Isn’t that cocktail just the definition of “refreshing?” The summer of 2021 is seeing us entertaining again. We’re ditching the well-worn cocktail shaker that serves drinks for two and thinking… bigger. If we’re gonna host a party, we’re gonna need a bigger cocktail boat.
If booze is on offer, there’s no gathering that can’t benefit from a batched cocktail or a punch. It elevates the dogs-and-burgers affair you’re throwing if you have something other than cold rosé and PBR. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Here are the recipes and gear you need to make this summer one for the books.
Gaby Dalkin’s excellent strawberry lemonade mixer is central to her genius Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail recipe. Though the recipe employs vodka, this mix is just as good with gin and even bourbon. Play around to find your favorite combo.
Don’t forget about your high-powered blender when it comes to this endeavor. Making a batch of four cocktails to set out in front of three thirsty friends can be as simple as pressing “blend.” The Pineapple-Basil Freeze shown here uses gin, which if you haven’t had cold with basil, lime and pineapple before… well, don’t let us stop you.
Ripe mangoes and peaches are central to the splendor that is this Mango-Ginger Freeze. Vodka is the spirit of choice, and four servings come together in a minute (really!) in your Vitamix. That’s summer living, folks.
Don’t forget about punch! It’s a snap to make an ice ring, add a little of this and a little of that, top with fresh herbs (or beautiful edible flower ice cubes), and have a party theme. We love our Chef’s Collective member Shannon Mustipher’s Barbadian Rum Punch as seen over on VinePair. It doesn’t even require an ice ring; just cubes in Collins glasses. (For more of Shannon’s summer cocktail genius, go here and here!)
If you have a go-to cold summer cocktail, consider, as a bartender would, whether you can “batch it out.” Unkle’s Punch should ideally be shaken in a shaker, sure, but we reckon it’d do nicely quadrupled in a beautiful glass punch bowl and served with a ladle.
Lifestyle expert Aerin Lauder knows casual entertaining. She serves this fruity rosé punch to guests at her home in the Hamptons, but the beachy holiday vibe it lends can be recreated anywhere. Feel free to embellish the sangria with other fruits of your choice, such as strawberries or slices of lime.
Here’s where things get fun. Maybe you become the person who always has a big pitcher of sangria ready to roll on Friday afternoons starting at four. Invest in a beautiful pitcher, make some easy appetizers, and become the destination among your friends.
Consider your glassware: If you’re going to be Team Punch for the summer of 2021, spring for a bowl that comes with matching glasses. (Everyone will ooh and aah, we promise.) If you guys are more of a spritzer crew with a few klutzes in the mix, go with stemless white wine glasses, which you’ll use all season long for all sorts of things.
So clean the glassware, ready your stirring spoons and picks, and please remember that we have all the shortcut mixers of your dreams. (Think: margarita, but also unusual concoctions like a blackberry-basil smash!)
Above all, stay cool.