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Close up of three people toasting fancy drinks in rocks glasses



There’s a lot to love about happy hour. A guilt-free excuse to catch up with friends over cheap drinks and apps in the middle of the workweek? Don’t mind if we do! But nothing kills a nice buzz like a big crowd, subpar service, or not-so-happy $1 discounts off $15 cocktails.

Skip yelling at your friends across the table and snacking on germy communal bar nuts. Brush up on your mixology skills, and host happy hour at home instead. Here are four easy-to-make cocktails and mocktails that are sure to impress your guests.

Better Than the Bar Ginger Mule

1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 oz simple syrup, divided

2 oz vodka

½ lime, juiced, plus a wedge for garnish

2 oz seltzer

Directions: Place ginger and 1 ½ oz simple syrup in a small dish. Stir gently, then let it rest for at least 20 minutes, allowing ginger to infuse. Strain liquid into a cocktail mixing glass. Add vodka, lime juice, ½ oz simple syrup, and seltzer. Stir. Fill a cocktail glass or Moscow mule mug with ice. Pour mixture into glass. Garnish with a lime wedge to serve.

Freshly Squeezed Paloma

2 oz tequila

1 grapefruit, juiced

1 lime, juiced, plus a wedge for rim

2 tbs agave syrup

Chili lime seasoning, for rim

Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients except chili lime seasoning, and shake. Use a wedge of lime to moisten the rim of a cocktail glass. Coat rim with chili lime seasoning. Fill the glass with ice (if desired), and pour the cocktail mixture into the glass to serve.

Coconut Lime Fizz Cooler

2 tbs coconut cream

2 tbs fresh lime juice

2 tsp honey

5 ice cubes

½ C seltzer

Raw sugar, for rim

Fresh mint, for garnish

Directions: Add all ingredients except sugar and mint to a blender. Blend until smooth. Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with water, then coat the rim with sugar. Pour in mixture, and garnish with mint to serve. For those who imbibe, tequila or rum make a great addition.

The Old-Fashioned Made New

2 oz zero-proof “whiskey” alternative

3 tbs fresh orange juice, plus an orange wedge for garnish

1 tsp raspberry jam

Splash club soda

Directions: In a cocktail mixing glass, add whiskey alternative, orange juice, raspberry jam, and club soda. Stir well. Add one large ice cube to a cocktail glass, and pour mixture into the glass. Garnish with an orange wedge to serve. For a kick, substitute real whiskey instead.

For more ideas on entertaining at home or exploring your neighborhood in Albuquerque, head to the Olympus Encantada’s blog.