Sure it’s fun to play bartender every now and then, but at big gatherings making drinks all night takes your precious time away from playing host and socializing. Save time by whipping up a large punch for the whole crowd that’s just as delicious and will save you a ton of work. We’ve selected four of our favorite refreshing summer party punch recipes to get your party started. Perfect for summer soirees or backyard brunches, follow the recipes or sub out the alcohol for a virgin punch; either way your guests will definitely be asking for a refill!
French 75: Whether you make it with cognac or gin, this French 75 punch is a classic recipe from Epicurious that’s sure to be a hit at your next outdoor bash. It’s typically served as a cocktail but also works well in a punch format. Perfect for toasting, this punch is ideal for baby showers, bridal showers, or birthday brunches.
16 ounces (2 cups) gin (preferably a London dry gin, such as Tanqueray)
8 ounces (1 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces (3/4 cup) simple syrup
1/2 teaspoon orange bitters
32 ounces (4 cups) dry Champagne or other sparkling dry white wine, chilled
1 large ice block or two smaller blocks
8 orange wheels, for garnish
Preparation: “In a punch bowl, combine the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters and stir until thoroughly blended. Just before serving, pour in the Champagne and stir gently. Add the ice and garnish with the orange wheels. To serve, ladle into punch glasses.”
Strawberry Lemonade With Homemade Strawberry Schnapps: Jazz up this summertime staple with a strawberry schnapps DIY from Hairspray & High Heels. Easy to make, this fruity liqueur gives a great kick to a classic Strawberry Lemonade recipe. With only five ingredients to make the schnapps, you’ll be sipping on a nice refreshing glass of punch in no time.
Strawberry Schnapps Ingredients:
1 cup of fresh strawberries,
A bottle of high proof alcohol like Everclear
Strawberry Schnapps Preparation:
Cut your cup of fresh strawberries in halves and place them in a mason jar. Add two cups of Everclear (or other high proof alcohol) and seal. Let this sit on your counter for two days, out of direct sunlight, shaking up one or two times a day. Add 1/4 cup simple syrup to your Everclear and strawberry mixture, shake well and let sit for a day.
1 container of homemade strawberry schnapps
1 bottle of white wine
16oz pineapple juice
1 bottle (60z) lemonade
Pour all of the ingredients into a pitcher. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve cold in a tall glass and enjoy.
Cucumber Margarita: A refreshing take on an old classic, this margarita punch recipe from Food & Wine magazine is made with cucumber-infused tequila. Quick and easy to make, this is a go-to for last minute party planning or impromptu gatherings.
Salt, for rimming the glass
2 1/2 ounces Cucumber-Infused Tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup (see Note)
1 cucumber slice, for garnish
Preparation: Wet the rim of an old-fashioned or margarita glass and dip it in salt. Let stand until dry. Fill the glass with ice. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Cucumber-Infused Tequila, lime juice and simple syrup and shake until well chilled. Strain the cocktail into the rimmed glass and garnish with the cucumber slice.
Melon Rumballa: Making perfect use of the fragrant late-season melons like crenshaw, honeydew, cantaloupe and baby watermelon, this fruit forward punch recipe from Design Sponge is as creative as it is delicious. In addition to the melons, mint, ginger soda, and white rum all come together to make the perfect refreshing summertime punch recipe.
3–4 ripe melons, depending on size
1/2 liter white rum
1 bunch fresh mint, cleaned and stemmed
3 limes juiced
8 oz ginger soda
8 oz coconut water
whole vanilla beans
candied ginger (for garnish)
sugar for rimming the glasses
Preparation: To make the vanilla rum, place 1 vanilla bean in a sealed jar or other vessel with rum and let sit. Taste frequently until the rum reaches desired flavor. After a week, the rum will be fully infused; however, you can let stand for up to a month for a more intense punch. Use a melon baller to create melon balls and place in the freezer a full hour before serving. If juice from the melons is left over, this can be added to the drink. Muddle mint sprigs and lime juices until well combined. In a pitcher, add muddled mint (and juices), lime juice, rum, ginger soda and coconut water and stir together. Prepare glasses: Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass and dip in sugar. Add icy melon balls to each glass to fill half way. Place a piece of candied ginger on a pick for an edible garnish. Just before serving, drop in a handful of ice along with icy melon balls and stir.
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Featured Image Via Epicurious.