How to Turn Your Back-of-the-Pantry Ingredients Into Actually Good Cocktails

Rose Minutaglio
Photo credit: Chaloner Woods
Photo credit: Chaloner Woods

From ELLE

In this new housebound reality, I have been doing All Of The Things to keep busy. Live-streaming yoga sessions and going on solo runs. A 500-piece puzzle. I baked some banana bread (and stocked up on flour—a precious commodity!). I fell in love with Marianne's bangs on Normal People and binged Tiger King faster than you can say "Hey there, all you cool cats and kittens!"

At night, I've made a habit of scrolling through TikTok—my favorite time-wasting activity. It was there on my "For You" page, following a video of a hot girl dancing on roller skates, that I discovered the best thing to come out of quarantine since Joe Exotic's fashion: Digital cocktail generators.

TikTok user @arf400 posted a gushing review about an online mixology resource aptly named makemeacocktail.com. The site creates custom craft cocktails based on whatever back-of-the-pantry ingredients you have. All you have to do is select the alcohol and mixers you've got and it spits out a drink from its database of over 3,500 recipes.

Down to Tabasco and tequila? Mix up a Prairy Fairy (one shot liquor, two shakes hot sauce). Got extra coffee? Try a spiked frappuccino.

The site is basically a boozed-up Choose Your Own Adventure. Some recipes are better than others. I'm still disturbed by the "Four Horsemen" libation, which is literally just equal parts Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Jose Cuervo, and Johnnie Walker Black Label. Still, it's fun to play around with, especially with friends via Zoom. Here's a few of my favorite discoveries.

Mary Pickford

Ingredients: 2 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz white rum, dash grenadine, teaspoon cherry juice

Method: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well for 10-15 seconds or until the outside of the shaker becomes frosted. Strain into cocktail glass.

The Summerlin



Ingredients: .5 oz lemon juice, 2 oz rum, .75 oz sugar syrup, 1 dash pepper, 1 oz watermelon, 1.5 oz watermelon juice

Method: In an old fashioned glass with ice, add the rum, juices, and simple syrup. Stir to combine and sprinkle on a pinch of cracked pepper. Garnish with a cube of watermelon.

Iceberg Paralyzer



Ingredients: 1 oz Kahlua, 1 oz vodka, Coca-Cola, milk

Method: Fill tall glass with ice to the top before adding the vodka and Kahlua. Next add the coke nearly to the top before adding in the milk to finish. Stir with a barspoon. Just remember to add a lot of ice or the milk can curdle with the coke.

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