5 Money-Saving Tips to Enjoy Fancy Cocktails On A Budget

money saving tips

I have a little secret for you:

You can save money and have fun at home at the same time.

I know one of the first things anyone cuts when the money is tight is the nights out, the dinner with friends and the clubbing.

I know that because I was in that situation not a long time ago.

After getting laid off of my previous job I had to cut out a lot of my previous “privileges”.

But I figured, “there must be a way for me to still enjoy some of those things without spending too much money”.

Fortunately, there was.

After some research, I found with just a few essentials and a little planning, you can enjoy a nice variety of drinks. It may even surprise you that some of the cheapest drinks you can make at home are among the most popular in bars.

Think of all that money you've been wasting!

In the next few minutes, I want to share with you 5 money-saving tips that helped me save hundreds of dollars while still having a great amount of fun.

Let’s get started.

Tip #1: Learn how to make cocktails on your own


If you think you need to go to a bar or hire a professional bartender to make cocktails I need to tell you that you are wrong.

Professional bartenders have a few advantages over you: they can consistently make delicious cocktails, they know how to create new cocktails, and they can make a lot of delicious cocktails at the same time without much trouble.

They are like machines, if you will.

You want to be a craftsman.

What I mean by that is you want to learn the proper techniques, get the right tools, and follow the right steps to make any cocktail you want.

If you do those three things right, you’ll be set.

You will discover doing all those three things at the same time isn't hard at all!

To learn the right techniques, there are four main things you need to know. You need to know:

  1. How to pour the right proportions of a cocktail’s ingredients in a shaker or glass;
  2. How to shake a cocktail;
  3. How to stir a cocktail;
  4. How to serve a cocktail.

Each and every of those four techniques are really easy to learn.

Just take the first one: to learn the ingredients of a Margarita and their proportions you only need to find a Margarita recipe and follow the instructions in it.

Yup, it’s that simple.

The other techniques aren’t that complicated either.

However, since explaining each proper bartending technique is an article of its own, I’m just going to skip this for now.

If you are still curious and want to know how to learn these techniques, enter your information in the box below and download a free PDF with all the techniques explained.

The important thing to remember is this: there’s no reason why you can’t learn how to make cocktails in a few hours.

I know you need to make some investments at first, like buying the right tools and buying the ingredients (which, as you will learn later, shouldn’t be that expensive if you know what and where to buy them), but after you make your first cocktails you’ll be thankful of having made this investment.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to drink a luxurious cocktail served in a fancy glass; you just want to drink a delicious cocktail, whatever their presentation or “fanciness”.

Now that you know how to make cocktails, you need to know which cocktails to make.

Before buying the Cointreau for your Margaritas, learn what ingredients you need to choose.

Tip #2: Choose “cheap” ingredients

cheap booze

When I say “cheap” ingredients I’m not saying you should buy the cheapest tequila you can find for your Margaritas.

Not only it will taste awful, you will hurt your liver (trust me, I know).

What I mean is making cocktails with ingredients that aren’t expensive.

Let me explain:

Almost every cocktail is made by at least one spirit (also called “base”) and one modifying agent (also called “mixers”), like juices, bitters, and other spirits.

If you pick just one spirit of a good brand and two or three modifying agents that are cheap, you will be able to easily save money while enjoying delicious cocktails.

For instance, if you want to make a Martini, which is made of gin, dry vermouth and olives, you don’t need to buy the fanciest gin nor the best vermouth.

If you just get a good gin, like Seagram’s, which costs approximately $16.49 per 1.75-liter bottle, that bottle will serve you dozens of Martinis.

You can run the numbers, but that means each serving will cost you pennies. Pennies.

If you add to that the dry vermouth and the olives, each Martini you make will cost you less than 1 dollar. Hell, it will probably cost you less than 50 cents.

Finally, forget about the expensive liqueurs and juices. That’s for fancy drinks you probably don’t need.

Just get the basics and you will we good to go.

Before buying these ingredients, you need to know which are the basics you need to buy.

Tip #3: Make 2 or 3-ingredient cocktails

Besides choosing “cheap” ingredients, you can also save a lot of money by making simple cocktails that need no more than 2 or 3 ingredients.

We’re talking about classic cocktails that everybody knows about that are easy to make.

What cocktails am I talking about?

  1. Martini (Gin, Dry Vermouth and Olives)
  2. Cuba Libre (Rum, Coke and Limes)
  3. Screwdriver (Vodka and Orange Juice)
  4. Daiquiri (Light Rum, Simple Syrup and Lime Juice)
  5. Gin and Tonic (no need to explain this one)
  6. Whiskey Sour (Whiskey, Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup)

There are a lot more cocktails that you can make with simple ingredients like these ones.

Since I don't want to extend myself too much, I won't show you all the dozens of drinks that you can make with few ingredients.

If you really want to know, you can download the free PDF below.

Besides making cocktails with a few basic ingredients, you can also maximize your booze by buying just the few spirits that can help you make the majority of your favorite cocktails.

Tip #4: Use the few ingredients that yield the most cocktails

alcohol bottles

Did you know that you can make more than 100 cocktails are made just with whiskey?

Whiskey, just like Gin, Rum and Vodka are probably your best bet when deciding what spirit to buy.

You don’t need to buy one bottle of each.

Decide beforehand what your favorite cocktails are, and then buy that one spirit.

If you like sweet and tropical drinks, like the Tequila Sunrise, then Rum and Tequila are your best bet.

If you like bitter and “corporate” drinks, like the Martini, then Gin and Whiskey are the spirits you want to buy.

The key is to decide the type of cocktails you want to drink, and then focus on its base spirit alone.

You can also do the same type with the mixers.

Lemon, lime and orange juice are three of the most common juices used in any cocktail you imagine. Not only they add a nice acid taste to any cocktail, they are also healthy and refreshing. That’s why they are a safe bet.

Bitters are a common ingredient in many cocktails, so you should buy one. The most commonly used bitter are the “Angostura bitters”, made in Trinidad and Tobago.

Finally, some basic liqueurs, like Cointreau, an orange-flavored liqueur, are also used in many cocktails. The Cointreau is used to make cocktails like the Cosmopolitan, the Margarita, and the Sangria, among others.

That’s why I recommend you buy one bottle of Cointreau, or any other Triple Sec you can find.

After you decide on the spirits and mixers you want to buy, you need to start making those cocktails. But in order to do so, you need to have the right tools, some of which aren’t that expensive.

Tip #5: Invest in cheap but effective tools

bar tools

If you have ever seen a James Bond movie you already know a cocktail is made.

“Shaken, not stirred”, was James Bond’s famous quote.

Those are the only two ways you can make a cocktail.

However, it’s not the same to shake a cocktail than to stir it. There’s a big difference and you need to know it.

Cocktails made with nothing but alcoholic ingredients, like the Martini, are stirred.

(Yes, James Bond was “wrong”, but who cares? He rocks.)

Cocktails made with non-alcoholic ingredients, like the Margarita and the Sex on the Beach, are shaken.

To kill two birds with one stone, I highly recommend you to get at least one cocktail shaker, a jigger to measure the ingredients to the inch, a mixing glass, a mixing spoon and a strainer.

I know, that seems like a lot, but bear with me.

Follow this link and find all your must-have tools for less than $50.

And since these tools are top-notch, they will last for a long time.

The key isn’t to buy cheap tools that don’t work or that will break after a few uses.

It’s better to spend a moderate amount of money one a few basic tools and then use them for a long time.

Think it as a small investment rather than a unnecessary expense.

Bonus: Find the Best Places to Buy Cheap Ingredients Online (Plus this Article in PDF)

Get this article in PDF and a list of the best places to find all the ingredients you need to make all your favorite cocktails on a tight budget by clicking the image below.