There’s something about a communal drink that completes a summer cookout. Punch recipes are meant for sharing and for bringing the group together. They provide a low maintenance beverage option that’s manageable for the party’s host and easy to prepare ahead of time.
These libations keep the group refreshed in the heat of a summer afternoon. Most punch recipes call for both fruit juice and sliced fruit. For the most flavorful punches we recommend using fresh ingredients as much as possible, this cuts down on the added sugars for the most thirst quenching hydration.
Other key aspects of making a good punch are its presentation. Beyond the obvious punch bowl or pitcher, using good ice and fresh sliced fruit will make a big difference. The fresh fruit slices not only affect the flavor, they have the added benefit of creating an eye-catching punch bowl. Average ice cubes melt quickly and dilute the mixture, instead opt for a storage container or mixing bowl to create a large piece of ice. Using good ice will have a tremendous impact on preserving the overall flavor and create a nicer look.
1. Planter’s Punch
The Planter’s Punch is a straightforward five ingredient cocktail. This classic “tiki” style drink combines all the typical tropical flavors; dark rum is mixed with pineapple, orange, and lime juices, plus grenadine. This punch recipe is measured for a single serving but can easily be made in a large batch formula, simply multiply for your expected group’s size.
The Show Me State is a smokey and citrus frozen cocktail. It’s served as a slushy, making it fun and approachable for a summer cookout. This punch recipe is simply made and easy to adjust depending on the desired serving size.
This modern take on the traditional red Sangria and is a lighter libation on a scorching afternoon. White Sangria uses white wine instead of red, hence the name. It’s topped with sparkling water and uses fresh seasonal fruit for a truly refreshing wine-based drink.
The still refreshing, classic ruby-colored Sangria follows the traditional Spanish recipe. It combines red wine, brandy, and orange juice with seasonal citrus, pome, and stone fruits. Use your preferred red wine or opt for an authentic Rioja for a truly Spanish-style Sangria.
A summer cookout wouldn’t be complete without a frozen treat. The Lillet Frosé is a simply made and low-proof option. Refreshing watermelon and citrus juice are mixed with the French rosé wine apéritif for a truly thirst quenching slushy.
The Pimm’s Cup is a classic British cocktail, perfect for keeping your cookout crew going through the summer heat. Certified as the official cocktail of Wimbledon, it’s known for its refreshing qualities. It’s easy to make in a large batch to be served in a pitcher for sharing.
This tequila-base punch recipe packs a lot of flavor. It combines the agave spirit with fresh sliced citrus fruit, lime juice, grenadine, and bubbly lemon lime soda. The sweet and tart flavors play well with each other and create a party worthy punch.
This punch was made for lazy summer afternoons. Hailing from colonial-era Philadelphia, the Fish House Punch is a potent concoction meant to keep patrons cool, or rather oblivious to the heat. This punch recipe is meant for sharing, perfect for your cookout gathering.
Aptly named, the Al Freco Spritz, is the perfect refreshment for an afternoon outdoors. St-Germain is mixed with gin, bianco vermouth, lime juice, and topped off with sparkling water and prosecco. It’s a spritz meant for sharing and staying cool in the heat.
The Rum Swizzle is a tropical cocktail meant for beating the heat. This Bermuda classic uses two types of rum and combines them with traditional tropical flavors. The recipe’s large batch formula makes it perfect for pitcher pouring.
More than just a fruit punch when made well with fresh ingredients and good ice, the Port Royal Punch is a party worthy communal drink. Spiced rum is combined with mango and pineapple juices, grenadine, and lemon lime soda. This punch recipe serves a dozen and is easily scalable for smaller or larger groups.
The Scorpion Bowl is meant for communal sharing, with a serving bowl by the same name. Citrus juices and sweet orgeat syrup expertly mask its lethal “scorpion” potency. Fun and festive as it is flavorful, this punch recipe is sure to be the talk of the party.