Make-ahead vs. last-minute: try these hassle-free batch cocktails for your next summer party

World Best Bar

Jul 06, 2020


Make-ahead vs. last-minute: try these hassle-free batch cocktails for your next summer party
If you’re hosting a large group of people, batch cocktails are the perfect way to ensure you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your friends.

Some people need to have everything ready the night before. Others love preparing everything on the day. The good news is, batch cocktails can adapt to whatever category you fall into.

For your next big gathering, keep your guests refreshed and the refills flowing with minimal effort thanks to these helpful tips and recipes.

Make-ahead: anything that needs infusing

Spirits, citrus peel and zest, fruits, spices and syrups all take time to blend together, adding layers to your drink and creating a harmonious taste. Once your cocktail has had time to infuse and your guests are beginning to arrive, take it out of the fridge and add a garnish that’s appealing not only to the eye, but to the nose and taste buds as well (fresh herbs, fruit peels, cinnamon sticks, etc.).

Here’s an insider tip: if, after infusion, your fruits have gone soft and your herbs have wilted, scoop them out with a slotted spoon or sieve. You can now add new fruits and herbs to freshen up the look of your mix.

Don’t throw the old ones out: you can still use them to make syrup!

Summer Fruit Sangria

For 1 punch bowl, 12 servings
Reduce by half for a 6-person pitcher

Pour 2 bottles (750 ml each) of dry white wine into your bowl. You can also use a light red wine if that’s what you prefer.

Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons, 2 oranges and 2 limes cut into wedges, seeds removed. Drop the squeezed wedges into the bowl.

Add 2 to 3 peaches cut into wedges and 2 cups sliced strawberries.

Add 1 cup sugar and a couple of cinnamon sticks.

Pour in 1 cup fresh lemonade or limeade and 3/4 cup apricot brandy or peach schnapps.

Stir well and let chill for about 6 hours to allow the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.

Right before serving, add ice and 4 cups of sparkling water.  Stir one last time and pour into wine glasses with a ladle.

Tropical Rum Punch

For 1 punch bowl, 12 servings
Reduce by half for a 6-person pitcher

In your punch bowl, combine 1/2 cup white rum, 1/2 dark rum, 2 cups of orange juice, 2 cups of pineapple juice, 1/2 cup of lime juice and 2/3 cups grenadine. 

Stir and let chill for a few hours. 

Stir once again before ladling into ice-filled glasses garnished with orange slices and maraschino cherries.

Last-minute: anything with bubbles

If your cocktail calls for a sparkling beverage as a main ingredient, then you should mix it just as your guests are arriving. Any earlier and it will lose all its fizz. 

If you’re only using it as a topper, you can make the first steps ahead and pour your sparkling beverage at the last minute. This technique is perfect for pitchers – large punch bowls are likely going to sit out for longer, giving your cocktail more time to dilute and lose its bubbles. In this case, it’s best to top up each glass individually at the moment of serving. 

Champagne Punch

For 1 punch bowl, 12 servings
Reduce by half for a 6-person pitcher

Pour 2 bottles (750 ml each) of chilled brut champagne or dry sparkling wine into your bowl. 

Add 4 cups of chilled ginger ale and 4 oz of Grand Marnier or triple sec. 

Add 1 cup of assorted frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries…) and a couple of handfuls of fresh basil or mint (around 20 leaves).

Stir with a ladle and serve.

Mojito Pitcher

For 1 large pitcher, serves 6
NB: Since the recipe calls for muddling, we don’t recommend using a punch bowl for this one. Prepare more pitchers if you need larger quantities.

Cut 6 limes into eights and drop them in your pitcher. 

Add 4 tablespoons granulated sugar and muddle well until juiced using a muddler, a wooden spoon or the end of a rolling pin. 

Pick the leaves from a mint sprig and lay them on the palm of your hand. Clap your other hand to gently bruise the leaves and drop them in with your limes. Repeat this operation 3 more times (you need 4 to 5 mint sprigs, around 40 leaves total). 

Stir in 1 cup of white rum until the sugar is dissolved. 

Fill your pitcher three quarters up with ice cubes and top up with sparkling water, 3 to 4 cups. 

Stir once more, then pour into tall glasses over ice.

Garnish with a lime wedge, a sprig of mint and a drop or two of angostura bitters.

Elegant, low on alcohol and ready in a flash, these 3 Spritz variations are your new summer BFFs

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