Whether you’re hosting a classy dinner party, a game day throwdown or an al fresco extravaganza, the last thing you want to worry about is mixing and serving cocktails individually throughout the night. Instead, keep your guests’ thirst quenched and your hands free for more important tasks—like enjoying a drink yourself—by serving a punch or large-batch cocktail. Here, eight make-ahead, party-sized drinks to fuel your next event. They’re easy to prep the day before or morning of your event, and ready to go the second you need them.
7 Big Batch Cocktails to Make Ahead of Time
This classic brandy and fruit-fortified red wine cocktail is as easy to make as it is to drink. Try the traditional red recipe or opt for one of its many variations, like this Watermelon Rosé Sangria or White Sherry Sangria.
This punch is the perfect gateway into pisco. The light and funky liquor mixes with pineapple gomme syrup and sour lemon juice for a bright and tangy tropical refreshment that gets better and better the longer it sits.
pineapple gomme syrup
Not all punches are laden with fruit and sweet liqueurs. This pungent, whiskey-based punch is bitter, spicy and ideal for a stiff-drinking crowd. Whole bottles of rye whiskey, dark amaro and Cognac come together with black tea, Angostura bitters and fresh lemon juice for a supremely balanced and surprisingly food-friendly sipper.
Black Tea, Iced
A zesty, gooey oleo saccharum is they key to a truly impressive punch, and it’s non-negotiable in this large-batch take on a classic New York Sour. The oils released from the macerated citrus peels form a flavorful base, which blends seamlessly with lemonade and jammy red wine. Spicy rye whiskey keeps the sweetness at bay.
This punch is a jumbo version of the Siesta cocktail, which, in turn, is a take on the Hemingway Daiquiri. Tequila and ruby grapefruit juice are the strong backbone of this drink, while supporting players Cappelletti Aperitivo and smoked salt simple syrup add complexity. Ideal for outdoor parties, all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into a gallon-sized container, shake it up and go.
One of the greatest drinks to come out of pre-Revolutionary America, this giant cocktail was the signature tipple at its namesake gentlemen’s club in Philadelphia. President George Washington was known to throw back a few glasses of the powerful mix of dark rum, peach brandy and Cognac. It’s said he couldn’t bring himself to write in his diary for three days after drinking the stuff. If it was good enough to knock a founding father off his feet for a few days, it’s certainly good enough for you.
This classic house party drink is a go-to for two reasons: It’s dead easy to make with whatever you have around the house, and you can prepare it way ahead of time. Just pour everything into one big bowl (or pitcher or trash can) and store it in the fridge. When it comes time to get the party started, add ice and commence celebrating.