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Going Stir Crazy?

Shake it Up With These Cheap Cocktail Recipes

Sometimes going to the liquor store and picking up a good old box of Smirnoff Ice just isn’t good enough. I’ve put together a list of alternatives so you can whip up a classy cocktail that won’t break the bank. By Jessy Thurston | Illustration by Dayna Patel

Piña Colada

If you haven’t stopped gushing over your trip to Hawaii two years ago, a piña colada is probably the drink for you. Costing approximately $3.50 to make, you’ll need:

120ml pineapple juice

60ml white rum - double this if you like strong drinks.

Triple it and see where the night takes you.

60ml coconut cream

Chuck it all in a nutribullet with a handful of ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and if you’re feeling fancy, garnish it with a slice of pineapple.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiris are my personal favourite because I like to pretend they’re smoothies, and then play into the fitness influencer fantasy while I'm gradually losing the ability to form words. For this $6.50 cocktail you’ll need:

200g ripe or frozen strawberries

ice cubes

juice of ½ lime

1 tbsp lemon juice

100ml white rum

Blend just the strawberries first to a purée. Add a handful of ice cubes to the blender as well with the lime juice, lemon juice and rum. Pulse again and pour into glass. Decorate with a lime slice if you want to show your creation off on Instagram.


Mojitos are a chic and sophisticated cocktail for those of you who aren’t fans of fruity mixes. This one comes in at $4.50 per glass. You’ll need:

The juice of 1 lime

1 tsp sugar

A small handful of mint leaves

60ml white rum Soda water

Mix the sugar, lime juice, mint and rum in a shaker with a bit of ice. Pour over some more ice in a new glass and top up with soda water to taste. If you eventually get sick of mixing each drink, just do shots of the rum. The night is yours, do what you want.

Cyclone Cocktail

If you have a TikTok addiction I’m sure you’ve seen this one before, but a Cyclone cocktail is a genius creation for those who love frozen drinks. Adding up to a sweet $6 per drink, get yourself:

A Cyclone popsicle

As much vodka as you can stand

Optional: cranberry juice.

Use a fork to push the popsicle off its stick and into a blender. Pour in your preferred amount of vodka and blend. If the consistency is too thick, add a splash of cranberry juice to taste. Alternatively, for this cocktail you can also just add one Cyclone to one bottle of a Raspberry Long White and call it a day.


Everyone loves a cheeky bottomless brunch, and with a ten dollar bottle of wine and OJ, you can’t get much cheaper than a mimosa. I love these because I’m not a massive wine drinker, but it goes down easy with the juice. At $1.50 per glass it’s a cheap way to ensure you’re dancing on tables by the end of the night. All you’ll need is:

Sparkling wine

Your preferred flavour of juice

Just pour a 50/50 ratio of wine and juice into a glass and you’re good to go!

Ruby Queen Cocktail

You’ve probably never thought of adding beetroot juice to alcohol, but the Ruby Queen cocktail does it effortlessly. Try new things in your drink, and then why not also try new crazy things you’ve never done before with the heightened confidence that follows. $5 per serving.

100ml whiskey

1 tbsp red beet juice

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp liquid honey

Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve.

All of these recipes make one serving, so just double the ingredients if you’re planning a big night!


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