18 Big-Batch Cocktails to Day Drink with Your Friends
Long holiday weekends are made for big-batch cocktails. Gather a group of friends, mix up a big pitcher or two of something light, refreshing, and preferably packed with fruit (for health reasons, you know) and you’re set for an afternoon of day drinking. Just make sure you have plenty of pitchers of water and an abundance of snacks on hand, too.
Sangria isn’t just the cheap summer drink of your younger days — it can go completely gourmet if you pair your fruit and wine right. This version uses the summer’s best stone fruits, brandy, and a dry Riesling.
How could you possibly make a G&T better? Make it a slushy. Yes, that’s right — a frozen gin and tonic is about the most refreshing cocktail you can possibly enjoy this summer. We suggest serving them poolside or on the deck.
We love using boxed wine for cocktails. It’s incredibly easy, usually more cost-effective, and if you use one from a tetrapak, you can even put the cocktail back into the box for easy transport. This one is made with a sweet red, pomegranate juice, and good-quality ginger beer.
The base of this floral, fruity cocktail is a blueberry-lavender simple syrup, which is where it gets its deep, dark color. You can scale back on the lavender if the flavor is too strong for your liking.
The only thing that’s better than rosé sangria is sparkling rosé sangria. This version also gets a triple dose of cherries with fruit (fresh from the market), cherry liqueur, and cherry bitters. Welcome to stone-fruit season!
A smash is a cocktail classic, and usually includes mint, sugar, and ice muddled with your favorite spirit. We’ve updated this one to include a healthy serving of strawberries and limes.
7. Cosmo Slushy
Don’t write off the Cosmo just yet. This relic of the Sex and the City days deserves a comeback in a slightly icier form. Get your friends to drink a couple and we bet plenty of hilarious conversations will ensue.
Elderflower (normally in the form of St. Germain) and bubbles are a match made in heaven. It’s one of the liqueurs we always keep on hand, and this Champagne cocktail — complete with sliced strawberries — should show you the reason why.
This cocktail is a bit of a DIY masterpiece. It’s perfect for transporting to a friend’s house since each cocktail is individually mixed in a Mason jar. Just load in your mint, simple syrup, and lime juice before you leave your house, then mix with rum, bitters, and ice upon arrival.
There’s almost no easier drink to make in a big batch than a mimosa, but you don’t want something so plain for your day-drinking celebrations. Instead, swap in blood oranges (look for bottled juice when they’re not in season). You’ll end up with a vibrantly hued beverage that will leave everyone smiling.
We probably don’t need to explain much about this cocktail to convince you that you should make it this weekend. Strawberry and basil are great together, and really … adding tequila is a no-brainer.
Keep your sangria from getting too sweet by adding in a fresh, savory element like the cucumber slices in this pitcher cocktail. It’s fizzy, refreshing, and great with a spicy meal.
While the honey in this version comes from a honey-flavored bourbon, you could also use honey in your simple syrup and opt for whatever bourbon you have on hand. We also like to add some mint to each glass for a fresh smell and taste.
Take advantage of those few remaining clementines, if you can find them, to make this boxed wine cocktail. The combination of vanilla and the thyme garnish is unexpected, but it works so well.
We originally came up with this recipe as an alternative for Champagne on New Year’s Eve, but it works just as well for summer sipping. The combination of lemon (you can use Meyer or regular), sugar, lambic, and cider is straightforward and perfect for an afternoon on the porch.
If you’re a sweet tea or whisky fan, this should be the next cocktail on your list to try. The combination of the two Southern staples is a match made for front porch sippin’.
Pink peppercorn is one of our favorite under-the-radar ingredients, and it shines in this cocktail. The spicy dried berry is used in a simple syrup, so you are sure to get plenty of its flavor. Feel free to use a sparkling rosé if you prefer.