With Make-Ahead Punch, Keep the Party Going All Summer Long
There’s nothing worse than inviting friends over only to spend the entire gathering hand-squeezing limes and shaking cocktails as your friends catch up with one another. Just when you think you’re finished behind the bar, your friends are ready for a second round. If you’ve ever dealt with this scenario, then Batch Cocktails ($20) is the book for you. It focuses on cocktails for a large group that can be made all at once, well ahead, and served with ease so that you’re left with plenty of time to catch up with your loved ones.
“Over the many years that I’ve spent writing about drinks, I’ve learned that more than anything, it’s really the cocktail hour that matters,” author and cocktail expert Maggie Hoffman writes. “When you get a drink in someone’s hand and fill your own glass, you’ve arrived at a crucial, beautiful moment. You’ve set aside your work; your miles-long-to-do list is on mute. There may be snacks, dinner will be served somewhere down the line, but for now, you can pause for a sip and a breath; it’s a time to catch up.”
The 65 recipes in the book — all of which serve eight or more, and many of which can be batched and stored in the fridge a month (!) ahead — have been created by a selection of top bartenders across the country. We’ve found that they’re just as good, if not better, than what you’d find at your local bar. Discover what you’re in the mood for by browsing chapters organized by flavor profile (there are chapters for boozy, bitter, and and non-alcoholic drinks). There’s also a breakdown of recipes both by season and by occasion, so you don’t have to look far to find a drink appropriate for game day or a hot summer evening.
Even if home bartending isn’t something you do on the regular, you’re in good hands: This book covers all the bases, from servingware suggestions and volume conversions to tips on what to add when and how to batch your own favorite cocktail (turns out batching isn’t just as easy as multiplying measurements!). In fact, chances are that you already have half the ingredients — white wine, Aperol, and seltzer — for the sangria-inspired pink cocktail below. Trust us, you’ll want to drink it all summer.
Side Porch Sangria
(Makes about 8 servings in a 2-quart pitcher)
Sangria just calls out for experimentation, and there’s no reason to feel tethered to a ho-hum mix of wine and fruit. In this fruity- but-bitter rendition, Dorothy Elizabeth of Straylight in New York brings out the juicy flavors of Sauvignon Blanc by adding fresh grapefruit juice and citrusy Aperol, bracing Campari, and rich Italian vermouth. Boxed or bottled apricot juice rounds out the drink. For a lighter version, I like to top off the mix with a splash of chilled seltzer.
1. Up to 8 hours before serving, make the batch. Pour Aperol, Campari, vermouth, and chilled wine into a 2-quart pitcher. If not serving immediately, seal well, covering with plastic wrap if needed, and refrigerate.
2. Up to 2 hours before serving, stir chilled apricot juice into pitcher mix. Prepare and add grapefruit juice, then stir and reseal, returning pitcher to refrigerator if not serving immediately.
3. To serve, add grapefruit and apricot slices, if desired, and stir well. Fill pitcher with ice and stir gently until outside of pitcher is cool. Serve immediately in ice-filled rocks glasses or wineglasses. Offer chilled seltzer to top off the drink, if desired.
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(Reprinted with permission from Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Kelly Puleio © 2019.)