With the summer almost upon us, we’re thinking it’s time to party! However, having a party isn’t much fun if you spend its entirety as the most stressed out host or hostess in the world. Luckily, serving good drinks for a big group isn’t hard. A great resource for creating crowd-ready beverages is Kara Newman’s new book Cocktails for a Crowd, which has well-tested recipes for groups of many sizes and an intro section full of tips and advice. Here, our friend A.J. Rathbun of Seattle Magazine has chosen three recommended recipes from Newman’s book, plus one from his book, Good Spirits.

cocktails

Botanical Aperitif Punch (serves 8 to 10): This liquid starter, as Newman tells us, comes from Corey Bunnewith, the mixologist at Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar in Boston, and uses a lush honey syrup.

In a punch bowl combine:
10 ounces (1-1/4 cups) gin
10 ounces (1-1/4 cups) Lillet Blanc
10 ounces (1-1/4 cups) honey syrup
7 ounces (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir until thoroughly blended.
Add 1 ice block. To serve, ladle into coupe or martini glasses and garnish with a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

For the honey syrup: In a small saucepan, combine:
6 ounces (3/4 cup) honey
6 ounces (3/4 cup) water and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly blended.
Let cool to room temperature. Store in a covered container at room temperature; it will keep for about 24 hours.

Alchemist Punch (serves 10 to 12): This herbal number utilizes one of my favorite liqueurs, Bénédictine. It also uses mandarin orange purée. Newman notes that “Boiron-brand mandarin orange purée is excellent in this punch.”

In a pitcher that holds at least 11 cups, combine:
10 ounces (1-1/4 cups) warm water
1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) honey and stir until thoroughly blended
Stir in:
One 750-ml bottle (about 3-1/4 cups) Bénédictine
16 ounces (2 cups) mandarin purée
12 ounces (1-1/2 cups) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Then add 3 tangerines, cut into wedges and 2 lemons, sliced into wheels.
Refrigerate at least four hours to infuse the punch with the flavors of the fruit.
To serve, pour the punch into a punch bowl and add 2-1/2 cups ice cubes. Ladle into punch glasses or teacups.

Find more summer cocktail recipes over at Seattle Magazine.

This is our weekly guest post from our friends at Seattle Magazine, which keeps readers on the pulse of restaurants, personalities, arts, entertainment and culture that reflect the tapestry of our dynamic landscape. We’ve teamed up for an exciting partnership to bring you a weekly dose of fantastic Date Night ideas throughout greater Seattle.

photo credit: Tri Lyn Fisher