How to Make Party Drinks: Tips & Ideas to Wow the Crowd

Updated January 17, 2022
Cocktails in glasses on tray

There are few things more exciting and daunting than playing host: it's hard to feel fully prepared when you're making a dinner menu and need the right drinks to complement the evening. Whether you're searching for a drink recipe that serves several people or just how to make your own party drinks, you have several options. If you need more, easily double or triple any of the recipes.

Prosecco Punch

Some occasions naturally call for bubbles; others need bubbles because there aren't enough times to drink fizzy stuff. This punch is suitable for any of these occasions. This recipe has roughly eight servings.

Sparkling citrus and Prosecco punch

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces orange liqueur
  • 750mL (1 bottle) prosecco
  • Ice
  • Lemon slices for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add ice, pomegranate juice, blood orange juice, lemon juice, and orange liqueur.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Add prosecco.
  4. Stir gently to mix.
  5. Serve in coupe glasses.
  6. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Proper Punch

Traditional fruit punches are great for summer parties but also for the throes of winter when you're looking for something that isn't whiskey or wine. This will create roughly six drinks.

Red Summer Drink With Ice

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pineapple juice
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces cranberry juice
  • 4 ounces rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ ounces grenadine
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge and lemon slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add ice, pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, rum, dark rum, lime juice, and grenadine.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Serve in rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lime wedge and lemon slice.

Red Sangria

Few things are more classic and comforting than red sangria, so put your guests at ease with this familiar favorite. This makes roughly eight servings.

Glass of sangria on table

Ingredients

  • 750mL red wine, rioja, or zinfandel
  • 8 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces brandy
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, red wine, orange juice, brandy, and sliced fruit.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Refrigerate for approximately one hour.
  4. Serve in rocks glasses over fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with lime wedge.

Moscow Mule for Many

The Moscow Mule is an incredibly quick and easy drink to make, so you may not consider building this drink in a large batch, but it makes it easy for you and your guests to enjoy without any effort. This is roughly six servings.

Two Moscow mule drinks

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • 18 ounces ginger beer
  • Lime wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add ice, vodka, and lime juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Add ginger beer.
  4. Stir gently to mix.
  5. Serve in rocks glasses or copper mug over fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with lime wheel and mint sprig.

Pink Lemonade Punch

This recipe can be made with or without spirits, so skip the vodka if you'd prefer to keep it a little lighter. This makes approximately six servings.

Pink lemonade with ice cubes and Meyer lemons

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces citron vodka
  • 12 ounces defrosted pink lemonade concentrate
  • 2 ounces grenadine
  • Ice
  • Lemon-lime soda to top off
  • Lemon slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add vodka, pink lemonade concentrate, grenadine, and ice.
  2. Stir well to mix.
  3. Top off with lemon-lime soda.
  4. Serve in rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with lemon slice.

Warm Rum Apple Cider

Warm up the party and your guests with this cozy warm cider. Enough for you and five of your friends to warm up.

Tray of apple cider cocktails

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces apple cider
  • 2 ounces allspice dram
  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 ounces spiced rum

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add apple cider, allspice dram, cinnamon sticks, and rum.
  2. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove cinnamon using slotted spoon.
  4. Ladle carefully into mug or glass.

Pineapple Punch

Whether you've decided to honor the idea of warm weather or you're dreaming of sunnier days, this tropical punch gets the job done. This makes roughly four drinks.

Pineapple Punch

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pineapple juice
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 ounces coconut vodka
  • 2 ounces lemon vodka
  • 2 ounces grenadine
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add ice, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut vodka, lemon vodka, grenadine, and lime juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Serve in rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

A Fizzy Blue Hawaiian

Perfect for a blue-themed party or when you want your cocktail to have a pop of color. This makes approximately six drinks.

Fizzy Blue Hawaiian

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces pineapple juice
  • 6 ounces coconut rum
  • 4 ounces blue curaçao
  • 1½ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon-lime or club soda to top off
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add ice, pineapple juice, coconut rum, blue curaçao, and lime juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with soda.
  4. Serve in highball glass over fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with lime wheel.

Group Margaritas

Make up a pitcher of margaritas so you can spend more time mingling. This makes enough for approximately six margaritas.

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 12 ounces tequila
  • 3 ounces orange liqueur
  • 4½ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 ounces agave
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a pitcher, add ice, tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave.
  4. Stir to mix.
  5. Serve in prepared glass over ice.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge.

Mojitos for a Group

Once one person sees a mojito, it becomes a domino effect. Save yourself from muddling endlessly and mix up a batch ahead of time. This will make approximately five mojitos.

Mojitos

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 ounces simple syrup
  • 12 ounces white rum
  • 4½ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Mint sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, muddle mint leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  2. In a large pitched, add ice, muddled mint, remaining simple syrup, rum, and lime juice.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Serve in highball glasses over fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with mint leaves.

Party Tips: Pulling It All Off

It's not complicated to pull off a party with great cocktails or drink selection. The key is to keep it simple.

  • Keep the spirits simple: vodka, rum, and whiskey are great places to start. Tequila and gin can also be available but know your crowd and what they would prefer.
  • For mixers, keep it simple. Club soda, tonic, lemon-lime soda, and cola are great fizzy options. Juices such as cranberry or pineapple mix well. A bottle of bitters, some simple syrup, and a few pieces of whole citrus round everything out.
  • Pick a signature drink or two to have on hand to cut down on mid-party clean-up or being away from guests to mix drinks while still making it easy for your guests to grab a cocktail without missing the party.
  • Without involving a calculator or mathematic equation, budget a beverage to a beverage and a half per hour per guest. Obviously, this will vary depending on occasion and circumstances but is a great place to start. You can stock extra to be safe.
  • Make it easy for guests to serve themselves by placing all glassware, ingredients, and tools such as ice tongs, cocktail shaker, or wine key, all in one place.

Time to Party

It shouldn't be stressful to throw a party or enjoy your own party. With just a little bit of planning, you and your guests can enjoy a seamless party experience.

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How to Make Party Drinks: Tips & Ideas to Wow the Crowd