Our 37 Best Cocktails For A Crowd

Your party guests will thank you

When you’re hosting a party, the last thing you want to do is spend time making individual cocktails for your guests. The more practical move is to whip-up a large batch of a boozy punch or sangria beforehand, so you can spend less time playing bartender and more time with your friends. In the chillier months, warm up around the fire with eggnog recipes fit to serve a group. Our best cocktails for a crowd have something for every season, whether it’s a summer favorite like a frozen margarita, or a fall classic like chilled cider punch. Next time you’re throwing a party, consult these recipes to be the ultimate host without having to stand behind the bar all night.

Large-Batch Negroni Sbagliato

Large-Batch Negroni Sbagliato

Horse & Carriage

New York City bar The Daily serves this lightly sweet, effervescent gin-based punch made with chamomile tea and sparkling wine. Created by mixologist Naren Young, it was inspired by classic holiday punches but is easily adapted to any season—try it in fall garnished with apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks; in winter with citrus slices and pomegranate; and in spring with edible flowers.

Punch à la Taylor

Sweet citrus, whiskey, and a pleasantly bitter gentian-flavored liqueur combine in an elegant punch concocted by New York City cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit.

Red Sangria

For his riff on the classic Spanish wine-based drink, Jon Santer of Prizefighter in Emeryville, California, layers on more fruity flavors with French apéritif Lillet Rouge and the orange cognac-based liqueur Grand Marnier. Get the recipe for Red Sangria »

White Sangria

Choose a high-acid, no-oak sauvignon blanc or similar white for this sophisticated version of the party wine drink from bartender Jon Santer of Prizefighter in Emeryville, California. Get the recipe for White Sangria »

Watermelon Cooler

Sweet watermelon balances the heat of Scotch bonnet chiles in this summery tequila-based drink. Get the recipe for Watermelon Cooler »

Pawleys Rum Punch

Contributor Marshall Bright’s father makes this boozy fruit punch for the family every year during their annual beach vacation in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. A sprinkle of fresh nutmeg on top compliments the molasses-like flavor of the rum. Use freshly squeezed orange juice—it adds a bright flavor the bottled stuff can’t match. Get the recipe for Pawleys Rum Punch »

Green Monster

For a vibrant drink that’s excellent with spicy foods, try floral, tropical passion fruit juice paired with white rum and cool mint. Get the recipe for Green Monster »

Frozen Limeade Margarita

Canned frozen limeade intensifies the citrus flavor of this slushy Mexican-inspired libation. See the recipe for Frozen Limeade Margarita »

Colombiana Pitcher Cocktail (Refajo)

Crisp and bittersweet, this Colombian lager-based cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon around the grill. Get the recipe for Colombiana Pitcher Cocktail (Refajo) »

Strawberry Pimm’s Cup

A twist on the British classic, this summer cooler takes on spicy, herbal notes from Kaffir lime leaves, while strawberries lend sweet balance to the pleasingly bitter liqueur. Get the recipe for Strawberry Pimm’s Cup »

Vodka Lavender Thyme Lemonade

This lemonade gains herbaceous depth from lavender and thyme, while vodka delivers a good, clean punch.

Grilled Sangria

Whether it’s juicing grilled limes into margaritas, charring tomatoes for bloody marys, or making this reimagined sangria with caramelized fruits, grilling your drinks will add smoky depth to every sip. Get the recipe for Grilled Sangria »

White Wine Punch

This festive, fuss-free punch recipe can be made year-round using seasonal fruit. See the recipe for White Wine Punch »

Poinsettia Punch

This brightly spiced punch recipe includes gin, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and allspice dram.

Hugh Acheson’s Eggnog

In this Southern spin on the boozy Yuletide favorite, a mix of bourbon and rum takes the place of brandy. It can be made up to 4 hours before serving.

Tom and Jerry

Experiencing the Tom and Jerry is like sipping a hot toddy through a brandy-laced, nutmeg-dusted froth. Serve this thick, batter-like concoction at your next holiday gathering.

Regent’s Punch

This tea-infused champagne punch makes an elegant centerpiece for any festive occasion. Get the recipe for Regent’s Punch »

Michelada Bloody Mary

Chef Rick Bayless suggested this recipe for a bloody mary made with beer, citrus, and tequila.

Original Bloody Mary

A combination of vodka, tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire, and fresh ground spices is simple, classic, and always delicious. Get the recipe for Original Bloody Mary »

Jamaican Punch

Throughout the Caribbean, rum punches flecked with nutmeg have been served steadily since the colonial era.

The Pledge

In this easy-drinking beer cocktail, the concentrated raisin flavor of the sherry, the honeyed quality of the Benedictine liqueur, and the oatmeal stout add up to something like “breakfast in a glass.” A sprinkling of sweet, spicy nutmeg seems completely appropriate in this context.

Mezcalita de Piña

Made with mezcal, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, and lime, this festive take on the classic margarita is smoky, sweet, and spicy, with an herbaceous kick from cilantro. Get the recipe for Mezcalita de Piña »

The Merchant’s Wife

A bright mix of watermelon, gin, Aperol, lemon juice, and a splash of club soda, this drink from Stella Rosa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica is well-balanced, effervescent, and not too sweet. Get the recipe for The Merchant’s Wife »

Fish House Punch

Dark rum and cognac warm up this peach punch created in the 18th century.

Red Nose Punch

Red Nose Punch

Book Club Sangria

This sweet-tart wine punch was invented by members of the Junior League of Houston book club in the 1970s.

Stone Fruit Rosé Sangria

This version of a Spanish sangria is ripe with summer fruit; its light, crisp flavors complement seafood and poultry.

Chilled Cider Punch

This chilled cider punch combines the fall flavors of a mulled cider with the celebratory feel of a sparkling punch. Get the recipe for Chilled Cider Punch »

Full Windsor

“Always be prepared.” It’s not only the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, it’s also the mantra of any great host. Eric Castro of San Diego’s Polite Provisions suggests to achieve that goal via pre-made libations. His riff on the classic New Orleans cocktail, the Vieux Carré, can be kept chilled, stored in cleaned 750-ml. liquor bottles, and on hand for all impromptu soirées. Get the recipe for Full Windsor

Touch of Evil Punch

Lemons and raspberries add tartness and a beautiful pink hue to this punch, slightly smoky thanks to the addition of mezcal.

Nutmeg-Infused Eggnog

Infusing the rum with nutmeg adds nice warm undertones to the drink. You need to start the recipe the day before you plan on serving it, and you can make it with either heavy cream or half and half, depending on how decadent you’re feeling. Get the recipe for Nutmeg-Infused Eggnog »

Spiced Percolator Punch

If a coffeemaker upgrade relegated your old percolator to the attic years ago, here’s another use for it: cocktail hour. Thrifty housewives have long repurposed the pot to make aromatic punches. The percolator continuously cycles hot liquids, which infuses spices and concentrates juices, making for a fragrant winter drink. Get the recipe for Spiced Percolator Punch »
Crab apple liqueur with cinnamon

Ginger-Absinthe Mimosa

Imparting a festive green glow to the de rigueur citrus and Champagne brunch cocktail, absinthe lends a noticeably herbal bite and serves as a natural aperitif.