DIY cocktails for broke ass college students

Stay cheap, my friends!

Making good homemade cocktails can be stressful, especially when you're on a college budget. You wanna be cool and classy, and even save some money brewing drinks at home to avoid drunkenly purchasing too many overpriced mules.

But there's so many ingredients to buy, and little money to spend. Acquiring the potions necessary to create your elixir can easily drive a hole in your wallet. The idea was to save money, but done wrong, you could be broke AF by the end of the weekend.

Not to worry! Read on to learn how you can craft together bomb-ass drinks while staying on top of your budget this semester.

The Woo Woo

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The Woo Woo is pretty much a vodka cranberry with a twist. It tastes best with ice, and the recipe is simple.

First, fill a cup with ice. Next, add 2 oz. of unflavored vodka. If you were about to use Rubinoff, throw it in the trash; there are way better and cheap alternatives to rubbing alcohol. Try using Smirnoff or Popov, both are relatively cheap. Add 1 oz. of peach schnapps to your drink (this part will be the difference-maker, giving it a sweet flavor). After that, fill the rest of your cup to the top with cranberry juice. You can choose to garnish this drink with a lime wedge, but that is completely up to you.

If you don't overspend on vodka, this shouldn't cost more than 30 bucks.

The Whiskey Cider

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The whiskey cider is a great fall drink; its combination of apple cider, cinnamon, and whiskey gives it its signature flavor. You also have the option to have it with or without ice; either choice won't make a big difference. To maximize the cinnamon flavor, you can likewise opt to include a cinnamon whiskey (i.e. Fireball).

What's great about the whiskey cider is that you have the freedom to choose how strong it is. If you want it to be light, put 2 oz. of cinnamon whiskey into a glass and fill the rest up with apple cider. On the other hand, if you want a stronger mixture, use about 5 oz. of whiskey and fill the rest with cider. Feel free to get creative by using spiked ciders as a mixer, preferably Angry Orchard.

Altogether, if you buy a whiskey that costs in the vicinity of $20, this shouldn't cost you more than 30 bucks.

The Screwdriver

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The screwdriver is another cocktail that only requires 2 ingredients: vodka and orange juice. This drink is pretty cheap depending on which vodka you purchase, and you can use any unflavored vodka such as Smirnoff, Svedka, or Popov (again, anything but Rubi).

A screwdriver is best served chilled, so you'll want to fill your glass with ice to start. Then, pour in anywhere from 1.5 oz. to 2 oz. of vodka and top it off with OJ. Garnishes are optional, but, if you're feeling fancy, use an orange wedge as decoration.

This shouldn't cost you more than $25.

The Tequila Sunrise

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The tequila sunrise is a very popular drink that most college students enjoy, probably because it tastes sweet as hell. To make this, you'll need 3 ingredients, plus ice. These include: tequila, orange juice, and grenadine.

This recipe is pretty simple; it starts by filling your glass with ice. Next, pour in about 2 oz. of tequila, and fill the rest of your glass with OJ. At the end, add a dash of grenadine. You'll notice that the grenadine sinks to the bottom of the glass. This drink thus tastes rather strong with the first sip, but, as your keep drinking, you'll feel the sweetness of the grenadine take over your taste buds.

This might seem expensive at first glance, but if you break it down by ingredient it's not bad. For tequila, you're probably going to pay a little over $20. Jose Cuervo Silver may be your best bet. Orange juice shouldn't cost more than $5, and grenadine, which is a red food coloring syrup, should be around $3 to $4.

The Blue Lagoon

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The blue lagoon takes the top spot on this list; once you taste it you'll understand why. This drink has the option of being made with or without ice, and the ingredients are: tequila, blue curaçao (a blue liqueur made from citrus fruits) and lemonade. The tropical flavor of the blue lagoon is very smooth, so once you start making this it's a sure bet that your friends will be asking for more.

Start by pouring 2 oz. of vodka into a glass, followed by 1 oz. of blue curaçao. Fill the rest of the cup with lemonade to enhance the flavor. If you want to make it fancy you can garnish this with a lemon wedge, but again that's up to you.

Before you think this is way out of your budget, relax; blue curaçao costs about $10. Combine that with a bottle of lemonade and a cheap vodka under $20, and this should amount to around $30.

So there ya go. These 5 simple cocktail recipes are great to try out, and they won't make you go bankrupt in the process. So, go ahead, knock yourself out.

UMass Amherst