If you're not batching cocktails, you're missing out on one of the best-kept happy hour secrets in summer entertaining. Leave mixing up drinks one at a time to the bartenders and serve batch cocktails for your next summer event.

Why Batched Cocktails

So you've invited a bunch of friends over and went grocery shopping. You've got the grill on, but it's taking longer than you expected to get everything ready. Your friends are due any minute, and you still haven't put out the snacks. The doorbell rings. Great, so now you have to greet your guests, serve them drinks, and somehow get back on track before everyone else arrives.

Entertaining can be stressful, so why not make it easier on yourself? Batching a cocktail ahead of time makes it super simple to serve your guests a drink. And you might as well pour one for yourself, too.

While batched cocktails, like this sangria with Chilean wines, will save you from last-minute stressors, it isn't the only reason batched cocktails are part of our entertaining tips. Mixing up a big batch of cocktails in advance is much easier than prepping personal cocktails for each person. It also makes a party a touch more elegant than if you'd just served wine by the bottle. So whether you're celebrating a special occasion like a milestone birthday or just looking for a way to set your dinner party apart from more casual hangouts, this easy, elegant solution is one you need to try. 

Your Batched Cocktail Starter Kit

Sangria is one of the most beginner-friendly batched cocktails to try, and we've got a killer sangria recipe using Chilean wines, herbs, fruits, and an unexpected garden ingredient. Hey, you've got to stand out.

You'll need something to mix and stir the drinks in. While a punch bowl might be cute for a hot winter beverage, like a mulled wine around the fireplace, a pitcher will do perfectly here. For sangria, it helps to have a spoon or ladle, so you can give everyone a bit of the marinated fruit to enjoy with their drink. Next, don't forget the glasses. For outdoor summer entertaining, something sturdy like a mason jar is best: if it gets knocked over, it will roll rather than break. If ambiance is key, there are some pretty great plastic wine tumblers you'd never guess weren't glass. Or, you can put out the good stuff. 

Sangria is a favorite cocktail party drink because it's so flexible. You can dress it up, dress it down, and tailor the flavors of the fruits to reflect what's in season. Once you've got the basic technique (and our devilishly divine recipe), feel free to experiment the next time you make it by adding your own personal twist. You can even scale up the recipe. If you're having a big crowd, just do the math. For instance, say you want to quadruple the recipe: you'll just multiply out four times the base amount and put everything in a larger container - like one of those large glass beverage dispensers.

Since the flavors need to meld, sangria actually tastes better when it's made ahead. So get started on it the night before you host, or earlier in the day (we recommend at least 6 hours to chill). Since sangria is served chilled, always put the batched drink in the refrigerator where the flavors can meld. If the gathering is impromptu, don't stress. You can still put together a batched cocktail like sangria. It might not have the same qualities or impact as a chilled sangria, but your guests will still love it.

Are you ready to plan your next party? Grab our recipe, and stock up on Chilean wines, which have the complexity of flavor to complement the fruit, sweet, and tart notes of a sangria.