A delicious, fragrant cocktail is one way to get the party started when hosting guests. If you'd rather let go of the responsibility of playing bartender all night, the best way to make sure everyone has plenty to drink is with a few big-batch cocktails. That way everyone is free to serve themselves (and go back for as many refills as they want), leaving you with more time to enjoy the evening with the people you've brought together.
If you pride yourself on your mixology skills, fret not—big-batch cocktails can be just as elevated as any other handcrafted cocktail. Make them in advance and display your creation in a chic pitcher or serving bowl.
Ahead, discover 20 big-batch cocktails that are so much more than a simple spiked punch and are sure to make any party a smash.
Sweet Bourbon Peach Lemonade
This pitcher-friendly sweet bourbon peach lemonade from Half Baked Harvest calls for just three simple, fresh ingredients and it will only set you back five minutes in the kitchen. Combine lemonade, ripe peaches, and bourbon in a blender and serve.
Pro tip: Top drinks with a juicy peach slice and a fragrant sprig of thyme for a little something special.
Roasted Cherry Sangria
A refreshing, big-batch cocktail fit for any occasion, this roasted cherry sangria from Foodie Crush will please any crowd. Because it's sangria, which calls for a bit of extra time for the ingredients to soak together, you'll want to make this drink the day before an event. Roast sweet cherries in the oven with just a sprinkle of sugar. Then you'll add them into a pitcher of red zinfandel and Kirsch liqueur with orange slices. Top with cava rosé, and garnish with mint or basil leaves when it comes time to drink up.
Pro tip: Allow cherries to cool completely after roasting.
Pomegranate Pink Lemonade Punch
This cocktail is as festive as they come. Flavors of pomegranate swirl with tangy lemon and orange. And, of course, the fizzy drink from Hello Glow wouldn't be complete without a healthy splash of Champagne. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large pitcher or bowl, and save the Champagne for after each drink has been poured.
Pro tip: Top the creation with a few pomegranate seeds and sprigs of thyme for a photo-ready cocktail.
Sparkling Sage Grapefruit Cocktail
Upgrade your punch bowl with this recipe for a sparkling sage grapefruit cocktail from Salt & Wind. It calls for vodka, sparkling wine, fresh grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, and simple syrup (is your mouth watering yet?) Pour the concoction over ice, and top with a delicate sage leaf to garnish. It smells just as good as it tastes, delighting the senses.
Pro tip: Since this recipe serves three to four, double or triple the recipe to make it a big-batch cocktail.
Winter Tea Rum Punch
This warming big-batch cocktail calls for cinnamon and other spiced teas, ginger beer, honey, dark rum, and orange juice. According to Sugar Salted, creator of this winter tea rum punch, the honey and ginger beer gives this recipe "that perfect kick to this punch."
Pro tip: While the recipe yields four servings, click the "2X" or "3X" icons to scale the recipe up. And, don't be afraid to garnish with sugar swizzle sticks for extra pizzaz.
Smoked Whiskey Apple Cider Cocktail
This big-batch cocktail will warm you up no matter how chilly the weather may be outside. The smoked whiskey apple cider recipe from Salt & Wind calls for apple cider, apples, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange, honey, lapsang tea (a smoke-dried, black tea from China), and your choice of rum, whiskey, or bourbon. All of these ingredients come together for a spicy, smoky, sweet, cocktail perfect for a crowd.
Pro tip: Steep tea to your desired strength, between 4–6 minutes.
Whip up a big batch of the classic Pimm's cup cocktail with this recipe from The Modern Proper. For the uninitiated, Pimm's is a gin-based liqueur made with a special mix of herbs to give it its signature taste. Just pour lemon San Pellegrino, Pimm's No.1, lemon juice, cucumber, strawberries, and basil in a pitcher to mix.
Pro tip: As this recipe serves four, double or triple the recipe to make enough for a larger crowd, or for a smaller group to have a second tipple.
Traditional White Sangria
For a more traditional big batch cocktail, try your hand at this white sangria from Minimalist Baker. It will only take you about 15 minutes to make, so you'll be hands-free during a party. Muddle up some citrus fruits and sugar; then add apple brandy and fruit slices before topping with white wine. Stir it up, and add ice or frozen berries to keep it chilled.
Pro tip: Opt for in-season fruits wherever you're located, or anything that blends well with beverages, advises Minimalist Baker—think blackberries, oranges, figs.
Raspberry Granita Rosé Cocktails
This raspberry granita rosé cocktail from Sugar Salted is the perfect make-ahead big-batch cocktail (although it does require a bit of assembly for each individual drink.) The part you can make in advance all at once is the raspberry granita, which calls for water, sugar, and frozen raspberries.
Pro tip: The blended frozen mixture can stay in the freezer for a few days, giving you plenty of time to prep for a gathering. When you're ready to serve, dish out the granita, and top with elderflower syrup, crushed ice, mint leaves and rosé.
This holiday sangria from The Modern Proper is just the thing to get any party started and no one will know just how easy it is to make. Combine ingredients like sparkling apple cider, red wine, brandy, cranberries, oranges, apples, and cinnamon and allow the flavors to meld together in a refrigerator overnight. Serve over ice with a sprig of rosemary to bring it all together.
Pro tip: Use cranberry-apple juice to make your cocktail an even deeper red color, says The Modern Proper; and adjust the sugar to taste (or omit.)
Spicy Raspberry Jalapeño Margarita
Add a spicy kick to your typical margarita recipe with Hola Jalapeños spicy raspberry jalapeño margarita. The raspberry syrup and jalapeño-infused tequila can be made ahead of time. When you're ready to enjoy, all that's left to do is combine them with lime juice and more tequila. To garnish, rim glasses with spicy cocktail or kosher salt, and finish with fresh lime wedges.
Pro tip: Click the icons "2X" or "3X" to scale up the recipe between 10–20 servings.
Piña Colada Punch
Tropical island vibes are one batch away with Yes to Yolk's recipe for piña colada punch. Round up some pineapple juice, cream of coconut (note: Not coconut milk), soda or seltzer water, lime juice, and rum. All of these (chilled) ingredients go into a big bowl, along with a frozen fruit ring you'll make with slices of limes, maraschino cherries, kiwis, and more pineapple juice that you'll pour into a mold.
Pro tip: Yes to Yolks recommends chilling the pineapple juice and cream of coconut before mixing the cocktail, and wants everyone to know that using cream of coconut instead of coconut milk will give the beverage a more intense coconut flavor and a thicker consistency. And, make sure to whisk really, really well.
Fizzy Pineapple Punch
During hot southern Ohio summers, The Chunky Chef turns to this recipe for fizzy pineapple punch. In a large pitcher, combine pineapple juice, limeade, club soda, and assorted fruits, and either vodka or rum. Refrigerate until cold, then garnish with mint. You can also freeze mint in the ice cubes for extra-fun presentation.
Pro tip: Top each cocktail with soda water for extra fizz.
This grapefruit mojito recipe by Melanie Makes requires only a handful of ingredients: Grapefruit juice, simple syrup, limes, club soda, and rum. You can make the simple syrup ahead of time, and when you're ready, combine all ingredients; and save some grapefruit slices for garnish.
Pro tip: This recipe serves four, so double or triple this recipe for a crowd.
This summer-ready frosé features organic rosé wine and superfood powders (goji and camu camu, specifically), as well as frozen strawberries and watermelon. To make this superfood frosé from Root + Revel, combine these ingredients in a blender, adding ice and wine to your desired consistency.
Pro tip: This recipe serves two, so multiply the recipe to your desired serving size. And Root and Revel recommends adding 3 ounces of Campari to the blender for a tinge of bitterness to balance all of the sweet.
Pineapple Orange Party Punch
In addition to alcoholic ginger beer and spiced rum, the only other ingredients you'll need for Sugar and Charm's pineapple orange party punch are orange juice, pineapple juice, and orange, lemon, and pineapple slices. Combine in a large punch bowl, and store in the fridge until you're ready to party!
Pro tip: Sugar and Charm recommends adding ice to the punch bowl ten minutes before you're ready to serve.
Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Rum
While Boulder Locavore's recipe for slow cooker hot buttered rum takes five minutes to prep, be mindful that it will take nearly six hours to "cook," so plan your party accordingly; the resulting beverage will be worth it. You'll need a number of ingredients too: Cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla bean, allspice berries, dark rum, and whipping cream.
Pro tip: Make it a mocktail with rum extract instead.
Apple Cider Mezcal Margarita
For a unique twist on the margarita, try this apple cider mezcal margarita from How Sweet Eats. This recipe calls for apple cider, mezcal, Gran Marnier or orange, cinnamon, allspice, cane and coarse sugar, lime, and apple slices for garnish.
Pro tip: Multiply this recipe for the desired number of servings you're after so the entire party can enjoy.
Spiked Iced Peach Green Tea
This refreshing, "grown-up" version of iced tea stars peaches, which are at its seasonal peak during summer. To whip up this spiked iced peach green tea recipe by Le Petite Eats, you'll need green tea (best when brewed fresh), fresh peaches, gin, sparkling water, a dash of bitters, and lemon to garnish.
Pro tip: Le Petite Eats says, "If you multiply this recipe by 5 you’ll wind up with a batch that makes 10-12 drinks."
Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade
According to food blogger Life As A Strawberry, this recipe for blackberry whiskey lemonade was inspired by a blackberry bourbon cocktail she enjoyed at Yardbird in Miami. This at-home version features fresh blackberries and sugar to make the simple syrup needed, whiskey, lemon juice, tonic water and sparkling wine, and rosemary sprigs as garnish.
Pro tip: When making the simple syrup, Life As A Strawberry says that you may not need to add water if your blackberries are especially ripe and juicy. This recipe serves four, so multiply the recipe accordingly.