How to Make the Best Casino-Quality Cocktails at Home

min read
Mixologist making a cocktail.
BetMGM Jan 16, 2023, 1:41 AM

Let’s be honest, casino table games and slots aren’t the main reason people love casinos so much. The bars and clubs in casinos hire world-class mixology experts to bring the most refreshing and unique cocktails and drinks to the table. But what if you’re playing online casino games and still want to experience some cocktail “genius” in the comfort of your home? We’re here to help!

Welcome to BetMGM’s Mixology 101 class. Our excellent tips to make the perfect cocktail will ensure you have a quality drink by your side (just don’t overdo it while you’re playing.) And don’t worry about getting left out if you’re a non-drinker because we’ve got some fabulous mocktail recipes for you, too! But first, let’s find out what mixology is and how it became “a thing.”

The history of mixology

The art of mixology combines an appreciation of classic cocktails with an innovative culinary approach that inspires new cocktail flavor combinations and experiences. The mixology discipline is what we have to thank for creating tantalizing concoctions such as the White Russian and the popular Negroni. 

Mixology dates back all the way to the 18th century when cocktails were partially inspired by “punches” that were enjoyed in British punch houses. Punches were big bowls of spirits mixed with fruit juice, spices and other flavors. But the British don’t take all the credit; American Jerry “Professor” Thomas is credited with evolving the true art of bartending. The prolific bartender worked all over America and Europe and wrote one of the first cocktail recipe books. His book, Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide: How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks, was first published in 1862.

Industrialization is responsible for the innovation of a key ingredient in cocktail culture: ice! Frederic “Ice King ” Tudor kept trying and failing to transport ice from colder climates to warmer ports until he finally succeeded and became a billionaire. This made it possible for ice to be available around the US and internationally, and the possibilities for cocktails – and cocktail consumption – exploded. 

Soon cocktails became a key ingredient for every party. Now, hosts who couldn’t hire bartenders had to take the mixology into their own hands and make their own cocktails. But you don’t need to throw a big party to make your own cocktails. Whip up a cocktail menu when you host a casino-themed party at home or make your favorite drink next time you relax and play live dealer blackjack. 

What you need to make cocktails at home

Cocktail-making tools displayed with mint leaves, ice, and lime slices.

The first step to making a great cocktail is to have the necessary tools at hand. Cocktail making is an art, and you’ll need these tools to perfect your craft! 

Here’s a list of the equipment and tools you need to have:

  • Jigger (measuring tool – also known as a “spirit measurer”)
  • Cocktail shaker 
  • Strainer 
  • Bar spoon
  • Muddler (to smash and mix the herbs)
  • Citrus juicer 
  • Channel knife (small spoon-shaped knife to cut thin spirals of citrus fruit for garnish – you’ll often find it as part of a zester)
  • Cocktail, highball and rocks glasses

The best cocktails to make at home

A date night at a casino never disappoints. But for added romance, putting in the extra effort will make your loved one feel even more special. If you feel like staying in for the next date night, bring the casino experience home and create one of the following cocktails to enjoy while you play slots or live dealer games like online roulette at a casino website. 

When you want to recreate a casino experience in the comfort of your home, you can use these easy cocktail recipes to make it truly authentic. If you’re a fan of online slots, you’ll have noticed some games feature Martini symbols. Now you get to turn those slot symbols into a real-life scrumptious drink! 

1. Martini

This simple-to-make but stylish drink is perhaps best known as one of James Bond’s favorites – although our version ignores his request for it to be “shaken, not stirred!”


  • 2½ oz gin
  • ½ oz dry vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Garnish: lemon twist


  • Add the gin, dry vermouth and orange bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until very cold.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Serve with a garnish of a lemon twist – a spiral of zest carefully removed using the special tool we mentioned earlier. (Tip: try to get unwaxed lemons to avoid a chemical taste in your drink!)

2. Poker Face

This cocktail is a wonderfully succulent, full-bodied concoction that gives a nod to one of the most popular casino games of all time!


  • 1½ oz tequila
  • ½ oz Cointreau
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • Garnish: lime wheels


The poker face is super-easy to make. Simply fill a highball glass most of the way with ice cubes. Pour in the liquid ingredients and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel, and serve!

3. Peruvian Pisco Sour

Peruvian Pisco Sour cocktail with lime, shaker and jigger.

Okay, so you’re probably wondering why you bothered to find a cocktail shaker. Well, here’s your chance to try it out! This drink is made with pisco, a colorless or yellowish brandy produced in Peru and Chile. You can always swap it for normal brandy if you’re having trouble finding it. If you like your drinks to be on the sour side, this juicy recipe’s worth a shot. 


  • 2 oz pisco
  • 1 oz simple syrup (also known as sugar syrup)
  • ¾ oz key lime juice (note: very tart lime is essential, but you can always use less sugar if you can’t find the proper stuff)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters


  • Add the pisco, syrup, lime juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice to fill, and shake vigorously. Alternatively, if you don’t have a shaker, you can use a blender.
  • Strain into an old-fashioned cocktail glass or rocks glass and sprinkle the bitters on top of the foam. Serve immediately.

4. Margarita

Ah, the classic Margarita… This lovely, sophisticated cocktail is well worth the preparation and is sure to impress your guests when you serve it. Here’s what you need and how to make it 


  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 lime wheels for garnish
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt, spread out on a plate
  • 4 oz high-quality white (blanco) tequila
  • 2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1½ oz fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)


  • Rub the lime wedge around the outer rims of 2 rocks (or lowball) glasses. Dip the rims in the salt and shake off any excess. Set aside. 
  • In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until chilled (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over.)
  • Fill the prepared glasses with fresh ice (if a longer version is desired,) and strain the Margarita into both glasses. Garnish each glass with a lime wheel and serve.

5. Piña Colada

If you can’t visit the Caribbean, this is the closest you can get from the comfort of your own home! No matter the weather, sipping this cocktail will have you conjuring white-sand beaches and palm trees aplenty in your mind. The secret to creating an authentic taste is to find the right kind of cream of coconut – alternatives just don’t quite cut it!


  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 1½ cups ice
  • 5 oz (½cup plus 2 tbsp) aged rum
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) cream of coconut (not coconut cream)
  • 4 oz (½ cup) pineapple juice
  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) lime juice
  • Cocktail cherry to garnish


  • Blend the frozen pineapple and ice until chunky.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnish, and blend until smooth.
  • Serve with a cocktail cherry and maybe an umbrella if you’re feeling flashy!

Bonus: Whiskey in the Jar

We couldn’t resist adding this MGM Grand exclusive drink. Even though the MGM Grand experience is unbeatable, you can make your own version of this famous drink when you play casino games at the BetMGM. Next time you visit an MGM location, make sure you order one to compare your mixology skills to the Grand’s bartenders.  


  • 120 ml of Bushmills whiskey
  • 3 to 4 ripe peaches (or concentrated peach juice)
  • 1/4 glass of unsweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar (or 4 tablespoons peach syrup)
  • Mint leaves
  • Ice cubes


  • Wash peaches then gently wipe them with a clean dry cloth. Use a peeler to peel peaches. Remove their pits.
  • Put quartered peaches, powdered sugar, whiskey, unsweetened condensed milk, ice cubes and some mint leaves in a blender. Mix everything for 1 to 2 minutes.
  •  Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator before pouring everything into large glasses or jars.
  • Add a few ice cubes when serving.

Easy mocktail recipes to make at home

Three mocktails displayed on a wooden table with cut-up fruit.

If you’re in search of a drink with exquisite taste but without any alcohol, we have some incredible mocktail recipes that won’t disappoint. Play real online casino games as you sip on your favorite mocktail at home, safe in the knowledge that it won’t put you off your stride! Here are our three favorite mocktail recipes:

1. Frozen Apple Margarita

Instead of tequila, you can make this classic cocktail with apple juice. It still has that classic, zingy flavor!


  • 1 tbsp coarse salt, spread out on a plate
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 2 cups sparkling apple juice
  • 2 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 4 slices of green apple
  • Lime zest, to serve


  • Place salt on a plate. Run the cut side of the lime around the rims of your serving glasses. Dip the outer rims in the salt to coat them and shake off any excess. 
  • Pour the sparkling apple juice, lime zest, lime juice and ice into a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour evenly among the glasses.
  • Decorate your Frozen Apple Margaritas with apple slices and lime zest and serve!

2. Watermelon ‘Nojitos’

Create a real summer flavor with watermelon and fresh mint – it’s a refreshing take on the alcoholic version.


  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 35 oz of watermelon, peeled, de-pipped and chopped
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 2 cups chilled soda water
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint, sprigs picked
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar, extra
  • 2 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • Ice cubes, to serve


  • Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Place the watermelon chunks in a blender, and pulse until smooth.
  • Place lime slices in a jug. Use a muddler or rolling pin to crush them slightly and release some of their juice. Add the blended watermelon, along with the soda water, lime juice and cooled sugar syrup. Stir to combine. Add the mint sprigs.
  • Combine the extra tablespoon of sugar with the lime zest on a small plate. Place ¼ cup water in a separate bowl. Dip the outer rim of each serving glass into the water and then into the sugar/zest mixture; shake off any excess. 
  • Divide the ice between the prepared glasses. Pour in the mocktail mixture and serve immediately.

3. Virgin Cucumber Gimlet

If you’re looking for a fresh-tasting drink for hot weather, you should definitely try making your own virgin Gimlet!


  • 1½ oz club soda
  • 4-5 slices of muddled cucumber
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup


This is so easy! Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Serve in a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a rolled cucumber slice, et voilà!

Responsible gambling and drinking in moderation

You might think you don’t have to watch your alcohol intake when you play at home because you won’t have to drive. Still, excessive drinking can impair your gambling and lead to costly mistakes. Set yourself a drink limit. If you’re playing skill-based games, avoid strong drinks with tequila and vodka. 

Whatever game you play, being drunk is going to cause more harm than good. Because both alcohol and gambling are addictive, excessive drinkers are more likely to become problem gamblers. If you feel yourself becoming intoxicated, pause and take a break until you feel more in control. 

Raise a glass to the best live dealer online casino with BetMGM

Now you’re ready to host a cocktail party your friends will never forget. With these sensational cocktail recipes in your arsenal, always remember to gamble and drink responsibly. At BetMGM, we encourage responsible gambling so our players can take full advantage of our incredible casino game catalog without making ill-advised decisions. 

Are you ready to play on the best online gambling site? Register with BetMGM to enjoy a wide variety of online slots, table games and so much more.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.