7 Crowd-Pleasing Cocktails for Your Next Party

Please Note: The key to a great cocktail is fresh fruit juice! In the pursuit of cocktail perfection, the choice of ingredients becomes paramount. Understandably, time is often of the essence, but the extra minutes invested in squeezing fresh fruit are unequivocally worth the effort.  

Following the cocktail recipes, you’ll find instructions for preparing the syrups plus notes on citrus quantities. 

(All recipes with the exception of the Sangria are scaled to one 750 mL bottle of the main liquor for 12-15 servings)

Rose Sangria

INGREDIENTS

3 limes, plus more for garnish

1 12 to 16 ounce strawberries

1 6 ounce raspberries 

1 6 ounce blueberries

2 750 mL bottles Rose  

6 cups club soda

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the limes and slice into wheels. Rinse the berries, remove leaves, and slice.

Add the berries and limes to a drink dispenser, pitcher or punch bowl and pour the wine over the top of the berries.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to serve, add the club soda to the wine and fruit mixture.

Serve in a glass over ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

This recipe is best in the late spring and summer when you can find the best berries at your local farmers market!

Pimm’s Cup

INGREDIENTS

1 750 mL bottle Pimm’s

1  cup Cucumber Juice

1 cup Lemon Juice

1 cup Simple Syrup* 

Club Soda or Ginger Ale

Mint

Strawberries 

DIRECTIONS

Combine Pimm’s, juices and simple syrup in a pitcher and stir.

Serve over ice in a highball glass, top with club soda or ginger ale.

Garnish with a mint sprig and strawberry.

The Pimm’s Cup is a versatile and customizable cocktail, so feel free to experiment with the fruit combinations, garnishes  and adjust ingredient quantities based on your preferences. Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based spirit with a blend of spices and fruit extracts, giving the cocktail its distinctive flavor. It’s the perfect drink for warm days, garden parties, or any occasion where a light and flavorful beverage is in order. Cheers!

Ginger Rose Paloma

INGREDIENTS

1 750 mL bottle Tequila

¾ cup Lime Juice

3 cups Grapefruit Juice

1 teaspoon Rose Water

Ginger Beer

Rosemary

Grapefruit Wedge

DIRECTIONS

Stir tequila, juices and rose water to combine in a pitcher or drink dispenser.

Serve in a glass over ice, top with ginger beer and garnish with rosemary sprig and grapefruit wedge. 

Rose water is extremely potent, a little bit goes a long way! I prefer just a hint of rose flavor but add more if you prefer a stronger essence. When serving this at a wedding last summer we garnished with an edible flower, nasturtiums! Rose petals would look lovely, too. To make this extra gingery, add a tablespoon or so of fresh ginger juice. 

Lavender Lemonade

INGREDIENTS

1 750 mL bottle Gin or Vodka

1  cup Lemon Juice

1 cup Lavender Simple Syrup*

3 cups Water

Lemons

Lavender Sprigs

DIRECTIONS

Prepare Lavender Simple Syrup*

Roll lemons on a countertop to release more juice, then cut and squeeze them to yield approximately 1 cup of fresh lemon juice. 

In a large pitcher, combine the freshly squeezed lemon juice, prepared lavender simple syrup and stir well to ensure the sugar is fully incorporated into the lemon juice.

Add water and gin or vodka and stir to combine.

Serve over ice and garnish each glass with a slice of lemon and a sprig of lavender for an extra touch of freshness and visual appeal.

Sit back, relax, and savor the homemade goodness of your refreshing lemonade. Perfect for sunny days, picnics, or any occasion calling for a zesty and thirst-quenching beverage.

You can adjust the water quantity based on your preferred level of sweetness and tartness. 

Basil Gimlet

INGREDIENTS

1 750 mL bottle Gin 

1.5 cup Lime Juice

1 cup Simple Syrup*

Basil (5 leaves per serving)

DIRECTIONS

Combine gin, lime juice and simple simple syrup into a pitcher or drink dispenser.

Fill a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice cubes, add combined mixture and 4 basil leaves per serving. 

Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. 

Strain into coupe glass and garnish with a basil leaf. 

An alternative to shaking each cocktail individually is to create a pitcher by incorporating an ample quantity of basil leaves. Add a touch of cold water and ice to facilitate the chilling and dilution of the ingredients. Avoid using a drink dispenser as the basil leaves may clog the spout. 

This Basil Gimlet is perfect for those who appreciate a cocktail with a herbal kick. Whether you’re enjoying it on a warm afternoon or as an evening treat, this cocktail is sure to delight your taste buds.

PENICILLIN

INGREDIENTS

1 750 mL bottle of Blended Scotch

1/3  cup Islay Single Malt Scotch

1 cup Lemon Juice

1 cup Honey Ginger Syrup*

Candied Ginger

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a drink dispenser or pitcher. 

Fill a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice cubes and add combined mixture.

Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. 

Strain into rocks glass over ice and garnish with candied ginger 

Add the Islay Scotch, gently float a small amount (about 1/4 oz) of Islay Scotch on top of the cocktail – this adds a smoky and peaty layer to the flavor profile.

Enjoy this modern classic that combines the richness of Scotch with the zing of ginger – a perfect elixir for any cocktail enthusiast. For efficiency, we skipped the float and simply incorporated the Islay Single Malt Scotch into the mixture, and it still tastes fantastic!

Note: Prepare Honey Ginger Syrup the day before to allow ginger to steep overnight 

ESPRESSO MARTINI 

INGREDIENTS

1 750 mL bottle of Vodka

¾ cup Coffee Liqueur

1 ½ cups Cold Brew Concentrate, La Colombe was delicious!

½ cup Simple Syrup* 

Coffee Beans 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a drink dispenser or pitcher. 

Fill a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice cubes and add combined mixture.

Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds, until the cocktail becomes frothy.

Strain into Martini Glass and garnish with a few coffee beans on the surface. 

Enjoy this sophisticated and energizing cocktail, perfect for evening gatherings or as an after-dinner treat. Cheers to the harmonious marriage of caffeine and spirits! 🍸☕️

*SIMPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

In a saucepan, combine equal parts granulated sugar and water. 

Heat over medium heat, stir, and allow the mixture to heat until the sugar completely dissolves ( 3-5 minutes) and avoid boiling.

Once cooled, carefully pour the simple syrup into a clean, airtight container. A glass jar or a plastic squeeze bottle works well. Store the simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

Now you have a homemade simple syrup ready to elevate your cocktails, iced teas, or any other beverage that calls for a touch of sweetness!

*LAVENDER SIMPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS

1 cup granulated sugar

4+ tablespoons Culinary Lavender

1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Combine sugar, lavender and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve. 

Allow the mixture to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, avoid boiling.

Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature.

Discard lavender by pouring syrup through a fine mesh strainer. 

*HONEY GINGER SYRUP

INGREDIENTS

1 cup honey

1 6-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Combine honey, ginger and water in a saucepan over medium heat.

Allow the mixture to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator to steep overnight.

Strain with a fine mesh strainer. 

HOW MUCH FRUIT DO I NEED?

Based on my notes, this is approximate and citrus varies by size and ripeness! 

5 Lemons = 1 cup Lemon Juice

7 Limes = 1 cup Lime Juice

1 Grapefruit  = 1 cup Grapefruit Juice

2 Cucumbers = 1 cup Cucumber Juice

Thank you for Exploring the Cocktail Guide! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering the selection of 7 Crowd-Pleasing Cocktails for Your Next Party. If you’re planning to elevate your entertaining game even further, consider checking out the Batched Cocktail Calculator. It’s the perfect tool to effortlessly scale up any cocktail for larger gatherings, ensuring your guests are treated to consistently delightful drinks.

Have questions or need personalized mixology advice? Don’t hesitate to reach out! Message me anytime and I’ll be thrilled to assist you on your journey to becoming the ultimate party host. 

Cheers to unforgettable moments and perfectly crafted cocktails!

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