Liquor Laboratory

15 Best Cheap Drinks To Order At A Bar Or Make At Home (2024)

cheap drinks to order at a bar

Last Updated on April 2, 2024 by Lydia Martin

It’s hard to go out with your friends and have fun during happy hour when you don’t have enough money in your account. But just because you’re on thrift mode doesn’t mean you can’t drink anything classy. Guess what? We’ve tracked the best cheap drinks to order at a bar today. Here’s the list.

Top 15 Cheap Drinks To Order At A Bar

15. Rum & Coke

Rum & Coke

Average Price: $5

Rum & Coke is one of the cheapest drinks in a bar, and the ingredients are simple.

Today, white rum is a cheap drink option you can request at the bar to mix with Coke in a highball glass with ice cubes.

If you’re feeling sophisticated but still on a budget, have red wine instead of rum. But how much rum can get you drunk?

14. Vodka Cranberry

Vodka Cranberry

Average Price: $6

Vodka Cranberry is one of the best cheap drinks in a bar. It’s easy to remember, easy to order, and works for any season.

You can request to put vodkas like Tito’s in your cocktail drink together with the fruity cranberry juice.

13. Lemon Drop

Lemon Drop

Average Price: $7

This refreshing Lemon Drop shot is everyone’s go-to cheapest drink in a hefty bar tab.

It has the simplest ingredients: lemon juice, lemon slice for garnish, sugar, and your choice of thrifty vodka. The sugar should be completely dissolved before serving it in a cocktail glass. But how many shots of vodka will get you drunk?

12. Dark ’n Stormy

Dark ’n Stormy

Average Price: $8

Dark ’n Stormy is composed of dark rum, mixed with ginger beer and served over ice.

You can substitute a draft beer or Coke if the bar is out of ginger beer; those will blend well with the earthy flavor of dark rum.

Read: Dark Rum vs White Rum

11. Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

Average Price: $8

The Old Fashioned is a simple drink of whiskey, sugar, and bitters. It’s one of the cheap drinks you can order in a bar.

It is usually made with simple syrup instead of a sugar cube. Please don’t ask for Stevia because it can ruin the taste of your cocktail drink.

10. Cosmopolitan


Average Price: $7

Cosmopolitan looks fancy in a martini glass. The truth is, it’s not that expensive.

Bars can use less expensive vodka instead of top-shelf liquor. You wouldn’t tell the difference when mixed with fresh lime juice and cranberry.

9. Southern Comfort & Lime

Southern Comfort & Lime on desk with mint leaves

Average Price: $8

A Southern Comfort is a bottled cocktail drink. It’s an inexpensive base liquor where the whiskey is blended with honey, citrus, and spices.

Add lime juice, and you can have this fantastic mixed drink that won’t break your wallet.

8. Bay Breeze

Bay Breeze

Average Price: $6

Bay Breeze resembles the Cape Codder cocktail but with an additional ingredient of pineapple juice. [1

It’s an affordable layered cocktail with vodka, pineapple, and cranberry juice. Bay Breeze is one of the best cheap drinks with fruity flavors.

7. Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule

Average Price: $10

Moscow Mule is usually in copper mugs, making it look like an expensive cocktail drink, but it’s not.

Ginger beer can conceal the drink’s flavor even if you use inexpensive vodka. And it’s a double great deal if you buy this cheap mixed drink during a late-night promo. 

Read: Respectable Cocktails To Order At A Bar

6. Mojito


Average Price: $6

Mojitos are one of the most famous and cheapest drinks in a bar. You can use inexpensive white rum with fresh mint leaves and citrusy lime.

It requires fresh ingredients to taste delicious, or you might get bacteria with a spoiled mint.

5. Gin And Tonic

Gin And Tonic

Average Price: $5

The perfect Gin and Tonic doesn’t need expensive ingredients, just gin and tonic water, making it one of the best cheap mixed drinks in a bar.

But if you prefer vodka drink over gin, have the Vodka Tonic version, which is vodka and tonic water.

Read: List of the Worst Cheap Whiskeys

4. Margarita


Average Price: $8

There are a lot of budget-friendly 100% agave tequilas you can choose from that could save you money and still get a savvy-tasting drink.

Mix it up with real lime fruit juices, and that cheap Tequila will taste much better.

3. Salty Dog

Salty Dog

Average Price: $8

A cheap gin, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup can produce a delightful vibrant pink color cocktail drink. It’s tangy and refreshing but also affordable.

Read: Popular Manly Drinks To Order At A Bar

2. Mimosa


Average Price: $8 

Champagnes in Mimosas can be altered with cheaper ones. Once you mix it with orange juice, you won’t be able to taste the difference.

Also, you can request an upgraded version by mixing ingredients from Tequila Sunrise, like grenadine syrup, which now makes a Sunrise Mimosa that will surely get you drunk.

But does champagne freeze?

1. Daiquiri


Average Price: $6

You can order the classic Daiquiri at a cheap price. Most rum-based drinks are excellent for budget mixed drinks and are great alternatives when ordering cheap mixed drinks in a bar.

Read: Drinks You Should Not Order At A Bar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you drink cheap at a bar?

Navigating the bar scene on a budget requires a bit of savvy and strategy. Here are some tips for enjoying affordable drinks at a bar:
Happy Hour Hunting: Keep an eye out for establishments offering happy hour specials. During these designated times, drinks are often discounted, allowing you to indulge in your favorite beverages without denting your wallet.

House Spirits and Well Drinks: Opt for house spirits or well drinks when ordering cocktails. These are typically the least expensive options on the menu and are made with standard liquors mixed with basic mixers like soda or juice.

Beer and Wine Selections: Consider sticking to beer or wine, which tend to be more budget-friendly compared to cocktails. Many bars offer specials on draft beers or house wines, providing excellent value for your money.

Specialty Cocktails: If you’re craving a cocktail, look for options that use fewer ingredients or are made with lower-cost spirits. Simple mixed drinks like rum and coke or vodka tonic are often more affordable than elaborate cocktails with premium ingredients.

Drink Specials and Promotions: Take advantage of any drink specials or promotions advertised by the bar. This could include discounted cocktails, beer buckets, or shot specials, allowing you to stretch your dollar further while enjoying a night out.

By being strategic with your choices and taking advantage of discounts and specials, you can enjoy a fun night at the bar without overspending.

What’s a cheap alcohol for beginners to order at a bar?

For newcomers to the bar scene, navigating the drink menu can feel overwhelming. Here are some budget-friendly options that are perfect for beginners:

Well Drinks: When in doubt, opt for a well drink or house spirit. These basic mixed drinks are made with standard liquors like vodka, rum, gin, or whiskey, and are often the most affordable option on the menu.

Domestic Beer: Stick to domestic beers like lagers or pale ales, which are typically more budget-friendly than craft or imported varieties. They offer a familiar taste profile and are widely available at most bars.

House Wine: House wines are an excellent choice for those interested in wine but looking to keep costs down. Available by the glass or carafe, house wines offer a straightforward and affordable option for beginners.

Simple Cocktails: Keep it simple with cocktails that require few ingredients. Classics like a rum and coke, gin and tonic, or vodka soda are easy to order and enjoy without breaking the bank.

Shot Specials: Some bars offer discounts on certain types of shots or shot specials. This can be a fun and budget-friendly way for beginners to try something new without committing to a full drink.

By starting with these wallet-friendly options, beginners can ease into the world of bar drinks without feeling overwhelmed by choices or costs.

Can you drink cheaper alcohol on its own?

Certainly, cheaper alcohol can be consumed on its own, offering a straightforward drinking experience without the need for mixers or additional ingredients. While higher-priced spirits often boast complexity and smoothness, budget-friendly options can still be enjoyed solo, albeit with some variability in taste and quality.

Many budget liquors, such as vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and whiskey, can be sipped neat (without mixers) or on the rocks (over ice). While they may lack the nuanced flavors and refined textures of more expensive counterparts, they can still provide a satisfying drinking experience, especially when approached with an open mind and a discerning palate.

Some individuals appreciate the simplicity and purity of cheaper alcohol, finding enjoyment in its straightforward taste and character. Others may prefer to use budget spirits as mixers in cocktails, where their flavors can be complemented and enhanced by other ingredients.

Ultimately, whether you choose to drink cheaper alcohol on its own depends on personal taste preferences and the desired drinking experience. While it may not offer the same level of sophistication as premium options, budget-friendly alcohol can still provide enjoyment and refreshment when consumed responsibly.

Is cheaper alcohol made differently from expensive alcohol?

Their article tackles the question of whether cheaper and expensive alcohols are manufactured differently. According to the information provided, the process of making cheaper alcohol is essentially the same as that of expensive alcohol.

However, there may be slight variations in certain aspects. For instance, in the case of brown spirits, cheaper alcohol might experience a shorter aging period compared to expensive alcohol. Furthermore, cheaper alcohol may have a lower proof or could be a blend of a larger number of barrels. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the aforementioned differences are not indicative of the quality of the alcohol.

Instead, the quality ultimately boils down to personal taste. In essence, alcohol is alcohol, regardless of its price. It is crucial to consume it responsibly, as regardless of its cost, it will have the same effect on the individual.

What should you look for when shopping for inexpensive booze?

When seeking out affordable alcohol options, it’s crucial to prioritize both price and flavor. Don’t be deterred by a lower price tag, as there are often excellent choices that won’t break the bank.

Typically, less expensive bottles will have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 40%, which is perfectly fine. However, for an added boost of flavor and intensity in your cocktails, consider searching for bottled-in-bond whiskeys or spirits with higher proof.
This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds without compromising on taste despite the lower price point.

What is El Dorado 12 year rum and what are its tasting notes?

El Dorado 12 Year rum, according to Vacheresse, is an exceptional choice when it comes to value for money. It hails from Guyana and is highly regarded for its rich flavor profile.

The rum is a skillful blend of various aged rums, all aged for a minimum of 12 years, and is crafted by a distillery known for producing superb spirits using both column and pot stills. El Dorado 12 Year rum is not only enjoyable on its own, but it can also enhance the character of cocktails, making it a versatile option.

If you’re looking to elevate your next Old Fashioned, using this rum as the base would be a delightful choice. When it comes to tasting notes, El Dorado 12 Year rum offers a captivating combination of flavors.

Expect to savor the delightful essence of molasses, which adds a depth of complexity to each sip. The presence of vanilla lends a smooth and luscious touch to the overall experience.

Additionally, the rum possesses a delightful hint of brown sugar, providing a subtly sweet undertone. These tasting notes meld together to create a truly enjoyable drinking experience.

With an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%, El Dorado 12 Year rum showcases its flavors without overpowering the palate. Overall, it is a well-rounded rum from Guyana, offering an enticing blend of molasses, vanilla, and brown sugar tasting notes that can be savored both neat or as an ingredient in delightful rum-based cocktails.

What Novo Fogo Chachaca?

Novo Fogo Cachaca is a type of Brazilian spirit that offers a unique and delightful drinking experience. It is often described as possessing an earthy and light quality, making it a popular choice among liquor enthusiasts.

When it comes to its tasting notes, Novo Fogo Cachaca offers a tantalizing blend of flavors. One can expect to detect hints of banana, lemon, and vanilla, adding layers of complexity to each sip.

The combination of these flavors creates a harmonious balance that is both refreshing and satisfying to the palate. Overall, Novo Fogo Cachaca is a must-try for those seeking a spirit with distinctive tasting notes that capture the essence of Brazil.

What is the best Chacaca under $30?

After conducting extensive research, we have determined that the best cachaça under $30 is Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça.

This particular cachaça hails from Brazil and boasts an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%. It has received rave reviews for its fresh sugar cane, citrus, and pepper tasting notes. Maria Silva, an esteemed lead bartender at Samba Kitchen in Miami, highly recommends Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça as her top choice for an affordable cachaça below $30.

She highlights its exceptional quality and smooth flavor profile, making it an ideal option for crafting traditional Brazilian cocktails like Caipirinhas and Batidas.

However, it is worth mentioning that this cachaça is also enjoyable when sipped neat. If you are searching for a budget-friendly cachaça that doesn’t compromise on taste, we strongly suggest giving Novo Fogo a try. Its impressive qualities make it a remarkable option within the specified price range.

What is the best rye whiskey under $30?

When it comes to finding a great rye whiskey without breaking the bank, there is one bottle that consistently gets high praise: 4-year-old bottled-in-bond Rittenhouse Rye from the Heaven Hill Distillery. With its affordable price point, Rittenhouse Rye is often regarded as the best rye whiskey under $30.

Many enthusiasts and experts recommend Rittenhouse as their go-to rye for classic cocktails like the Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Its rich flavors and balanced profile make it an ideal choice for these timeless drinks.

Coming in at a robust 100 proof, this rye stands up well to the dilution caused by ice, ensuring that your cocktail remains full-flavored even as it chills. Rittenhouse Rye from the Heaven Hill Distillery is beloved for its quality, offering a smooth and well-rounded taste experience that rivals more expensive options.

Its affordability and consistent performance make it a top contender in the search for the best rye whiskey at a wallet-friendly price. Whether you’re a cocktail enthusiast or simply looking to enjoy a quality rye whiskey without breaking the bank, the 4-year-old bottled-in-bond Rittenhouse Rye is a reliable choice under $30.

Final Verdict

These cheap mixed drinks don’t taste cheap and are still satisfying even at a low price. You can also try this in the convenience of your own home without needing bar cocktail equipment. 

In need of a cocktail muddler to mix coffee liqueur and vodka for your White Russian? Use a wooden spoon instead.

No cocktail shaker? Use your mason jar. Need to strain the cocktail from ice? Take out your fine mesh strainer. 


  1. Bay Breeze Cocktail
  2. 11 Ways to Save Money at the Bar
Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar