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
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.
Harvest Apple Ginger Spritz
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.
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.
Spiced Pumpkin Butter Punch
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.
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.
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.
Spiked Hot Chocolate
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.