If we’re going to the trouble of throwing a big holiday bash, the last thing we want to do is spend all night in the kitchen with a cocktail shaker. Because let's be honest: We want to be drinking the cocktails, not playing bartender for hours on end. Enter the batch cocktail, that wondrous drink you can mix up in big portions before the first guest rings the buzzer, so your friends (and you) won't have to cope with an empty glass. Here, 5 of our favorite make-ahead cocktails this season, and we're not just talking your basic punch and sangria.
A Sbagliato is basically a Negroni, but swaps out the gin for Champagne—making it an especially perfect choice for New Year's Eve. David Lebovitz gives his version a spritz spin, which makes it less boozy than a traditional Negroni but also easier to chug all night.
2. Slow-cooker spiced wine
Warm drinks are like soul food when it’s freezing out, and what better than a spiced (or mulled) wine you can make in batches in the slow cooker. This recipe from Well Plated lets you serve up the wine cocktail piping-hot, and fragrant with the aromas of star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
3. Champagne and blood orange punch
A punch bowl isn't exactly a groundbreaking choice for a party, but we're betting you've never had one like Spoon for Bacon’s Spiced Blood Orange Champagne Punch. The bright, bracing punch has a mimosa feel to it, and blood oranges give it an added touch of seasonal color.
4. Winter sangria
Sangria is often a warm-weather cocktail, but Sweet Pea and Saffron’s version highlights winter fruit (apples, pears, pomegranate), spiced with nutmeg and cloves.
5. Spiced pomegranate sangria
Another way to enjoy sangria during the winter is to serve it warm. The Frugal Foodie Mama makes a sangria that recalls spiced wine, by adding apple cider, fresh pomegranate, apples and lots of spice. And note: There’s vodka AND wine in this drink, so it’ll pack a serious buzz. Perfect for getting through the holiday season.
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