30 Homemade Mixers for a DIY Home Bar

Fill Your Bar With Made-From-Scratch Ingredients

Lavender-Rosemary Infused Vodka in a bottle

The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

While it is fun to make beer and wine, it's not entirely easy (or necessarily legal) to distill liquor at home. Instead, cocktail enthusiasts can make all sorts of drink mixers from scratch. From commonly used liqueurs to infusions, flavored syrups, bitters, sodas, and cocktail garnishes, you can stock most of your bar with homemade ingredients and have unique flavors available for cocktail experimentation.

These are fun DIY projects, and all are relatively easy. A few are ready within hours while some take several weeks, and most of that time requires little to no effort from you. However, your time is well-spent because homemade mixers allow you to customize the flavor to your exact taste and personal cocktail preferences. As a bonus, it can save some money at the liquor store.

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    Amaretto Liqueur

    Homemade Amaretto Liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

    Liqueurs are sweetened distilled spirits and some of the easiest alcoholic beverages to make from scratch. Using store-bought liquor (vodka, whiskey, brandy, and rum are common bases), all you need to do is add the flavor and sweetener.

    Amaretto is a brilliant place to start your journey. The recipe simply blends homemade simple syrup with vodka and adds almond and vanilla extracts for flavor.

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    Orange Liqueur

    Homemade Orange Liqueur - DIY Triple Sec

    The Spruce Eats / Colleen Graham

    Using a different approach, this homemade orange liqueur infuses orange peels in vodka. After a couple of weeks, you'll just need to make simple syrup and blend it to taste. The liqueur is very close to commercial triple sec, and a little brandy turns it into a Grand Marnier substitute for half the cost.

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    Raspberry Liqueur

    Homemade Chambord Raspberry Liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Looking for a homemade version of Chambord? You can make raspberry liqueur with nothing more than raspberries, sugar, and a bottle of vodka. It's ready to drink and use in cocktails like the French martini in about 14 days.

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    Coffee Liqueur

    Homemade Coffee Liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

    Use rum or vodka for a homemade coffee liqueur that rivals Kahlúa. Sweetened with a vanilla bean-infused coffee syrup, the liqueur makes an excellent white Russian.

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    Irish Cream Liqueur

    Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur poured into a glass over ice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Homemade Irish cream is a great gift for the holidays, and it takes just a few minutes to prepare. With an Irish whiskey base, condensed milk, cream, and a few simple flavorings, it's a fun project to whip up and fabulous in coffee.

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    Crème de Menthe

    Homemade Creme de Menthe Liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    A sweet, fresh minty taste awaits in a bottle of homemade crème de menthe. This recipe begins with a vodka infusion of fresh mint leaves, which is blended with simple syrup. Whether you add green food coloring or keep it clear, it outshines any artificially-flavored option at the liquor store.

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    Limoncello (Lemon Liqueur)

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

    A classic Italian limoncello requires the longest time investment in your DIY bar, but the lusciously sweet lemon taste is worth it. Using organic lemons, high-proof grain alcohol, sugar, and water, it takes nearly two months before it's ready to drink.

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    Cranberry Liqueur

    Homemade Cranberry Liqueur in glasses and a bottle

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

    Grab an inexpensive bottle of red wine and some brandy, and you're ready to make cranberry liqueur. It's a fantastic use for fresh cranberries when they come into season during the winter, but works just as well with the frozen fruit.

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  • 09 of 30

    Peach Liqueur

    A glass of homemade peach liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

    In summer, transform those perfectly ripe peaches into a zesty spirit. The peach liqueur recipe combines vodka with brandy for extra dimension and complements the peach with fresh lemon and orange zest.

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    Vanilla Liqueur

    Homemade Vanilla Liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / Colleen Graham

    True vanilla liqueurs are not the easiest to find at the liquor store, so this is one you'll definitely want to make yourself. Infused with real vanilla bean, the syrup is blended with vodka and brandy, and your vanilla liqueur is ready within a day.

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    Homemade Campari With Negroni

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Secret recipes for complexly flavored spirits like Campari make replicating it a challenge. However, with a stockpile of dried roots and herbs, along with high-proof vodka, you can come pretty close with this Campari recipe.

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    Cucumber-Infused Vodka

    Cucumber-Infused Vodka in glasses and garnished with cucumbers, and cucumber slices on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Crystal Hughes

    Straight infusions skip the sweetener, opting instead to steep the raw ingredient in plain liquor. Vodka is a popular choice because its neutral taste is an ideal venue for nearly any flavor. Cucumber-infused vodka is a great introduction to this easy process, and it's fabulous in summertime cocktails.

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    Lavender-Rosemary Infused Vodka

    Lavender-Rosemary Infused Vodka in a bottle

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

    Lavender and rosemary are a match made in herbal heaven. Enjoy their floral taste in lavender-rosemary infused vodka, and use it in your vodka tonics or martinis. It's sure to become a favorite in your DIY bar.

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    Chamomile-Infused Vodka

    Chamomile "Herbal Tea"-Infused Vodka in a glass bottle and in glasses

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Skip the herbal tea, and use chamomile to make vodka instead! The blossoms require a relatively quick infusion of just 12 hours, and you can sweeten the chamomile vodka if you like. Tasty on its own, it's great with a splash of lemon and seltzer.

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    Lemongrass-Ginger Infused Tequila

    Lemongrass-Ginger Infused Tequila in glasses, garnished with lime wedges

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Vodka is not the only option for infusions, and tequila's earthy agave flavor is a wonderful backdrop for fun combinations. The lemongrass-ginger tequila has a bright citrus taste backed by fresh ginger's snappy spice, and it makes an intriguing margarita.

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    Coffee-Infused Bourbon

    Coffee-Infused Bourbon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Whiskey is best with darker flavorings that can stand up to its bold taste. It's a natural pairing for coffee, and the coffee-infused bourbon recipe requires nothing more than a bottle of whiskey, coffee beans, and two days.

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    Cocoa-Infused Rye Whiskey

    Cocoa Old-Fashioned in a glass, garnished with orange peel and a cherry

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Chocolate-infused rye whiskey is the key ingredient in the cocoa old-fashioned cocktail. You won't find that flavored whiskey at the store, but the good news is that the cacao nib infusion is all set to drink in just a few days.

  • 18 of 30

    Aromatic Cocktail Bitters

    Basic homemade bitters recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Bitters are the finishing touch that can turn a mediocre drink into a spectacular cocktail. Infused with an array of botanicals, it may take 20 days for a batch of homemade aromatic bitters, but your patience will be rewarded with the first sip of your next martini.

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    Chocolate Bitters

    Homemade Chocolate Bitters

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Once you perfect the basic bitters recipe, try chocolate bitters. Along with a handful of essential botanicals, roasted cacao nibs are infused into strong bourbon, and a few dashes will perk up your favorite whiskey cocktails.

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    Orange Simple Syrup

    Orange Simple Syrup recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Whether you want to bypass liquor infusions for the moment or create a versatile sweetener for mocktails, coffee, and tea, simple syrup is, well, beyond simple! It takes the headache out of dissolving granular sugar into cold drinks, and is made with nothing more than sugar and water. Adding flavor can be as simple as a few orange peels, like those used in this orange syrup recipe.

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    Lemon Simple Syrup

    Lemon simple syrup

    The Spruce Eats

    Switch to lemon zest and add the citrus fruit's juice to your syrup to create a brightly flavored lemon simple syrup. This is a great alternative to sour mix in cocktails and an ideal base for fresh lemonade (just add water!).

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    Jalapeño Simple Syrup

    Homemade Spicy Jalapeño Simple Syrup for Cocktails

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Give your drinks a spicy kick with jalapeño simple syrup. It's a fantastic sweetener for anyone who loves a dash of heat in their cocktails and is ready within an hour.

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    Ginger Simple Syrup

    Ginger simple syrup

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Ginger simple syrup is more versatile than you might expect. Sure, it works in cocktails like the vodka ginger, but it's also the base for homemade ginger ale and ginger lemonade. And, ginger pairs well with vanilla and lemon if you want a slightly more complex syrup.

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    Coffee Syrup

    Coffee Syrup in a glass jar

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

    For a nonalcoholic alternative to coffee liqueur, you're going to love coffee syrup. Instead of simple syrup's water, you'll use the strongest coffee you can brew. Like all of these syrups, it has massive drink potential but is also divine when drizzled over desserts.

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    Keto Simple Syrup

    Keto Sugar-Free Simple Syrup for Drinks

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Simple syrup relies on sugar, and that just won't work if you're trying to avoid it. You can easily transform any simple syrup recipe into a sugar-free delight by using this keto simple syrup recipe. Add any flavoring you like...the secret is to choose the right sugar-free sweetener, and we found the one that actually works without a bitter aftertaste.

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    Maraschino Cherries

    Maraschino Cherries

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Garnishes dress up cocktails and add flavor, but they're often overlooked at home, which is a shame. Some of the blame may lie on those brightly colored, artificially flavored jars of maraschino cherries. Step up your garnish game and discover how easy maraschino cherries are to make from scratch.

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    Citrus-Flavored Margarita Salt

    Margarita With Homemade Flavored Margarita Salt

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Love a salty rim on your margarita glass? It's a fantastic contrast in flavor, and easy to do. Sure, you can buy flavored salts, or you can make citrus margarita salt at home for a fraction of the cost.

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    Pickled Okra

    Pickled Okra

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    Bloody Mary garnishes can get quite crazy because anything savory works well with spiked tomato juice. Skip the pickles and celery, and try pickled okra or pickled green beans instead. These canning recipes work for pearl onions, so you can make cocktail onions for the Gibson, too.

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  • 29 of 30

    Quinine-Free Tonic Water

    Homemade Tonic Syrup Without Cinchona

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Homemade sodas are simple; top a flavored syrup with carbonated water. Tonic water is a bit more complicated because the syrup is flavored with several botanicals, and cinchona bark (a key ingredient from which quinine is derived) can be toxic if you don't have lab equipment to properly test it. To get around that, switching out a few botanicals makes a wonderful (and safe) homemade tonic water to drink straight, and it's great with gin or vodka.

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    Cocktail Ice

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    What's the one thing that you use for almost every cocktail? Ice! True, making ice simply requires freezing water, but there are several steps that you can take to improve this vital ingredient and make every drink better.