You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.
There's a reason everyone always ends up in the kitchen at a party. Usually, that's where the bar is.
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Cocktails can make or break an otherwise lively get together: they can turn a perfectly agreeable evening into one to remember, a low hum into a dull roar. When the drinks are flowing, the conversation's good, and the snacks -- better.
But, when faced with what to make for a throng of eager party-goers, we often end up scratching our heads: what drinks can you stir together easily that will serve -- and impress -- a crowd? With this in mind, we asked our team of fellow imbibers:
What cocktails do you entertain with?
How do you please a thirsty crowd? What can you pull together from your liquor cabinet last-minute? Tell us in the comments!
Jackie: Pimm's Cup! It's so refreshing, and especially delicious in spring and summer.
More: Don't be caught empty handed -- we have everything you need for a spontaneous cocktail party.
Michael: I recently batch-made Boulevardiers for a dinner party of 6 by premixing ten of them in a bottle. The only thing I had to do when the guests arrived was stir two at a time in a cocktail pitcher, strain, and garnish. In the summertime, I like to go the punch route. Here's a summer punch I posted on Food52 in 2009!
Posie: I go for Palomas. For a classy version, I use tequila, grapefruit juice, and seltzer. For something a little less classy, and more delicious, I just use tequila and grapefruit soda.
Jojo: For spring and summer, whiskey sours with some mint and/or basil and a few splashes of fizzy water.
Lauren K: I make a huge batch of rhubarb liqueur every year and serve it at parties. Perfect with soda and/or prosecco. For brunch parties, I have a reliable Bloody Mary recipe and I let guests pick their booze of choice: vodka, gin, and tequila. Is it summer yet?
Marian: Negroni negroni -- negroni negroni (to the tune of this).
Sarah: I made a pitcher of the Southside at a dinner party the other week, and let's just say my friends have never been happier.
Catherine: Unfortunately, I am not yet classy enough to possess a liquor cabinet, but on one cold winter's eve I did brew up a batch of Rooster Punch to great success. Based off a drink of the same name from the Red Rooster in Harlem, it consists of red wine, brandy, orange liqueur, and orange juice. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
Gabriella P: I made this Apple Rye Punch for nearly every party and holiday since October, and it made the endless winter slightly more tolerable. In summer, I do gin, Prosecco, Canton ginger liqueur, and maybe a touch of grapefruit juice.
Tell us in the comments: what are your favorite cocktails to entertain with?