As a bartender, I know firsthand how busy things can get behind the bar. Between taking orders, mixing drinks, and chatting with customers, there's barely enough time to catch your breath.
That's why having a few make-ahead cocktail recipes in your back pocket can be a game-changer.
Not only do make-ahead cocktails save time during service, but they also allow you to experiment with new flavor combinations and get creative with your drink menu.
Plus, they're perfect for entertaining at home or bringing to a potluck.
But what exactly is a make-ahead cocktail? Essentially, it's a cocktail that can be pre-batched and stored in the fridge until it's ready to be served.
This means you can mix up large batches of drinks ahead of time, so you don't have to worry about measuring out ingredients or shaking up individual cocktails during service.
In this blog post, we'll be exploring some of the best make-ahead cocktail recipes out there. From classic favorites like the Old Fashioned to modern twists like the Watermelon Margarita, there's something for everyone on this list.
So, whether you're a seasoned bartender looking to streamline your service or a home mixologist looking to impress your guests, read on for some delicious and easy-to-make make-ahead cocktails.
1. Blackberry Tequila Cooler
The Blackberry Tequila Cooler is a refreshing and light cocktail that is perfect for a summer gathering. This make ahead cocktail combines the sweetness of blackberries with the tartness of lime and the fizziness of sparkling wine, making it a great choice for those who prefer a fruity and bubbly drink.
The best part about this cocktail is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, making it easy to serve to a crowd. Adapted from Rachel Ray Every Day, June 2019, this cocktail is a must-try for those who want to impress their guests with a delicious and unique drink.
The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail that blends bitter, dry, and sweet flavors. It's made by mixing equal parts of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. The addition of orange slices gives it a traditional garnish and adds a touch of sweetness to the mix.
It's a great cocktail for summer evenings and camping trips, and can be made ahead of time and stored in a Mason jar. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful cocktail, the Negroni is definitely worth a try.
3. Turmeric Spritzer Cocktail
The Turmeric Spritzer Cocktail is a unique and refreshing addition to any cocktail party. This cocktail features a homemade turmeric syrup that adds a delicious and healthy twist to the classic spritzer. The syrup can be made ahead of time, making it the perfect make-ahead cocktail for any occasion.
The bright citrusy flavors of the orange juice and zest are perfectly balanced with the sparkling wine, making this cocktail a crowd-pleaser. The turmeric syrup can also be used to make Italian sodas or served with vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet. If you're looking for a new and exciting cocktail to impress your guests, the Turmeric Spritzer Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
4. Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
The Honeycrisp Apple Sangria is a signature fall cocktail that combines red wine, brandy, fall spices, and sweet honeycrisp apples. It's sweet, but not overly sugary, with flavors of cider, citrus, cinnamon, and honeycrisp apples in each sip. The best part?
It's the ultimate make-ahead drink, perfect for fall gatherings or cozy evenings. Just prepare a pitcher ahead of time and let the flavors balance in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours before serving. Add club soda right before serving to give the sangria a little pop.
5. Strawberry Lemonade Moscato Slushie
The Strawberry Lemonade Moscato Slushie is a perfect cocktail for a hot summer day. This wine slushie is made with Moscato, frozen lemonade concentrate, Sprite, and strawberries, and can be prepared in advance and kept in the freezer for up to three months.
The recipe provides different methods to make the slushie, including using an ice cream maker or freezing the mixture in a cake pan or ice cube trays. The Strawberry Lemonade Moscato Slushie is a refreshing and delicious party drink that is sure to be a hit with guests. So, if you're looking for a make-ahead cocktail that's easy to prepare and perfect for any occasion, give this slushie a try!
6. Sweet Tea and Bourbon Cocktail
The Sweet Tea and Bourbon Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make drink that's perfect for entertaining guests. The cocktail has a lovely mix of sweetness and freshness, with big vanilla, oak, and caramel notes that make it a perfect whiskey for mixing into cocktails.
It's a great make-ahead cocktail that's bound to impress your guests with its light and refreshing taste. The Sweet Tea and Bourbon Cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves a good bourbon cocktail, and it's sure to be a hit at your next party.
7. Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour
The Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour is a refreshing twist on the classic whiskey sour, perfect for cool weather and seasonal parties. Made with fresh Meyer lemon juice, this batch cocktail is easy to make ahead of time, freeing up your time during the party.
The addition of simple syrup and maraschino cherries adds a touch of sweetness, while the whiskey gives it a warm kick. The unique flavor of the Meyer lemon and lime juices makes this cocktail stand out from the crowd. Whether you're hosting a party or just craving a whiskey sour, this recipe is sure to please.
8. Rose Sangria
The Rose Sangria is a fruity and refreshing make-ahead cocktail that's perfect for summer parties. Made with rosé wine and summer fruits, it's customizable and pairs well with any dinner menu.
Sangria should be made at least 2 hours before serving, so all the fruit can mix well with the rest of the ingredients and so that it can have time to chill. If you're looking for a fun and colorful drink that's easy to prepare, then the Rose Sangria is definitely worth a try!
9. Apple Cider Sangria
"Apple Cider Sangria" is a delicious twist on the traditional sangria recipe, made with white wine, apple cider, fresh orange & lime juice, and brandy. It's perfect for fall and holiday parties, and can be made ahead of time.
The longer the flavors marry together, the better it tastes. If you're looking for a signature drink for the holidays, "Apple Cider Sangria" is definitely worth trying.
10. French 77
French 77 is a refreshing and bubbly cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. This cocktail is made with elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, gin, and sparkling wine, giving it a subtle sweetness that is perfectly balanced with the tartness of the lemon juice.
The gin adds a nice kick to the drink, making it a strong and delicious cocktail that is sure to impress your guests. French 77 is a great make-ahead cocktail that can be easily multiplied to serve a crowd. It's a fun and easy drink to make that your guests will love. So, if you're looking for a delicious and refreshing cocktail that is sure to impress, give French 77 a try!
11. Vodka Spritzer
The Vodka Spritzer is a simple yet refreshing cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. With only three ingredients, this cocktail is easy to make and even easier to drink. It's a great option for those who want a light and refreshing cocktail without too much alcohol.
The spritzer is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or as a signature cocktail at your next party. If you're a fan of fruity cocktails, there are endless variations to explore. Overall, the Vodka Spritzer is a must-try cocktail that is sure to impress your guests.
12. Strawberry Wine Punch
The Strawberry Wine Punch is a refreshing and fruity cocktail made with fresh strawberries and wine. It's perfect for parties and gatherings, as it can be made ahead of time.
This cocktail has been featured on Country Living and Cosmo, making it a crowd-pleaser. If you're looking for an easy and delicious cocktail that your guests will love, give this one a try.
13. Red Wine Sangria
Red Wine Sangria is a refreshing and fruity cocktail that is perfect for summertime gatherings. This Spanish-inspired cocktail is loaded with fresh fruits, including citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges, as well as strawberries, apples, and peaches. The fruits are soaked in red wine, triple sec, and fruit juices, creating a sweet and delightful flavor that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.
The best part about this cocktail is that it can be made ahead of time, making it a great choice for parties and gatherings. Simply stir together the ingredients, refrigerate for a few hours, and add soda or sparkling water right before serving. Whether you're hosting a BBQ or lounging on the patio, Red Wine Sangria is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
14. Grapefruit Margarita
The Grapefruit Margarita is a refreshing and delicious cocktail with the perfect balance of sweet and sour. It has succulent citrus and lime flavors that blend well with the tequila and triple sec.
The cocktail is easy to prepare with fresh or jarred grapefruit juice and a few other simple ingredients. It can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. The Grapefruit Margarita is perfect for BBQs, cocktail parties, tailgates, and brunch.
15. Tequila Cocktail With Blood Orange and Pomegranate
The Tequila Cocktail with Blood Orange and Pomegranate is a vibrant and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for a small gathering or a party. The combination of silver reposado tequila, pomegranate liqueur, and pomegranate molasses creates a sweet and tangy flavor that is balanced by the addition of blood orange Italian soda.
This make ahead cocktail is perfect for those who want to enjoy their guests without worrying about mixing drinks all night. The base mixture can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. This cocktail is very flexible and can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. It is a must-try for anyone who loves tequila and wants to impress their guests with a delicious and unique cocktail.
16. Coconut Lime Mojito Shooters With Blueberry
If you're looking for a tropical-themed cocktail that's easy to prepare ahead of time, then the Coconut Lime Mojito Shooters with Blueberry is a must-try. This creamy and flavorful shooter is a perfect blend of coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, lime, rum, and mint leaves.
The blueberry syrup adds a pop of color and flavor to the bottom of the shooter, making it a visually appealing drink. The creaminess of the shooter helps to coat the tongue, allowing you to savor the flavors for longer. This cocktail is perfect for a summer party or a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Try it out and impress your guests with this delicious and refreshing drink.
17. Godiva Chocolate Martini
The Godiva Chocolate Martini is a decadent and indulgent cocktail that is perfect for those who love chocolate. Made with Godiva liqueur, vanilla vodka, chocolate liqueur, and milk, this cocktail is like an adult version of chocolate milk. It's rich, creamy, and the perfect after-dinner drink.
The best part? It's incredibly easy to make with just a few ingredients and a shaker. The Godiva Chocolate Martini is sure to impress your guests and have them asking for the recipe. If you're a chocolate lover, this cocktail is a must-try.
18. Fresh Grapefruit Margarita
Fresh Grapefruit Margarita is a refreshing and light cocktail that is perfect for summertime. This homemade margarita is made with freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices, giving it a crisp and fruity taste that is hard to beat.
The addition of simple syrup ensures that the cocktail is perfectly balanced and not too tart. To give it a restaurant-ready look, the glasses can be rimmed with salt or sugar and a wedge of lime. Impress your friends and family with this easy-to-make cocktail that is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
19. Lychee Martini
The Lychee Martini is a delightful cocktail that combines the tropical sweetness of lychee with the potency of rum and vodka. This cocktail is perfect for those who love their drinks strong and sweet.
The magical properties of lychees add an extra layer of intrigue to this already fascinating cocktail. It's easy to make and can be served as a pre-dinner drink or at a fancy party. The Lychee Martini is definitely worth trying out if you're looking for a unique and delicious cocktail.
20. Newfoundland Blueberry Rum Slush
The Newfoundland Blueberry Rum Slush is a perfect make-ahead cocktail for the festive season. Made with wild Newfoundland blueberries, this cocktail is a refreshing and unique twist on the classic slush. The intense blueberry flavor is complemented by a hint of lemon, making it a perfect pre-dinner drink or house specialty at any Christmas party.
The recipe is versatile, allowing for substitutions of vodka or gin for those who prefer a different type of alcohol. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a refreshing and unique twist on a classic cocktail.
21. Hot Buttered Rum
Hot Buttered Rum is a delicious and cozy winter cocktail that is perfect for cold evenings. This classic warm drink is made with a rich and buttery batter that is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and sweetened with honey. Of course, it wouldn't be Hot Buttered Rum without a generous splash of rum to warm you up from the inside out.
This cocktail is easy to make and can be customized to your tastes. Plus, with make-ahead tips, you can easily serve this drink at a party or enjoy it on your own whenever you want. If you're looking for a warm and comforting drink to sip on this winter, Hot Buttered Rum is definitely worth trying.
22. Rose Infused Lemon Drop Martini
The Rose Infused Lemon Drop Martini is a sweet and floral cocktail made with homemade rose simple syrup. It's easy to make and perfect for entertaining. The light pink color makes it a great choice for Valentine's Day.
The rose flavor adds a unique twist to the classic lemon drop martini, making it a dangerously good cocktail that is easy to drink and perfect for any occasion.
23. Sparkling Red Sangria
If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-make make-ahead cocktail, then Sparkling Red Sangria is a must-try. This cocktail is made with your favorite red wine, fresh fruit, and a splash of orange liqueur. The longer the fruit soaks, the more it absorbs the sangria, making it a perfect snack once you finish your drink.
This cocktail is perfect for any occasion, whether you're planning a romantic dinner or a backyard barbecue with friends. The best thing about this cocktail is that it can be made in advance, so you can spend more time enjoying your company and less time making drinks. So, if you're looking for a refreshing and flavorful cocktail that's easy to make, Sparkling Red Sangria is definitely worth a try.
24. Black Sangria
If you're looking for a spooky and delicious cocktail to serve at your Halloween party, look no further than the Black Sangria. This make-ahead cocktail is made with dark wine, blackberries, black plums, and black grapes, giving it a deep, dark color and a fruity flavor.
It's perfect for serving at a pumpkin carving party, Halloween bar, or movie night. The Apothic Dark wine used in the recipe adds a little spice and complements the dark fruit flavors perfectly. If you're a fan of sangria, you'll love this Halloween twist on a classic recipe. Give it a try and impress your guests with this eerie and delicious cocktail.
25. Winter Sangria
Winter Sangria is a perfect holiday cocktail that is sure to please both sweet and boozy drink lovers alike. This cocktail is made with a decent, affordable red wine, brandy, orange liqueur, citrus, apples, pears, and pomegranate arils. The best part is that it can be made in large batches and can last the entire holiday season.
The fruit infused with the boozy mixture adds a delicious twist to the drink. This cocktail is perfect for any holiday party or gathering, and it's sure to be a hit with your guests. So, if you're looking for a festive and easy-to-make cocktail that will impress your guests, Winter Sangria is definitely worth trying.
26. Mai Tai
The Merry Mai Tai is a fruity dark rum cocktail with a twist for the holidays. Made with pineapple juice, orange juice, dark rum, and amaretto, it's a smooth and balanced drink that's perfect for those who prefer lighter drinks.
Mixing the juices, amaretto, and rum together in a pitcher an hour or two ahead of time makes it an easy make-ahead cocktail for holiday gatherings. The garnish of fresh cranberries on a toothpick adds a festive touch to this delicious cocktail.
27. Sparkling Red Wine Sangria
If you're looking for an easy and delicious make-ahead cocktail for your next party, look no further than the Sparkling Red Wine Sangria. This classic Spanish punch is made with a red wine blend, fresh fruit (such as Pink Lady apples and Cara Cara oranges), and a splash of sparkling water for some fizz.
The longer it sits in the fridge, the better the flavors meld together, making it the perfect cocktail to prep ahead of time. Plus, you can snack on the fruit once you've finished your drink! Whether you're hosting a backyard BBQ or a romantic dinner for two, this sangria is sure to impress your guests. So grab a pitcher, some wine glasses, and get ready to sip on this refreshing and fruity cocktail.
28. Blueberry Gin and Sage Punch
The Blueberry Gin and Sage Punch is a refreshing and festive make-ahead cocktail perfect for holiday gatherings. Made with gin, lemon, blueberry sage infused simple syrup, and Prosecco, it's light and effervescent with a burst of flavor.
The combination of frozen blueberries, fresh sage, and Prosecco is divine, and the sage and blueberry simple syrup can be left to seep overnight for extra flavor. It's a great way to impress your guests and add some sparkle to your holiday celebration.
29. Pineapple Gin & Ginger Beer Cocktail
The Pineapple Gin & Ginger Beer Cocktail is a refreshing and spicy twist on the classic Gin & Tonic or Moscow Mule. With just five simple ingredients, this cocktail is perfect for those who want to impress their guests without spending too much time in the kitchen.
The combination of pineapple juice, ginger beer, and gin creates a unique flavor that is both sweet and spicy. The addition of thyme sprigs gives the cocktail a beautiful aroma that will make your guests want to take a sip right away.