Marisa Chafetz

Entertaining
6 Classy Gin Buckets

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The Gin Bucket is a time-honored, if not nationally known, college tradition that has spread to schools throughout the Midwest. All indications are that it began at Indiana University, where it is as much a party and tailgate staple as an IU sweatshirt. An authentic Gin Bucket is a punch made of gin, Fresca and whatever fruit or juice you have around. It’s served (of course) in a bucket, but instead of ladling it into cups, party goers use a turkey baster to suck up and inject the drink into their mouths.

But, as we have left our college days behind us, we wanted to give the Gin Bucket a much needed upgrade. Here, six recipes for improved, gussied up Gin Buckets. Just because the drinks are fancy though, doesn’t mean you can’t still serve them out of a bucket and turkey baster. We might be adults, but that doesn’t mean we’ve grown up.

Marisa Chafetz

One of the best things about a Gin Bucket is that it is almost impossible to mess up. It’s also endlessly easy to elevate. The secret to the Bloody Good Gin Bucket is the dry curaçao, which has a deep orange flavor that’s not too sweet. It gives the drink much more complexity than something you’d traditionally shoot down your throat with a turkey baster. The juniper-forward London Dry gin is balanced out by zesty fresh grapefruit juice and crisp Prosecco. Finally, the Aranciata Rossa blood orange soda doubles down on the orange flavors, making the whole thing taste like a spritzy, citrusy cup of joy.

The Essentials

London Dry Gin
prosecco
Grapefruit Juice
Dry Curaçao
Blood Orange Soda
Marisa Chafetz

This take on the college drink is inspired by Mediterranean flavors. A mix of ultra-tangy San Pellegrino Limonata, fresh grapefruit juice, Prosecco and gin (obviously), it’s as easy to make as anything you threw together in college, but much, much tastier. And the addition of basil makes it extra photo-friendly, as well as deliciously aromatic. Scale it up or down as you see fit, and serve it whenever you need to satiate a crowd of thirsty guests—it even works as a brunchtime cocktail.

The Essentials

London Dry Gin
San Pellegrino Limonata
Prosecco
Marisa Chafetz
This recipe proves that it doesn’t take much to give a rudimentary cocktail like the Gin Bucket a big upgrade. It’s a super simple bucket to throw together, especially if you’re short on time. But with sweetness from a whole bottle of sparkling wine and honey syrup, along with plenty of fresh lime juice, this is a sneakily well-balanced and refined punch. Be sure to garnish with plenty of lime wheels for the prettiest version possible.

The Essentials

Sparkling Wine
Dry Gin
Lime Juice
Marisa Chafetz
A ceremonial wooden bucket won each year by the victor in the Indiana/Purdue football game, the Old Oaken Bucket is another time-honored tradition at Indiana University. This variation on the classic Gin Bucket builds on that theme, swapping aged Old Tom gin in for the usual London Dry. Barr Hill Tom Cat, which is aged and sweetened with raw honey, adds nuance to the punch, while a topping of Champagne joins the traditional Fresca to dry out the sweetness and add extra fizz. The citrus garnish of choice is orange slices, which emphasize the aged gin’s sweet, round character.

The Essentials

Old Tom Gin
Champagne
Fresca
Marisa Chafetz

This take on the divey punch bucket gets a British hipster makeover. With richly sweet sloe gin and herbaceous yellow Chartreuse at the base, this Gin Bucket is boldly fruity and herbal. The slices of fresh strawberry and cucumber give it a Pimm’s Cup vibe, making it a perfect fit at brunch or your next summer garden party.

The Essentials

Sloe Gin
Yellow Chartreuse
sparkling rosé
Marisa Chafetz
We’re big fans of Cheerwine at Supercall, that sticky-sweet, cherry-flavored soda that’s been made by the same North Carolina family for more than 100 years. It reminds us of warm mornings spent on white sand beaches and lazy afternoons sipping ice cold drinks on front porches. The Porch Napper Gin Bucket is the physical embodiment of those feelings of finding purpose in doing absolutely nothing. Seersucker Southern Style Gin, with its notes of citrus, clove, honey and mint, is a perfect match for Cheerwine. Lime juice brightens the mix while bubbly club soda tempers the sweetness and adds some extra carbonation. Whether you’re mixing up a batch for a big family dinner or a raging summer bash, this cheery cherry gin bucket will make everyone forget their troubles for a glassful.

The Essentials

Seersucker Gin
Cheerwine
Soda water

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