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22 Big Batch Cocktail Recipes for All Your Summer BBQ Needs

Put them in a pitcher (or a fishbowl) and grab some straws.

by Munchies Staff
25 May 2018, 9:11am

Photo by Jack Newton.

Warm weather is the time for spontaneous entertaining. Does the sunset look really good from your roof tonight? Get the crew together real quick. Just feeling an irresistible urge to get in the car and head to the beach? Now it’s a road trip with all of your friends in tow. This is not the season for fussy cocktails with dozens of ingredients that keep you chained to a cocktail shaker while everyone else at the party gets to actually have fun. Summer is the season for mixing a big batch of something light and refreshing that you can keep in the fridge or the cooler all afternoon, so everyone can serve themselves. This is the season to make a big bowl of punch and keep it cold with a ring of ice you made out of a Bundt cake mould. Here’s some of the best warm-weather, big-batch beverages the MUNCHIES staff will be sipping on this summer for inspiration.

Nationally-acclaimed bartender Elad Zvi made this recipe for a single serving, but just look at how beautiful it looks all gussied up in a party-sized punch bowl. Use whatever edible flowers you can get your hands on.

What is more appropriate for summer than drinking a cocktail out of a hollowed-out fruit? Stick a couple straws into this pineapple for a summery, adult version of sharing a single milk shake with two straws, like something straight out of an Archie comic.

Pick your poison to spike this fresh-squeezed limeade with. Gin, vodka, or even mezcal would make for a tasty and refreshing big-batch cocktail with this as the base.

You certainly don’t have to serve this potent-as-heck drink in a hermit crab tank like you might win on the boardwalk. But why not get a little weird with your glassware this summer?

Not only does this watermelon slushie recipe serve a crowd, you can get all Pinterest-y with it and use the hollowed-out watermelon as a punch bowl when you’re ready to serve it.

The bitterness of the dark stout balances with the sweet, syrupy condensed milk in this punch, and then the whole thing is tipped right over the edge into perfection with an extra splash of overproof Jamaican rum.

Dandelion and burdock root soda is like a British version of root beer or sarsaparilla soda. With a gose-style beer and a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, this is a sweet-tart shandy you can sip all day long.

The mint-infused honey syrup that sweetens this cocktail is where all the summery flavor comes from. Garnishing with a rainbow of edible flowers adds to the festiveness, too, of course.

Jenever is the juniper-infused national beverage of the Netherlands, and you can think of it as sort of a grandparent to the gin we drink today. So if you can’t get your hands on jenever, a juniper-forward gin will do. Make a big batch in a pitcher and garnish with sprigs of lemon thyme.

Pisco is a colorless brandy made in South America, but pisco punch as we know it is a definitive San Francisco institution. (It’s such a storied cocktail that it got its own documentary in 2017.)

What’s better for a summer party than a pitcher of from-scratch margaritas? A pitcher of from-scratch margaritas with some beers tipped into it for extra good times.

This recipe comes from Katey Red, a born and bred New Orleanian and bounce musician, so you know it’s better than any bottled syrupy mess of daiquiri mix. Get out of here with that nonsense.

Marinating whatever fruit you’re using in this sangria in the brandy and Cointreau for a few hours first releases all of those good berry and peach flavors that will pair well with a fruity red wine.

Believe it or not, bartenders actually love bulk-store brand liquors. (Here’s why.) So you could go above and beyond and get some top-shelf añejo tequila for this cocktail, but the true MUNCHIES way is to hit up your local Costco.

Chicago-based chef Stephanie Izard recommends not serving this over ice to skip that awful water-diluted-orange-juice flavor. “So make sure all your ingredients are really fucking cold, ok?” she says.

Everyone’s garnishing cocktails with skewers of rosemary nowadays, but a highly underrated herb for beverages is the soft but potent tarragon. This punch, with brandy, rum, and prosecco, is still rather mild, with quite a bit of grape juice to cut the alcohol to a reasonable level. Safe to sip for the duration of a backyard barbecue, we’d say.

With vodka, sherry, and a Brazilian banana liqueur, this punch turns into basically a giant adult snow cone when you pour it all over a big bowl of crushed ice. This is your new summer party trick.

It comes as a surprise to pretty much no one that America’s earliest politicians liked a stiff drink. No one seems to know what Daniel Webster’s punch recipe actually was, but this version of the congressman’s drink from New York cocktail bar Porchlight has enough booze to fully knock you on your ass if you’re not careful. Drink slowly.

Use the best quality bottled banana juice you can find, and combine the turmeric with the citrus juices and honey before shaking this drink for the best success.

You probably thought you didn’t need a recipe for gin and juice, didn’t you? We promise this is better than just Ocean Spray and whatever gin you have lying around.

There’s a reason why shandies are so popular in the summer—they’re easy and way more refreshing than beer alone. No need to get fancy with some microbrew—stick with Coors for a cheap, delicious party punch.

Prata cachaça is a liquor distilled from fermented cane sugar juice, so it’s a little funkier and more distinct than sugarcane rum, but you can definitely substitute the latter in this sweet, fruity punch.

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big batch cocktails
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