Make Ahead Cocktails: Making Batch Drinks For A Crowd

Drinks For The Whole Party

Tis the season for drinking! That’s what they say, right? In any case, we’re sure that even if it isn’t the season for drinking, you will be doing a fair amount of drinking this holiday season. And if you’re the host, that can be a little stressful! That’s where big batch cocktails come in!

Make your life a little easier by preparing pre-made, large batch drinks! Drinks that you can make ahead are the best because they make the night go smoothly without any worries! Not only do you free yourself from playing bartender all night (thank goodness!), but you also get one thing done before the dinner party even starts, because your guests can serve themselves straight from the punch bowl. Plus, despite their functionality, make-ahead cocktails can be as festive and beautiful as they are delicious. Not that anyone is counting, but seems like we’re getting a lot of wins for making cocktails (or mocktails)! 

In case you need a helping hand, here are a few batch cocktail recipes we're planning on making (and enjoying) this holiday season! 


Margaritas are always a good idea, especially as a pitcher drink. Yes, especially at Christmas. Does anyone ever ONLY eat tacos on Tuesday? Didn't think so. That's why we're always looking for ways to bring the Mexican cocktail into our lives! A margarita is a cocktail that traditionally consists of anejo tequila, a orange liqueur like Triple Sec, and lime juice, or sometimes lemon juice. In the summer, it's often flavored with watermelon or fresh lemon. It is garnished with salt on the rim and can be served shaken with ice, blended with ice or without ice completely. So many options, so little time! 

Why not bring the refreshing taste of Margaritas into your holiday festivities? There are so many easy ways to make margaritas a little more festive and a little less summery simply with the garnish. While traditional margaritas are rimmed with salt, you can make yours more Christmasy by lining your rim with cinnamon sugar or colored sugar. Or, why not freeze ice cubes with your favorite holiday flavors like a sprig of rosemary, fresh cranberries, or even maraschino cherries. 

Besides adding a little taste of Christmas into the garnishes, there are actual recipes that make the famous summertime drink into a delicious holiday must, and you don't even need a shaker. Here are two drink recipes that we're going to be cheersing to this holiday season. But warning: these do contain tequila (or mezcal, if you want to switch it up), so sip with caution! 

Mistletoe Margaritas by How Sweet Eats - One look at this festive drink, and we knew it was a must-make for us this holiday season! With white cranberry juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and of course, Grand Marnier and Tequila, we're certain we're going to have to drink these beauties slowly.

Christmas Margarita by The Spruce Eats - Anyone else dying to have a taste of this cinnamon sugar rim? We're going to safely assume that it's not just us! While still a margarita, this recipe provides a seasonal flair with the same tropical flavors. 

Apple Cider Sangria

Sangria is always a crowd favorite. Traditionally, sangria is a punch made from wine and fruit. Occasionally, other liquids are added into the mix to increase its alcohol content or flavor. All of this to say, sangria is incredibly malleable; therefore, as long as you're combining fruit and alcohol, you're making a sangria, so it's an incredibly easy drink to make festive. 

We've heard rumors that people fear making sangrias because they are challenging to make. This could not be further than the truth! To make sangria, you mix together your wine and liquids with fruit and let it chill. Sangria tastes best when you've let it chill for quite some time. It allows the fruit to infuse its flavor into the liquid, creating a sweeter, more mellow flavor. 

Because sangria is best served chilled, get creative in your methods of keeping it chilled. We all know ice cubes can dilute a drink, so why not freeze some juice and use those as ice cubes. There are so many delicious methods to keep your sangria nice and crisp! 

This holiday season, we're going to be sipping on these two Apple Cider Sangria recipes: 

Shugary Sweet's Apple Cider Sangria: Perfect for fall and winter, this recipe calls for cider, wine, brandy, AND Prosecco. Needless to say, your table will find themselves very cheery after one big sip! 

Simply Whisked's Apple Cider Sangria: Overflowing with fresh apples and made with white wine and spiced cinnamon, you'll be refreshed by a delightful taste of fall! 

Holiday Wine Punch

Punch is always a good idea. Not only are they relatively cheap to make, but they are also incredibly easy and can turn a not so great bottle of wine into the most delicious cocktail you've ever tasted. 

From Cranberry White Wine Punch to English Christmas Punch, there are so many different types of holiday wine punches to choose from. Some, like Cranberry White Wine Punch, are as beautiful as they are delicious! This holiday season, we're going to be consuming these delicious holiday wine punch recipes: 

Better Home & Gardens Hot Scarlet Wine Punch: A festive cocktail flavored with cinnamon and cranberry, this festive punch will warm you up from the inside out. 

Daily Appetite's Orange Sparkling Wine Punch: Garnished with orange slices and sprigs of rosemary, this sparkling punch is made for all holiday gatherings! 

Pomegranate Mojitos

A Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball. Usually, the cocktail consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, club soda, and fresh mint. The combination of sweetness, citrus, and herbaceous mint flavors complement the rum. Because of this combination, a mojito is a popular summer cocktail. 

But hear us out: although it is a summertime drink, there is a ton of mint, which is winteresque. So, if you add in some seasonal fruit juice, you have yourself a tasty little holiday cocktail. 

For a refreshing mojito rum punch that certainly has some holiday flair, pomegranate is an excellent direction to go. Pomegranate is a rich red color and has a lot of flavor depth, which is more than a summer flavor. 

Here are two mojitos that we're keeping in mind this holiday season. 

Rustic Foodie's Pomegranate Mojito: Bright and festive, this holiday drink is flavored with lime and garnished with mint.  

Sweet and Savory Meal Ginger Pomegranate Mojito: With a kick of fresh ginger, this gorgeous drink is sweet and refreshing! 

Cranberry Vodka Spritzer

As a general description, a spritzer is a tall, chilled drink made with white wine and carbonated water. Obviously, a vodka spritzer replaces the wine. Because a spritzer is such a simple recipe, it lends itself well to batching, you can easily make this spritz more festive. 

Besides being delicious, one of the reasons vodka spritzers are popular is because they are lower in calories than many other cocktails. For us, the holiday season is filled with so many heavy foods and drinks, we find that a good, vodka spritzer really lightens things up! 

Plus, this cocktail brings a ton of festivities simply through the cranberries. Those crimson orbs aren’t in season often so when they are, we highly recommend taking full advantage of them! From various side dishes, to bread, cakes, and cookies, we find all sorts of ways to use cranberries. 

Of course, the best way to use cranberries is in your drink! Cranberries add a bright color and sweet but not too sweet flavor to all cocktails, especially one as simple as a vodka spritzer. 

This year, we’re getting ready to make these Cranberry Vodka Spritzers: 

Jo-Lynn Shate’s Cranberry Vodka Spritzer: A light, refreshing cocktail that adds a pop of color and a whole lot of fun! 

Joy Filled Eats’ Vodka Cranberry Spritzer: A keto friendly cocktail that’s easy to make ahead and serve in a pitcher all night long!


Pineapple Mimosas

A mimosa is a cocktail composed of champagne and chilled citrus juice, most traditionally, orange juice. It is usually served in a tall champagne flute and is popular at celebrations and brunches. In general, a pineapple mimosa replaces the orange juice for pineapple juice, but of course, no two recipes are the same and there are many different ways to make this delightful fruity cocktail! Some also include ingredients like blood orange or grapefruit juice.

Here are a few helpful tips when creating your seasonal Pineapple Mimosa. 

Use Cold Ingredients: Keep your cranberry juice and champagne cold for as long as possible! 

Serve in Champagne Flute: Champagne flutes are designed to retain bubbles.  Make sure you serve your mimosas in a champagne flute for this reason! 

Garnish: An easy and fun way to take your drink from an every day drink into something truly spectacular!  Take your pineapple mimosa and make it the best dressed drink your friends have ever seen. Simple steps like rimming  glasses with sugar or throwing in extra pineapple slices really go a long way! 

Choose Champagne Wisely: Make sure you know what your taste preferences are when you select your champagne! 

We’re looking forward to making these pineapple mimosas this holiday season! 

Lemon Tree Dwelling’s Upside Down Mimosas: A recipe that is easy to make and combines the delicious taste of a classic mimosa with a pineapple upside down cake! 


Burrat and Bubbles’ Pineapple Mimosa: An elegant mimosa that is light and fun!