There’s nothing quite like pairing an ice cold brew with burgers and kebabs at a summer barbecue. It’s crisp, refreshing and super easy to crack open a can whenever you need a refill, but sometimes we want a drink with a little more oomph. While you could always whip up a Gin & Tonic or Spritz on a whim, it’s not always guaranteed that you have the ingredients on-hand. Plus, no one wants to step away from a great party just to make a cocktail. That’s why it’s always best to come prepared. We’re talking about drinks you can make in advance, stash in the fridge and take with you wherever you go. Whether you prefer tropical rum drinks or something a little fancier, here are the five best cocktails to batch before your next summer barbecue.
5 Make-Ahead Cocktails to Serve at Summer Barbecues
Fancy cocktails and barbecues don’t typically make the best of friends—anything that requires shaking or more than three ingredients is just too much work for a relaxing outdoor day. But if you want to class-up a chill backyard gathering with a classy drink, the French 75 is perfect for the occasion. Whip up a big batch of the base—gin or cognac with lemon juice and simple syrup—by turning the ounces into cups, and then have some sparkling wine on hand to top off each drink. And no need for fancy Champagne flutes—plastic cups will do just fine.
If you want to give people a taste of the tropics and a small dose of nostalgia at your next barbecue, whip up a batch of this rummy, gallon-sized cocktail. It blends white rum with a medley of fruit juices that might remind you of a certain fruit punch you drank as a child (cough, Hi-C, cough). It can be made a day or two ahead of time so all the flavors meld together, or you can whip it up in a jiff a few minutes before drinking. Either way, it’s sure to be a hit.
Plenty of iced tea companies have capitalized on the rich, soothing flavors of peaches by adding them to their sweet tea. But why opt for one of those chemically-enhanced, pre-packaged bottles when you can create a boozy batch of it yourself? This recipe, which combines vodka, peach schnapps and classic Lipton iced tea, is topped with fresh peaches and can easily be made as a single drink or big batch. It’s the ideal pick-me-up after you’ve plucked one too many hotdogs off the grill.
Lipton’s Iced Tea, to top
Sweet-tart sour cocktails are perfect for cutting through classic barbecue foods like fatty burgers and creamy potato salad. Luckily, this delightful Pisco Punch comes in size extra large. All you need is a bottle of pisco, fresh lemon juice and pineapple gomme syrup. It’s one tangy punch your friends will be talking about for years to come.
pineapple gomme syrup
When it comes to refreshing summer snacks, everything pales in comparison to the crisp, sweet crunch of watermelon. This take on classic Sangria combines the thirst-quenching fruit with another pink summer staple: Rosé. It’s spiked with watermelon liqueur and gets a tart twang from a healthy dose of lemon juice. Go ahead—try to only have one glass.