These Big-Batch Cocktails Are the Secret to Actually Enjoying Your Own Party

Updated 10/18/19
Big-batch cocktail recipes
Half Baked Harvest

Hosting a gathering for your friends and loved ones is undeniably satisfying, but the stress of pre-party preparations can be daunting enough to prevent you from inviting people over in the first place. That said, we've discovered a simple secret to taking the pressure off: big-batch cocktails. Whether you're hosting a casual Friendsgiving dinner or throwing an elaborate holiday bash, big-batch cocktails are the secret to actually enjoying your own party.

From spiced cranberry rosé spritzers to spiked hot chocolate, we're sharing the simple recipes you can make in advance to get the party started. With just a little effort (barely any, really) you can mix up these sippable beverages—and we promise no one will know you're lazy. Ahead is a collection of make-ahead, big-batch cocktail recipes that all but guarantee a stress-free gathering.

Spiced Cranberry Rosé Spritzers

Spiced cranberry rosé spritzers
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Brimming with spiced cranberry jam, sweet elderflower liquor, and woodsy rosemary, these spiced cranberry rosé spritzers are filled with seasonal winter flavors that'll carry you through Friendsgiving to New Year's Eve.

The Serving Tip: Garnish each beverage with a sprig of sugar-coated rosemary for an impressive presentation.

Williams Sonoma Plain Glass Pitcher $48
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Harvest Apple Ginger Spritz

Harvest apple ginger spritz
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Fresh apple juice, orange liqueur, and sage simple syrup come together in this harvest apple ginger spritz recipe.

The Serving Tip: Top with a splash of sparkling water just before serving so it doesn't lose its fizz. Garnish with a twist of orange peel and sage.

Schott Zwiesel Pure Double Old-Fashioned Glasses $50
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Paloma Fizz

Paloma fizz
Broma Bakery

The Recipe: Made with just three ingredients (tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice, this recipe for an effervescent Paloma fizz can easily be scaled to fill a pitcher.

The Serving Tip: Place coupe glasses and a bowl of edible flowers next to the pitcher of pre-made Palomas and let guests pour and garnish their own beverages.

Williams Sonoma Coupe Cocktail Glasses, Set of 4 $48
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Spiced Pumpkin Butter Punch

Spiced pumpkin butter punch
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Made with apple cider, freshly squeezed orange juice, and brandy, this spiced pumpkin butter punch looks just as festive as it tastes.

The Serving Tip: Add the fizzy ginger beer, pomegranate arils, and fresh apple slices to the punch just before serving.

Williams Sonoma Elios Pumpkin Tureen $120
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Holiday Sangria

Holiday sangria
The Modern Proper

The Recipe: Holiday sangria, made with sparkling apple cider, fresh cranberries, brandy, and seasonal spices, is a surefire crowd pleaser for any winter gathering.

The Serving Tip: Sangria is the ultimate make-ahead, big batch cocktail. Let the mixture sit overnight and garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary day-of.

Fruitsuper Design Brass Lift Coasters (Set of 4) $68
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Mulled Wine

Mulled wine
Broma Bakery

The Recipe: Aromatic, festive, and simple, this mulled wine, spiced with cinnamon, star anise, and cloves, takes just five minutes to make from start to finish. 

The Serving Tip: Serve in earthenware mugs and garnish with a slice of blood orange, a star anise, and a stick of cinnamon.

Farmhouse Pottery Silo Mug $46
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Spiked Hot Chocolate

Spiked hot chocolate
The Modern Proper

The Recipe: As soon as the temps drop, 'tis the season for hot cocktails as far as we're concerned. The secret to making truly delicious spiked hot chocolate is to opt for high-quality, 60% dark chocolate.

The Serving Tip: Serve with marshmallows—because, of course, you can't sip on hot chocolate without a marshmallow floating in your mug. 

All-cCad Tri-Ply 1 1/2 Qt. Saucepan $155 $80
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