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20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays


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'Tis the season for outdoor BBQs, backyard parties and poolside get-togethers. While all these activities make summer into summertime, they all require ice cold cocktails to really get the party started. After all, what is a party without a beverage? However, making sure that your guests are properly hydrated can pose a problem. How do you make sure everyone has a mixed drink in their hand and that you get to enjoy the party yourself? Three words: Big batch cocktails.

Sure, you could hire a bartender, but that's too expensive. You could stand there and mix the drinks yourself. That option leaves you working all night with no time to enjoy the party. You could leave a bunch of mixers and liquors out. However, without supervision things will get spilled, liquor will flow a little too freely, and glasses may get broken.

So that leaves one solution: whip up a big batch cocktail beforehand so a refreshing cocktail is available all party long. With no hassle and no mess, it is the ultimate solution for an easy, stress-free party beverage.

Are you ready to get mixing? Here are 20 delicious big batch cocktail recipes to get you started, all with four steps or less!

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1. Big Batch Mint Julep

william faulkner's mint julep

Although this classic Southern cocktail is most associated with the Kentucky Derby, this cocktail is thirst-quenching all year round. And while it's traditionally made in individual cups, it batches extremely well if you're having a backyard get together. The trick is simple: Rather than muddling fresh mint leaves for each individual glass, prep by making a mint simple syrup to infuse the bourbon with.

Get the full recipe here.

2. Big Batch Paloma Cocktails

paloma drink recipes

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Ah, paloma. The sweeter older cousin of the margarita, the paloma features grapefruit juice for a tangy and sweet twist on a recipe developed deep in the heart of Texas.
This big batch cocktail recipe can substitute in grapefruit soda, but grapefruit juice is much easier to find in most grocery stores. Find the recipe here.

3. Citrus Beer Sangria

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So maybe you're not into the idea of wine or vodka, but a pitcher recipe sounds delicious. This Citrus Beer Sangria is for you.

With only five ingredients you certainly have in right now, you can whip together a sangria recipe that is just like a shandy, but better.

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4. DIY Lime-A-Rita Pitchers

lime-a-rita

Do you love those Lime-A-Ritas that somehow always manage to give you a stomachache on a hot day? Fear not, for this big batch cocktail recipe will be your new go-to.

The four ingredients and two steps needed to make this pitcher recipe are both so simple, you'll wonder why you never thought of it before.

5. Pitcher Bloody Marys

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What's better than Sunday Funday? A Sunday Funday with a huge pitcher of Bloody Marys at the ready for all of your hungover attendees.

Don't forget the delicious garnishes for this recipe, and maybe you might consider adding some mini sliders on toothpicks?

6. Green Apple Moonshine

jolly rancher moonshine

Lyndsay Burginger

Nothing is as fun as melting down Jolly Ranchers and these green apple candies deserve no better fate than this moonshine recipe. Simply simmer and transfer to mason jars.

Pair with Mountain Dew, sparkling water, or Sprite for a real big batch cocktail experience. Find the recipe here.

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7. Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail

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A play on a Planter's Punch, this rum punch recipe will take you right into New Orleans for your first few sips and might have you seeing double afterwards if you don't take it easy.

This recipe is a mix of fresh fruit juice and rum for the easiest recipe on this list.

8. Dreamsicle Moonshine

orange dreamsicle moonshine

Lyndsay Cordell

Okay, so a moonshine recipe always requires a mixer on one end if you can't handle the high alcohol content. However, this Dreamsicle Moonshine is so creative, we can drink it straight. Whether we can see straight afterwards is debatable.

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Creating the orange simple syrup is the best part! Find the recipe here.

9. New Orleans Pimms Cup

pimms cup

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Although many folks associate Pimms Cups explicitly with the classic English cocktail, New Orleans has been shaking up their own version since at least 1914. It's perfect for a summer afternoon: As Johnathan Payne of Hot Tin & Bayou Bar said, "The New Orleans Pimms Cup is special because of its amazing ability to quench your thirst." Even better? A low ABV means you can keep sipping all afternoon.

Find the recipe here. Note: To make this cocktail for a crowd, simply scale the recipe up by four and make in a pitcher rather than a glass.

10. New Years Champagne Punch

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Although this punch is associated with the holiday season because of its use of fresh cranberries, the citrus and mint garnish makes it a delicious addition any time of year. Just be sure not to use your best champagne--after all, once its mixed in with fruit juices and Ginger ale, you probably won't be able to taste the different.

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Learn how to make the punch here.

11. Sweet Tea Moonshine

Have friends coming over this afternoon, and don't have anything prepared? Do not fret--that's exactly why you keep a store of Sweet Tea Moonshine for occasions just like this one. This recipe explains how to brew your Sweet Tea Moonshine before cooling it in separate 8-ounce mason jars, perfect for sharing with guests. And because it will keep for a year if stored correctly, you'll be able to keep these drinks coming all day long!

12. Redneck Margaritas

Margarita-Moonshine

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Sure, you've had a traditional margarita--mixed with tequila, triple sec, and lime juice--but have you ever had a Redneck Margarita? Made from just limeade concentrate, Sprite, Corona, and tequila. Although folks have been known to whip up a batch with Mountain Dew (hence the name), we stand by this simpler (and less sweet) take.

You can find the recipe here.

13. Classic Gin Rickey

In the mood for a highball--like a gin and tonic or a a vodka and soda--but looking to whip something up for a larger crowd? The gin rickey is an easy substitute. Made from just gin, limes, sugar, and club soda, it's perfect for a sunny Saturday or a rainy Sunday. Although our recipe makes only two drinks, with a larger pitcher, the recipe can be easily scaled up.

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You can find the recipe here.

14. Cranberry Rosemary White Sangria


This sangria is sure to bring new flavors to an easy recipe: All sangria recipes are made from fruit, wine, and bubbles, after all. However, traditionally sangria is made with red wine rather that white. But this white wine sangria is sure to be crisp and light--the perfect combination for a large gathering.

You can find the recipe here.

16. Cherry-Berry Lime Margaritas

While traditionally margaritas are made from tequila, triple sec (or orange liqueur), and fresh lime juice, this recipe outs a new spin on the cocktail by adding a little something funky--cherry kombucha! With only three ingredients--silver tequila, simple syrup, and Cherry-Berry Health-Ade Kumbucha--this drink is easy to scale up or down for a party of any size!

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You can find the recipe here.

17. Jack Daniels Lemonade Popsicles

Jack Daniels Lemonade Popsicles

Not what you were thinking of when considering a batch cocktail? Well think again! These refreshingly boozy popsicles are made by combining Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Whiskey with fresh lemonade before pouring into popsicle molds and freezing. Make them a few days before your next party for a delightful and unexpected treat for your guests.

You can find the recipe here.

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18. Mulled Wine

Many batch cocktails are made with long summer days in mind, but what if you live somewhere--like me--that it's often cold in July? That's where mulled wine comes in. Although many associated mulled wine with the holidays, it's really best to think of it as a warmed cousin of sangria. But rather being flavored with fresh fruit, it's heated alongside citrus and warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

You can find the recipe here.

19. Texas Tea Cocktail

Texas Tea is perfect for your next party: Not only is it easy to make for a crowd, it's sure to guarantee enjoyment from all your guests. You may have heard of a Long Island Iced Tea--This cocktail is similar, except that is also contains bourbon whiskey, like most good Southern cocktails do.

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You can find the recipe here.

20. Dark Moon Cocktail Pitcher

Dark Moon Cocktail Pitcher

Lyndsay Burginger

This heady cocktail can be made either in a punch bowl or large bowl, but beware: Not only does it pack an alcoholic punch, it also comes brimming with caffeine, thanks to the addition of cold brew concentrate, coffee liqueur, and Coca-Cola. Perhaps not a drink for first thing in the morning, but it sounds like an excellent mid-afternoon pick-me-up to me!

You can find the recipe here.

This article was originally published on April 12, 2019.

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 READ MORE: 17 Whiskey Drinks to Make at Home Because It Simply Makes Life Better

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