Cocktails for a Crowd by Kara Newman
Whether you're throwing a casual backyard barbecue or a full-on dinner party, making a batch of pitcher cocktails is just such a good idea! They can be made ahead and kept refrigerated, and they're easy to serve guests without going crazy with a cocktail shaker. Our Strawberry Basil Pitcher Margaritas are one of my all-time favorite drink recipes, and with Cocktails for a Crowd, I'm excited to add over 40 more recipes to my party repertoire!
• Who wrote it: Kara Newman
• Who published it: Chronicle Books
• Number of recipes: Over 40
• Recipes for right now: Raspberry Bellinis, French 75 Punch, Sake Sangria, Pimm's Pitcher, melon Margarita Madness, Hibiscus Rum Cooler, Pina Coladas
• Other highlights: Not every cocktails can be scaled up to pitcher-size. Kara Newman walks us through which ones work best: punches, pitcher drinks, tiki drinks, and classic cocktails that can be made in batches. There are drinks here for just about every occasion you could imagine, from a spring wedding shower to a mid-summer tiki party to a fall apple picking get-together. She also takes the time to make sure we understand which cocktails components can be made ahead and which are best left to the last minute, how to handle ice (and the way they can dilute a drink), and fun ways to garnish big batches of cocktails.
I especially intrigued by how Kara uses tea to flavor many of her drinks. Hibiscus flowers, chai tea, and Lipton all make appearances on these pages, and the results sound fantastic. These aren't "tea-tinis," but rather cocktails that use tea to infuse new flavors into the cocktails. In the introduction, she quotes a bartender who explains that tea gives drinks more flavor complexity and adds tannins that balance the sweetness in cocktails. This never occurred to me before and I'm excited to give it a try!
I also love the mix of old-school recipes for punches and tiki drinks mixed with creations from Kara's very own imagination. Whether you're already a cocktail buff or just starting to put together your liquor collection, I guarantee that you'll find drinks here that you'll want to make immediately.
• Who would enjoy this book? Cocktail lovers, cocktail lovers who like to entertain, anyone looking for a signature drink to serve at a wedding reception, family reunion, or large party.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Cocktails for a Crowd by Kara Newman
• Visit the author's website: Kara Newman
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(Images: Emma Christensen)