktails out there, and how to masterfully craft them in no time.


Mojito is a classic cocktail, served all over the world, from Cuba to the Caribbean. It's one of the most popular drinks on bar menus today, with good reason. Mojitos are easy to make, refreshing to drink, and packed with flavor!

Let's begin our tour of cocktail basics with the Mojito.

Mojito is a cocktail made of rum, sugar, lime juice, and mint. The drink was perfected by Cuban bartenders as they blended sugar with mint and crushed ice, served it neat, and called it a "mojito" because the drink resembled a mojito leaf. Today, bartenders sometimes add or substitute different types of rum, such as dark rum, spiced rum, or rum aged in oak barrels. 

But without further ado, let’s get into the recipe!

  • 5-10 mint leaves
  • 30 ml / 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 30 ml / 1 oz sugar syrup 
  • 60 ml / 2 oz white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda/soda water

In a chilled cocktail glass, muddle mint and sugar syrup. Add ice, lime juice, club soda, and rum. Garnish with mint and lime slices, and you’re done - it’s that simple.

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise is a classic cocktail bar drink, featuring tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. It's one of the most celebrated cocktails in all of the cocktail world, and it's easy to see why.

The sunrise part comes from its color. It's made with red grenadine and orange juice - a color scheme that reminds of a sunrise. 

Here’s the quick and easy recipe.

  • 45 ml / 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 120 ml / 4 oz orange juice 
  • 15 ml / 1/2 oz grenadine 

Pour tequila into an ice-filled cocktail glass. Add the ounce of orange juice, and pour in grenadine slowly, so it gives a nice color transition. Add cherries or lemon slices to garnish, and voila - you’re done! Even though this one was a simple one to make, it gives off a professional vibe nonetheless.

Lemon Drop

Forget about Cosmopolitans and Long Island Ice Teas - the cocktail of choice for college-age drinkers these days is vodka mixed with lemonade. It's called Lemon Drop, and it's the official drink of many college parties. The ingredients are relatively inexpensive, and the whole process of making it is fun, simple, and easy.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 50ml / 1.7 oz of vodka
  • 50ml / 1.7 oz of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • lemonade or simple syrup infused with lemon

First, decorate the rim of your chilled cocktail glass by moistening it with some water (or honey, if you’d like) and dipping it in sugar. Then into a shaker full of ice add vodka, lemon juice, and syrup/lemonade. Mix the ingredients well, and pour the mixture into a glass you’ve garnished. 

Tips and suggestions:

Be prepared. You'll need a shaker with ice, lemons, lemonade, and simple syrup. You can add a slice of lemon or lime as a garnish.

These cocktail recipes are easy to make, and you can experiment with different ingredients to see what you like best! Here are five more quick cocktails to try out and impress your friends at a college party

A Dry Martini: 2 oz gin (or vodka), 1/2 oz dry vermouth, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, 2 dashes of maraschino liqueur, stirred in a chilled cocktail glass. Best served with olives!

A Cosmopolitan: 2 oz vodka, 3/4 oz cranberry juice, 1/4 oz triple sec, 1/8 oz lime juice, 1/8 oz Cointreau, shaken in a chilled cocktail glass.

Gin and Tonic: 2 oz tonic water, 1/2 oz gin, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, ice, stirred in a chilled cocktail glass.

A Margarita: 2 ounces of tequila, 1/2 ounce Cointreau, 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, 1/2 ounce agave nectar, 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice, 1/2 ounce triple sec.

Long Island Ice Tea: 1/2 oz gin, 1/2 oz vodka, 1/2 oz white rum, 1/2 oz tequila, 1/2 oz, Cointreau, 3/4 oz lemon juice, Coke, and a lemon slice for garnish. Be careful with this one!

Final Thoughts

It's no surprise that college students love cheap and easy options when it comes to party beverages. You probably have a few go-to’s, like beer or whiskey, but you've likely tried many others, too. With so many options out there, it's hard to pin down a definitive list of what to drink. We've found that there are some cocktails that college students tend to gravitate toward more than others, though. 

So we’ve created this guide! The cocktails we mentioned are easy and cheap, as well as delicious, fun, and impressive. Some general rules are to make sure to have ice, use fresh ingredients, and pick the type of booze you really like. There’s no doubt these refreshing drinks will make your parties more enjoyable. And your college memories, too!