Serious Eats: Drinks

Thinking Big for Summer Party Drinks

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

When you've got guests milling around the yard, looking thirsty, and mounds of ribs, bratwurst, and burgers working their way across the grill, it's no time to shift your focus and start messing around with the cocktail shaker. While I appreciate the DIY margarita stations and the help-yourself mojito tables that pop up at some warm-weather get-togethers, there's a case to be made for having it both ways—for having well-made mixed drinks prepared for your guests, without all the fuss that comes with mixing individual cocktails for a crowd.

Enter the large-format drink, the savior of the summer party. Sure, punches and pre-batched drinks are great during the cool months, too, but when everything heads outdoors starting with Memorial Day weekend, pitcher drinks and cooling punches seem especially welcome, and they can make hosting a barbecue or backyard get-together much more convenient.

Last year about this time I posted a piece about pitcher drinks, which brought some great suggestions from readers, and it's worth dusting off the details in preparation for this season's parties.

On Friday I'll post a recipe for a warm-weather punch that can effectively irrigate your guests during a Memorial Day weekend party, but I'm also curious to hear from you. What drinks do you prepare for groups of guests to enjoy outside on summer days or evenings?

Any favorite punches or pitcher drinks you've found that keep guests happy without overworking the hosts?

Printed from http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/05/punch-summer-party-drinks-tips-techniques-cocktails-for-barbecue.html

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