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Summer Wine and Sangria

One of the tricks to being a good host is making sure that all of your guests are having a good time while simultaneously looking like you are enjoying yourself. In other words, don’t let them see you sweat! On a hot summer afternoon or evening, a party featuring well-crafted libations is a special treat for all involved, but the last item on any party-giver’s to-do list is getting stuck behind the bar mixing drink after drink.

As our friend Kara Newman points out in her latest book Cocktails for a Crowd, a batch of ready-made drinks in a punchbowl or pitcher is a win-win for all concerned. Your friends will be thrilled to sip a refreshing prepared cooler, and you will earn accolades for your entertaining acumen.

Cocktails for a Crowd features more than 40 large-format drinks that are perfect for starting the party or keeping it going. One standout with a little Latin flair is the Rosemary Refresher which uses aged tequila and rosemary, an herb that figures heavily in Spanish cuisine. If rum is more your style, you can mix up a pitcher of Kara’s Raspberry Mojitos, a fresh, fruity take on the minty Caribbean classic. 

We spend a lot of time on the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Spain, and when the sun beats down in the middle of the day drinking your wine straight up is nothing but a one-way trip to dehydration. We order ice-cold pitchers of sangria or Tinto Verano, a blend of red wine and lemon soda that is an invigorating way to beat the heat. The addition of fruit juice, simple syrup, or soda to red wine is a nice way to keep the alcohol content down while serving up a delicious drink. Sangria usually has some chopped fruit mixed in, and we know that everybody loves to pick out the wine-and-sugar-soaked fruit and munch on it once the glass is otherwise empty. Make sure to have pre-measured backup ingredients on hand: Sangria goes fast!

Next, three crowd pleasing cocktails...

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