Surely you still have some time to throw a few more summer parties? Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a big blow-out bash, summer cocktails are always a hit with party guests on a hot day. When you think of cocktails, you might imagine a bartender wearing a fancy bow tie serving some crazy concoctions that require 50 different specialty ingredients to make. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are five different cocktails that are easy to make in big batches. They’re sure to leave your guests thinking you must have just completed a mixology class!
1. Fresh Watermelon Mojitos
If you want a drink that’s sure to be a hit and look like you really know what you’re doing behind the bar, the Fresh Watermelon Mojito is a great choice.
1 cup simple syrup
50 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (approximately five limes)
1 cup white rum
Blend watermelon in the blender until pureed. (Optional: Strain to remove some of the pulp.) Measure out two cups of the strained watermelon juice.
Place fresh mint in the bottom of a large pitcher. Add a little bit of the watermelon juice and muddle to release the flavors of the mint.
Add remaining watermelon juice, fresh lime juice, 2/3 cup simple syrup, and rum. Fill the entire pitcher with ice. Top with soda.
Adjust sweetness with additional simple syrup if desired. Garnish with additional lime, mint, and watermelon slices.
Serve immediately; makes six servings.
2. Two Ingredient Champagne Punch
The perfect cocktail for a wedding shower or even just a girls night in, this champagne cocktail is incredibly easy to make.
1 750ml bottle champagne, sparkling wine, or prosecco
1/2 cup raspberry sorbet (or your favorite flavor sorbet)
Fresh raspberries (or your favorite fruit)
3. Summer Berry Sangria
Sangria is a classically sweet drink that puts a sweet, fruity spin on standard wine. Get creative with this one by swapping out different berries every time you make it.
1 cup orange liqueur
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 bag frozen mixed berries
1.5 Liter bottle of Blackberry Merlot
Fruit-flavored carbonated soda of your choice
- Add orange liqueur to a large pitcher or container.
- Add the orange, lemon, and lime slices.
- Add the frozen mixed berries and stir.
- Pour in the Blackberry Merlot, cover the pitcher, and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Pour the chilled cocktail into ice-filled glasses, leaving about an inch to top off with soda. Makes six to eight servings.
4. Three Ingredient Margaritas
If you need to serve a lot of people on a tight budget, this recipe is an excellent option.
2 12oz cans of frozen Minute Maid Limeade
4 oranges (or 1 1/2 cups orange juice and 1 orange)
3 to 3 1/2 cups tequila
- Empty limeade into margarita container and add four cans of water per can.
- Stir till frozen limeade is fully dissolved.
- Squeeze or juice all but one orange.
- Add tequila and mix.
- Slice the leftover orange and add to mix.
- Salt glass and serve over ice. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
5. Simply Sweet Gin Punch
If your friends are a bit pickier with what they drink and don’t enjoy typically fruity tropical drinks, you might want to give this gin cocktail a whirl.
4 cups citrusy gin
4 cups fresh grapefruit juice
2 cups fresh lemonade
1–2 cups honey simple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
1 bottle sparkling water
Several lemon, lime and/or grapefruit wheels for garnish
- Make the honey simple syrup: combine two cups each of water and raw honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until sugar is fully dissolved. Let cool completely.
- In a large drink dispenser or punch bowl carefully combine gin, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup. Stir gently and store in fridge if making ahead.
- Slice citrus into wheels and store in fridge if making ahead.
- Ten minutes before you’re ready to serve, add lots of ice and sparkling water. Float citrus wheels on top.
- Pour over fresh ice. Makes 10 to 12 servings.