10 Make-Ahead Cocktails for Holiday Entertaining

© Wendell T. Webber
By Christine Quinlan Posted December 15, 2016

Serve these big-batch cocktails at your holiday party and ease your hosting-related stress.

At F&W, one of our keys to simplifying entertaining is choosing things that can be made ahead of time. And that includes cocktails. From boozy classics to new twists on holiday punch, mixing up a batch (or three) before guests arrive makes serving and cleaning up so much easier.

If your setup is self-serve, keep punch bowls or pitchers on ice instead of adding ice to the drinks directly so they don't get watered down. Making large-format cocktails works with elaborate recipes as well as standards. For instance, if you love a Boulevardier, just up the measurements, make it in a pitcher, chill it and it's ready to go.

See the recipe for the Boulevardier, below, as well as ten of our other favorite make-ahead cocktails.


Serves 8.

In a pitcher, combine 12 ounces of bourbon, 9 ounces sweet vermouth and 9 ounces Campari. Stir well and refrigerate until it's time to serve. Garnish with a grapefruit twist when serving.

Here, 10 more of our favorite make-ahead cocktails:

1. Tangerine Collins

Food & Wine:

Using tangerine juice in place of lemon juice turns the Tom Collins into a great seasonal cocktail. You can also substitute tangelos or clementines.

2. Cameron's Cooler

Food & Wine:

This Scotch-based cocktail is bold and refreshing while staying true to the whiskey's roots.

3. Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Food & Wine:

Refreshing, low-alcohol punches like this one are perfect for daytime parties.

4. Blood Orange Maragarita

Food & Wine:

Blood orange helps a margarita transition from summertime staple to fall or winter go-to.

5. Rum Punch

Food & Wine:

A tropical mango-orange-pineapple punch that's easy to multiply for crowds.

6. The Paysan

Food & Wine:

This fruity cocktail is like a cross between sangria and punch.

7. Felicitation Punch

Food & Wine:

A tart punch that's made with a combination of Irish whiskey and gin.

8. Vino Francesca

Food & Wine:

This fruity sangria is super food-friendly, like some of our favorite rosés.

9. Champagne Mojito

Food & Wine:

This puckery drink is prepared with rum and fresh mint like a classic mojito, then it's made holiday-worthy with a splash of Champagne.

10. Fish House Punch

Food & Wine:

For this boozy punch, you'll actually want to add ice directly to the punch bowl.

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