There is nothing I love quite as much as an icy adult beverage on a hot summer afternoon, preferably with sprinklers running nearby and some grilled burgers in my immediate future.
But I have to admit that while I enjoy sipping cocktails, I am an extremely lazy maker of cocktails. Gin and tonics are about as fancy as I typically get, people.
This is why I am a huge fan of Maggie Hoffman's latest cocktail book, Batch Cocktails. It is full of make-ahead, big-batch cocktails for lazy souls such as myself.
What Is a Batch Cocktail?
A batch cocktail is one that can be made, assembled, and pitcher-ed (technical term) entirely, or almost entirely, ahead of time. This is extremely useful for party situations when you'd rather be mingling with your friends with a beverage in hand, instead of standing at the counter shaking cocktails for a line of thirsty guests.
It's also useful if you'd like to make a batch of cocktails as part of your Sunday meal prep and keep it stashed in the fridge for nightcaps during the week. Maggie has a whole list of recipes in her book that are perfect for this.
For me, the idea of prepping big batch cocktails feels more approachable. I have all the ingredients laid out. I get any finicky (to me) steps like simple syrups and muddling fruits done all at once. And I'm not doing this work for the reward of only a single cocktail.
Maggie's Brilliant Cocktail Book
In Maggie's expert hands, batch cocktails are more than just pouring a few different liquors together in a pitcher. These are nuanced recipes with depth and pizzazz.
Some are spirit-forward, like a riff on the Manhattan called Happiness. Some will take advantage of your herb garden, like the tequila-based Garden Rambler. Others will introduce you to new liquors while wooing you with fruity flavors, like the Side Porch Sangria I'm sharing today.
Maggie interviewed dozens of top bartenders and mixologists around the country while putting together this book. These batch cocktails are all based on their favorite fancy cocktails, but accessible to those of us without mixology degrees.
Let's Talk Sangria
Ok, this sangria. This is not your typical super-sweet and fruity sangria, my friends. This one is for those of us who like to live on the edge and try new things.
Here's what's in it: dry white wine, Aperol, Campari, Carpano Antico, apricot juice, and grapefruit juice. It's a boozy combo with a bitter-sweet flavor that works so very well as a summer afternoon sipper.
Carpano Antica was a relatively new one for me. I've seen it on cocktail menus, but never done anything with it myself. This stuff is the bomb, and now I'm keeping it stocked in my fridge (like white wine, carpano should be kept refrigerated!).
It's a vermouth that tastes like a wacky-but-perfect blend of bitter herbs, warm baking spices (think: cinnamon and clove), orange peel, and some licorice root. Throw some vanilla in there too, and you've got it about right.
This Carpano adds that "something special" to this sangria, but I've also been enjoying it on its own over ice!
P.S. Looking for a booze-free sangria? We're also sharing Maggie's Pomegranate-Citrus Sans-gria recipe!
Try These Other Sangria Recipes!
Apricot and White Wine Side Porch Sangria
From Maggie Hoffman: "Sangria just calls out for experimentation, and there’s no reason to feel tethered to a ho-hum mix of wine and fruit. In this fruity-but-bitter rendition, Dorothy Elizabeth of Straylight in New York brings out the juicy flavors of Sauvignon Blanc by adding fresh grapefruit juice and citrusy Aperol, bracing Campari, and rich Italian vermouth. Boxed or bottled apricot juice rounds out the drink. For a lighter version, I like to top off the mix with a splash of chilled seltzer."
Reprinted with permission from Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
For the sangria:
1/2 cup plus (10 tablespoons) Aperol
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) Campari
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
1 (750 ml) bottle chilled dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) chilled apricot juice (such as Looza or Ceres)
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
Grapefruit, sliced into quarter-moons
Fresh apricots, pitted and sliced (optional)
Chilled seltzer or club soda (optional)
Make the batch:
Pour Aperol, Campari, vermouth, and chilled wine into a 2-quart pitcher. If not serving immediately, seal well, covering with plastic wrap if needed, and refrigerate.
Can be made up to 8 hours before serving,
Add the juices:
Stir chilled apricot juice into pitcher mix. Prepare and add grapefruit juice, then stir and reseal, returning pitcher to refrigerator if not serving immediately.
Can be done up to 2 hours before serving.
To serve, add grapefruit and apricot slices, if desired, and stir well. Fill pitcher with ice, and stir gently until outside of pitcher is cool. Serve immediately in ice-filled rocks glasses or wine glasses. Offer chilled seltzer to top off the drink, if desired.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 33g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||9%|
|Total Sugars 24g|
|Vitamin C 56mg||279%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|