When it comes to a summer cocktail party, drinks need to be refreshing and easy… which is why most hosts reach for the sweet-and-sour mix or a screw-top bottle of rose. But you aren’t “most hosts”—you’re an aspiring craft cocktail mixologist! You don’t exactly have time for stirring and shaking and carving of ice—that sounds exhausting. We’re going to show you how to make five small-batch summer cocktails in big batches. Many of them can be prepped ahead of time, too. All you need is a punch bowl large enough to bathe a puppy in (aka hold enough servings for your friends)...
To Level Up on Your Summer Vodka Soda: Raft Cocktail Syrups
The vodka-soda. Light and refreshing, not to mention as easy to make as it is to order. The key is to keep a punch bowl full of ice in the freezer right up until the crowd arrives, and as soon as your friends are ready to par-tay, add your vodka and club soda (in a 1:2 ratio) into the punch bowl. It’ll stay frosty for longer and won’t get diluted. If you want some extra flair (and taste and color), add a couple tablespoons (1 tablespoon per 8 oz.) of Raft cocktail syrup, in either sweet-tart hibiscus-lavender or bright and zesty lime. Your friends will be begging for your party cocktail secret.
To Add Some Kick to Your Mule: Moscow Mule Kit
The Moscow Mule was invented as a sort of (delicious) marketing ploy. Jack Morgan, a restaurant owner with a tingly brew of ginger beer, and Rudolph Kunett, president of Pierre Smirnoff (yes, that Smirnoff) were looking for a way to make both of their products popular in America, and they joined forces. The signature copper mug was not only for easy branding… it’s rumored that one of their girlfriends was a copper mug saleswoman. Seventy-five years later, the Mule is still kicking. Our kit, complete with a refreshing ginger beer syrup and a mule concentrate, has everything you need to mix a batch that would knock the socks off of even Morgan and Kunett. All you need is seltzer and a spirit of choice to complete the recipe. Oh, there are also two good old-fashioned copper mugs… but you can save those for you and your partner to have a nightcap once the party has left the building.
To Make the Perfect Summer Gin & Tonic: Small-Batch Tonic Syrup
Another clear-thinker’s cocktail, the G&T is simple but with the herbaceous botanical quality needed to lighten the summer heat. But one thing to keep in mind is that a batch of gin & tonics (made with that same chilled punch bowl as the vodka soda) is only as good as those two ingredients. But who ever pays attention to the tonic? As soon as it’s opened, supermarket tonic is a ticking time bomb in your fridge, losing effervescence and flavor. Plus, it’s loaded with chemicals and corn syrup. The key to keeping your G&T poppin’ is this fresh tonic syrup with hints of lemongrass and citrus peel, made by Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Just mix in a 2:1 ratio, gin to syrup, then fill half your punch bowl with soda water. With this easy recipe, your party will be gin-tastic.
To Get the Steps to Your Perfect Margarita Down: Watermelon Margarita Mix
Every summer party needs a pucker-perfect margarita. Though you could whip out the jigger and carefully measure ratios of tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice, you want something easier and more unique. Owl’s Brew Watermelon Margarita mix will shake things up with a brew of white tea, watermelon and pomegranate. Just mix in a 2:1 ratio, mix to tequila. Your group of friends will be asking you to, ahem, spill the T about your latest summer party trick.
To Stir the Pot on Your Summer Sangria: Strawberry Manhattan Mix
Sangria wasn’t always just wine + fruit and done. Sangria is meant to have both a wine and juice base. No, we’re not living la vida loca—the juice actually amplifies the flavor and your friends can drink for longer (with the lower alcohol percentage). The Owl’s Brew Strawberry Manhattan mix may be named for a bourbon drink, but it makes a tea-rrific sangria that will inspire dancing in a 1:1 ratio with wine. Just add whatever fruit you’ve got lying around… orange slices, strawberry, watermelon, mango, pineapple, you name it. Allow the fruit to macerate, and you’ve got yourself a summer cocktail that’ll add some fiesta any time of day.
With these easy summer cocktails, you hardly need a recipe. And you definitely don’t need any of those dusty ol’ mixer bottles in the back of your cabinet. Grab your chilled punch bowl, pour your mixer, pour your spirit and you’re party-ready.