Skip To Content

    21 Ways To Make Cheap Liquor Taste Better

    The poor student's guide to mixology.

    In college, two things are certain: finals, and that the liquor will have to be cheap.

    These cocktails are some of the best for making bottom shelf, throat-burning alcohol taste great.

    1. Make a Moscow mule with ginger ale instead of ginger beer.

    2. Make a white Russian with coffee creamer instead of Kahlua and cream.

    3. Make a slip 'n' slide with cherry vodka, lemonade, and lots of lime juice.

    4. Harness the power of pineapple juice with a hole in one.

    5. Combine cheap rum with apple juice and pineapple juice to make the apple pie.

    6. Rum + ginger ale + lime = poor man's dark and stormy

    7. Make a hurricane — and DIY the grenadine if you want.

    8. Make a Singapore sling with gin, Sprite, and grenadine.

    9. Make a gin bucket.

    10. Combine cheap gin with ginger ale and lots of lime juice.

    11. Make a salty dog.

    12. Combine SoCo and peach schnapps to make the Georgia peach.

    13. Mix hard cider with Fireball to make a ciderball.

    14. Manhattan

    15. Mix tequila with lots of grapefruit juice and club soda.

    16. Make a Mayan mule.

    17. Mix tequila with lemon juice and soda for a Juan Collins.

    18. Make a tequila sunrise the easy way.

    19. Franzia Sangria

    Flickr Creative Commons

    Perhaps the easiest and cheapest sangria in history, this just requires Franzia burgundy, Sprite, orange juice, and a couple of Dole fruit cups (or real fruit if you're feeling more ambitious).

    Instructions here.

    20. The Brass Monkey

    21. Long Island Ice Tea

    5 Cheap Pantry Essentials to Help Battle the Burn

    You've probably noticed a pattern here. These mixers are your best friends when it comes mixing up cheap booze. The final three are worthwhile purchases that you can use for a ton of drinks and can find at many liquor, grocery, and discount retail stores.

    1. Citrus juice: A juiced lime, lemon, grapefruit will work wonders no matter how much you spent on the liquor.

    2. Seltzer water: Fizzy is better.

    3. Grenadine: Not expensive, and easy to make at home.

    4. Sweet Vermouth: A fortified wine that is infused with a ton of herbs, spices, flowers, and various other things. It tastes like class.

    5. Bitters: A quick trick for many Bourbon and Whiskey drinks is to just add Angostura bitters. A bottle of bitters is fairly affordable (about $10 for a 4-ounce bottle) and lasts for a long time if you just add a couple dollops each time.

    Please frat responsibly.