16 Big-Batch Cocktails For Summertime Picnics

These drinks will help you beat the heat.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

This summer, we can expect to see plenty of outdoor gatherings, complete with barbecue spreads, lawn games, picnic blankets, and coolers stocked with chilled beverages. Sodas and beers are picnic staples for excellent reason, but if you're a cocktail enthusiast (or a fan of non-alcoholic punches), then you'll be glad to know that it's easy to whip up a big-batch libation to serve at your outside extravaganza. We've rounded up 14 cocktail and punch recipes specifically designed for larger groups, all of which feature bright fruit flavors and refreshing ingredients to keep your guests cool even on the hottest summer days.

Tiki Cooler

Matt Wencl
Matt Wencl

With prominent flavors including coconut, lime, pineapple, and mint, this island-inspired drink feels like a clever combination of a piña colada and a mojito. This version of the recipe makes four servings, but it's easy to multiply the quantities and fill a party-sized pitcher with this tasty elixir. The punch recipe is non-alcoholic as written, but rum would seamlessly blend with the other ingredients.

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Party Lemonade

GodivaGirl
GodivaGirl

"An easy-to-make fresh lemonade recipe for a crowd. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and maraschino cherry," recipe writer KKOOKS says of this highly-rated take on classic lemonade. The recipe makes enough for 12 people, and adding a few glugs of vodka will turn this picnic staple into a summery cocktail.

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Cucumber Punch

SunnyByrd
SunnyByrd

If you're looking for a crisp, clean, and thirst-quenching summer punch, then this version will deliver on all fronts. Commenter Caroline C says that she "had it icy cold and really enjoyed it. It was very refreshing and the cucumber was delicious. I'll definitely be adding this to the summer drink rotation." Vodka or gin can also be stirred into this punch.

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White Peach Sangria

TrishAnn
TrishAnn

White sangria, a spin on the Spanish classic that uses white wine instead of the traditional red, is a drink perfectly suited to sweltering summer afternoons. This rendition also features fresh summer peaches and a citrusy zing from lemonade concentrate.

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Rosé Sangria

EMB
EMB

This well-balanced sangria uses rosé wine as its core ingredient, but it also weaves in abundant fruit flavors (like watermelon, raspberry, and strawberry), herbaceous notes from fresh basil, and a welcome bitterness from the addition of white vermouth.

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Mojitos by the Pitcher

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Mojitos are wonderfully refreshing cocktails, but they're also quite time-consuming to make to order (just ask any bartender). This large-batch recipe simplifies the process by removing the need to separately muddle ingredients for each glass; you can instead just muddle all of your mint and lime in the pitcher and pour fully-mixed mojitos into cups.

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Mint Tea Punch

<p>lutzflcat</p>

lutzflcat

This take on Southern "sweet tea" gets an extra dose of freshness from the addition of citrus juice and fresh mint sprigs. To make it a spiked sweet tea, feel free to add plenty of bourbon.

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Calimocho (Kalimotxo)

Photo by Khabile
Photo by Khabile

If you like the idea of a flavorful but low-maintenance picnic punch, then you'll love calimocho (also known as kalimotxo), a Spanish sipper that consists of equal parts red wine and cola. Just stir the two liquids together, and you're done!

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Perfect Pitcher of Pink Raspberry Cosmopolitans

Meredith
Meredith

Popular cocktails from the '90s and 2000s are enjoying a major comeback these days, and the Cosmopolitan is certainly no exception. This recipe can be easily transported to a picnic in a sealable pitcher, and its use of raspberry vodka and cran-raspberry juice (instead of "regular" cranberry juice) makes it feel especially summer-appropriate.

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Boozy Watermelon

mauigirl
mauigirl

When it comes to easy-to-serve picnic "cocktails," watermelon cubes infused with spirits are about as mess-free and portable as possible. This recipe calls for watermelon drenched with cachaça, a Brazilian sugar cane spirit best known for its inclusion in the caipirinha cocktail, and sweetened with turbinado sugar, a natural brown sugar famous for its caramel-like flavor. Recipe creator Lisa Combest calls this recipe "a quick way to liven up some watermelon. It makes a refreshing and intoxicating pool-side snack. Use toothpicks to serve out of the container or arrange on a pretty plate."

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Pitcher Perfect Margaritas

AllrecipesPhoto
AllrecipesPhoto

The appeal of an ice-cold margarita on a hot summer day (or night) can't be overstated, and the ease with which you can multiply a margarita recipe and create a big-enough batch to serve a group only contributes to its status as the ultimate summer party drink. Recipe creator TATTOOMAMA believes that she's found the ideal ratios for a big-batch margarita, telling readers that "after tweaking with several other margarita recipes, I finally found a way to get that 'real' margarita taste in a pitcher size for parties."

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Ginger-Peach Bellini

Allrecipes Magazine
Allrecipes Magazine

For a picnic drink that more than balances its own sweetness with delicious notes of spice, give this Bellini recipe a try. Seasonal peaches and peach schnapps mix with a ginger and peppercorn syrup to create the base of this cocktail. If serving to a group, pour this combination from a pitcher into glasses and top with hearty pours of Prosecco.

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Paloma

<p>Yoly</p>

Yoly

Like the calimocho, the Paloma (in its simplest form) is a true two-ingredient wonder: It only requires tequila and grapefruit soda (like Jarritos, Fresca, or Squirt). This particular recipe also adds lime juice for some extra tang and salt as a suggested rim for the glasses. Also, this recipe only makes one Paloma, but by simply upping your quantities to suit your number of guests, you can craft a perfect Paloma pitcher for a picnic.

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Big Batch Hugo Spritz

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

"Hugo spritz is a refreshing prosecco cocktail from Italy that will have your party guests soaking up all the breezy coastal vibes of the Mediterranean," says recipe developer Juliana Hale.

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Strawberry Champagne Punch

ace8284
ace8284

Summer is strawberry season, so it's highly appropriate to include a strawberry-forward punch on a list like this one. This easy-to-make recipe only includes strawberries (the recipe recommends partially frozen ones, which help to chill the punch), ginger ale, and (of course) a full bottle of Champagne.

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Big-Batch Pineapple-Basil Vodka Sours

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

"Channel your inner mixologist with infused vodka and homemade sour mix, then shake them together for a sweet-tart sipper you can call your own," says recipe developer Juliana Hale.

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