Summer cocktails: 10 party drinks for a crowd

Summer cocktails: 10 party drinks for a crowd

- in Drinks

Forget boring beer and wine: punch above your weight this summer by serving chilled cocktails in a big jug or bowl3543

All drinks serve four, so just increase quantities when you’re entertaining larger numbers. Sugar syrup is simply equal quantities of water and sugar, heated until the sugar dissolves – it’s an indispensable part of every barman’s armoury.

Honeymoon in Jalisco

Mexican-inspired sweet temptation.

160ml tequila blanco
100ml lemon juice
½ honeydew melon, juiced
50ml honey
50ml sugar syrup
Lemon and melon slices, to garnish

Put a handful or two of ice in a jug, add all the liquids, garnish and serve in rocks glasses over cubed ice.

Pinot punch

Wine, fruit, spirits: what’s not to like?

100ml gin or vodka
100ml fresh lemon juice
100ml sugar syrup
24 mint leaves (6 bunches)
2 peaches, peeled, stoned and pureed
300ml pinot grigio
300ml apple juice
Lemon slices, peach slices and mint sprigs, to garnish

Put everything in a pitcher, add lots of ice, stir, garnish and serve.

Mango and green tea lassi

For the syrup, over-brew 250ml green tea and, while still hot, stir in 250g white caster sugar, until dissolved.

1 mango, peeled and stoned, plus 1-2 thin slices fresh mango, to garnish
250ml green tea syrup (see introduction)
25ml yoghurt
60ml single cream
50ml milk

Put everything in a blender, add a good handful of ice, blend and pour into a jug. Garnish with a slice or two of mango and serve.


London cup

Pimm’s may be the quintessential British summer tipple, but this is much more refreshing.

100ml gin
100ml sweet vermouth
50ml Aperol
500ml ginger ale
Thin slivers of peeled apple, thin strips of cucumber, slices of lemon and strawberry, fresh mint, to garnish

Mix the liquids in a pitcher, stir in the garnish, top with ice and serve.

Pink ticket

Luxardo cherry brandy is the biz, but Cherry Heering or Grand Marnier’s cherry brandy would work, too.

15ml gin
15ml Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
10ml lemon juice
Sparkling wine or champagne, to top (make sure it’s cold)
Lemon twist, to garnish

Pour the gin, cherry brandy and lemon juice into a shaker, add a little ice, shake and strain into flutes. Top with fizz, garnish and serve.

Earl grey iced tea

Iced tea with a twist.

200ml gin
50ml fresh lemon juice
50ml grapefruit juice
100ml sugar syrup
500ml slightly over-brewed earl grey tea
Lemon wheels and grapefruit twists, to garnish

Build the drink in a pitcher, add cubed ice, garnish and serve.


French house pressé

Fizzy pop for grown-ups.

2 lemons, cut into eighths
100ml brandy
100ml raspberry liqueur, ideally Chambord
100ml sugar syrup
260ml sparkling water
Raspberries and lemon slices, to garnish

Muddle the lemon wedges in the base of a jug, add cracked or crushed ice, and pour in the liquids. Garnish and serve in highball glasses.

Matchu pitcher

A punchier alternative to Pimm’s, with a Peruvian twist.

100ml pisco (La Diablada, ideally)
320ml ginger ale
100ml sweet vermouth (I’d go for Cocchi sweet vermouth)
Lemon slices, mango slices, fresh mint, passion fruit cut in half and strawberry slices, to garnish

Pour all the liquids into a jug, add lots of ice and the fruit, stir and serve.

Carnival cornershop punch

Perfect for festivals and carnivals, this goes down very well at big picnics and parties, too. If you’re taking it out of the house, make this punch in a clean two-litre plastic water bottle, for easy portability. Serves eight.

50ml Wray & Nephew overproof rum (ie, a miniature’s worth)
350ml bottle Appleton’s dark rum
4 x 250ml tropical fruit juices – make sure you use a combination of flavours (mango/guava/pomegranate/lychee/passion fruit etc; I favour Rubicon)
8 limes, juiced
4 tbsp marmalade, combined with 100ml boiling water, to melt
100ml sugar syrup (50:50 sugar:water)
Lime wedge or pineapple slice (or both), to garnish

Combine everything in a jug, tip into a large plastic water bottle, then head off to your destination with a pile of plastic cups. Serve over ice.

Proper rum punch

Of all these drinks, this one is best suited for serving in a punch bowl (or even a barrel, if you’re making it for a bigger crowd).

80ml dark rum
80ml light rum
40ml Wray & Nephew overproof rum (there really is no alternative and it’s widely available)
80ml fresh lime juice
80ml sugar syrup
1 mango (skinned, peeled and blended into puree)
1 passion fruit
250ml guava juice
10 dashes Angostura bitters
Wedges of pineapple, orange and lime, to garnish

Tip all the liquids into a jug (or punch bowl, or barrel), add the fruit and lots of ice, and ladle into big glasses.







About the author

Passionate cook, mother and loving wife. I love eating REAL food and this site is my inspiration for cooking it! Hope you'll enjoy it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Here’s what happens to your body when you quit drinking alcohol

Everyone knows that alcohol is bad for our health.