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Perfect Party Cocktail Recipes

You’ve decided to throw a party, invited all of your friends and planned the food. All that’s left to do is sort the drinks. The beers are in the fridge, the fizz is on ice, but to really get into a celebratory swing, you need to mix things up a bit. We’re talking about muddling mojitos, shaking up a Mai Tai or serving an Alabama Slammer: after all, what’s a party without a cocktail?

While the term ‘cocktail party’ might have fallen out of favour, we’re most definitely still enjoying them. Post-work get-together, pre-dinner drinks, girls’ night-in: a shindig by any other name still calls for a cocktail or three, and while you might not be a master mixologist by the end of this blog, you’ll have loads more inspiration for fab cocktail recipes and fun party tipples.

To make sure your menu stretches beyond ‘vodka cocktails’ (vodka and coke, anyone?) you need a well-stocked bar. Starting from scratch could get pricey, so why not ask party guests to bring a bottle? Prosecco, gin, tequila, rum and whisky all go down well in cocktails – just make sure they’re choosing from a ‘bar list’ so you don’t end up with half a dozen bottles of grenadine and nothing to mix it with!

Birthday party, summer barbecue, engagement do or ‘just because’ – if you want to know how to make party cocktails for different celebrations, have a browse at the cocktail recipes below, then get ready to make your soirée sparkle with our in-the-spirit drink selections.

The classics
What defines a classic cocktail? Staying power. Recipes move with the times, but the classics endure decade after decade. Featuring on all sophisticated cocktail menus, whisky cocktails hit the spot every time, while the Espresso Martini is our caffeinated version of James Bond’s favourite.

Crowd-thrilling cocktails
Leaving you free to kick back, relax and mingle with your friends rather than playing barman, a large batch bowl of punch is a party host’s best friend. Preparing a big bowl or pitcher really takes the pressure off, and the self-service option sets the tone for a laid-back gathering.

Island-inspired drinks
Instantly bringing palm trees, golden beaches and a gentle ocean breeze to mind, these tropical cocktails are a thirst-quenching slice of paradise – no passport required. Deliciously smooth coconut cream and rum are a winning combination in a Pina Colada, or swap pineapple for passion fruit in our Passion Fruit Colada.

Ice cool summer drinks
From long, tall thirst-quenchers to sophisticated sundowners, there’s no better way to cool down than with a little something over ice. Make a litre of booze-free Iced Raspberry Tea for two or 2.5 litres of Sangria to cool a crowd; beat the heat with Tipsy Iced Tea, get a fruity fix with a Blueberry Cooler or make lemonade more lovely with a non-alcoholic Rock Shandy.

Party like it’s 1929!
Time-honoured cocktails, first served in the clandestine speakeasies of 1920s America, are firmly back in favour, so why not step back in time with our old-school suggestions? Fairy’s Frappé is a mythical absinthe marvel based on a Mint Julep; Nickel Above The Dollar is our version of the Aviation; while The Second Coming is a warming gin and ginger combo.

During America’s prohibition era, party-goers drank alcohol from teacups to fool law enforcement authorities, and we still love the idea. Pinkies out, everyone! 
A Refreshing Blend, serves 1
Ingredients: 45ml cognac, 20ml chilled Earl Grey tea, 10ml sherry, 5ml runny honey, 8 drops vanilla bitters and some ice cubes.
Method: Put all the ingredients into a mixing glass, stir, and strain into a teacup.

Mad about mojitos
Arguably the world’s greatest cocktail! When it comes to making them without a cocktail shaker, you can’t go wrong with the Mojito Recipe Glass, while the 4-Piece Mojito Set contains all the essential cocktail kit to muddle, shake and serve Havana’s finest. Irresistibly fresh and light, with its simple blend of rum, mint, lime and soda, our raspberry version (below) puts a fruity spin on this Cuban classic.

Raspberry Mojito, Serves 1

Ingredients: Ice cubes, 4 fresh raspberries, 8 fresh mint leaves, 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 tsp sugar syrup, 1 tbsp crème de cassis, 35ml golden rum, Buderim Ginger Refresher to top up and a mint sprig, to serve.
Method: Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the raspberries, mint leaves, lime juice, sugar syrup, crème de cassis and rum. Stir well with a long-handled spoon, top up with Buderim Ginger Refresher, garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy!

Prosecco cocktails
Everyone’s favourite sparkler. A party prerequisite to put the bubbles into your bash, you can even buy bottles of ready-mixed blue drink made with fizz, but it’s really simple to make your own blue prosecco: just pour a shot of peach schnapps into a champagne flute, add a shot of blue curaçao liqueur and top up with prosecco for a bright blue fruity Bellini. If red is more your colour, give our Prosecco Rose Royale, almond and cherry-flavoured Shimmery Bakewell Fizz or Popping Prosecco Raspberry Bellini a shake – don’t forget the PopaBalls and Shimmer to add bursting bubbles of flavour and an iridescent sparkle! They’re fab at Christmas too, which leads us nicely to…

A cup of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful – and boozy – time of the year… Helping you to get well and truly into the festive spirit, our seasonal tipples (and merry mocktails!) are sure to get the good times rolling. Our Christmas Cookie cocktail might sound innocent, but this is most definitely a grown-up twist on milk and cookies; try Hot Buttered Rum for a tempting winter toddy; sip a Snowball for an avalanche of flavour, or fill the Kilner Drinks Dispenser with suitable-for-all Christmas Punch and let guests help themselves. Don’t forget an ‘on the wagon’ Cranberry Punch for the designated driver.

We highly recommend giving The Poinsettia champagne cocktail a whirl, too. Remember – you must drink responsibly… Santa is watching!

The Poinsettia, serves 1

Ingredients: 10ml Cointreau, 50ml cranberry juice, chilled champagne to top up and a few Strawberry PopaBalls (optional).
Method: Pour the Cointreau and cranberry juice into a champagne saucer; stir gently, top up with champagne and spoon in a few Popaballs, if using.

Set your stall
Every host worth their celery salt needs the right cocktail shaker set, mixers and makers to hand, and we’ve got loads of fab equipment and cocktail tools to choose from. Whether you’re getting your own party prepped or looking for a gift for a cocktail lover, start out with the essentials like the Stainless Steel Cocktail Set or Bartending Glasses that make it really easy, or if you prefer making cocktails with a blender, go all out with the Smart Margarator Pro-Margarita Maker that makes and dispenses slushy-style margaritas, daiquiris or frosés.

Wondering how to make good cocktails without the help of a bartender? Up the flavour ante with ready-to-use syrups like The Modern Cocktail Global Mixers, Tipplesworth Cocktail Mixer Trio or the fruity Champagne Toppers. Without doubt the easiest way to recreate your favourites from the drinks menu. Reviving a bar-keeping tradition, the Sugar Rebel Cocktail Stirrers are fab for sweetening a whisky sour to top the night off.

You’ll find loads more drinks recipes on our website, alongside stacks of cocktail sets, ingredients and accessories. So open up the cabinet, dust off your jigger, shake with flair and add a few new drinks to your repertoire. Bottoms up!

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