Next time you host a dinner party, enjoy more quality time with your guests by serving cocktails that have been prepared ahead of time. This ensures great drinks without having to spend your whole evening mixing and pouring. Let’s look at 5 delicious cocktail recipes that make entertaining easier, while filling your pitcher or punchbowl with something new and exciting.

1. Green Tea Mojitos

This cocktail combines two classic drinks that are synonymous with refreshment on hot Arizona days: mojitos and iced tea.

Makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 32 large mint leaves
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups brewed and chilled green tea
  • 1 cup white rum

Mix the lime juice, sugar, and mint in a bowl. Be sure to bruise the mint leaves so their flavor is released into the mixture. Pour into a pitcher with the chilled green tea and rum, stir well, and keep in the refrigerator until serving time. Serve over ice in tall glasses.

2. Hibiscus-Ginger Punch

This cocktail brings bright, fresh flavors and an attractive presentation to your table. Make and chill the hibiscus-ginger juice ahead of time so you can mix it with the ginger ale and champagne just before serving. For a nonalcoholic version, substitute the champagne or sparkling wine for mineral water.

Note: Dried hibiscus flowers can often be purchased where herbal teas are sold.

Makes about 12 servings

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus blossoms
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups chilled ginger ale
  • 2 750-mL bottles champagne, sparkling wine, or sparkling mineral water
  • Mint leaves, lemon or lime slices for garnish

Boil the water, hibiscus blossoms, and ginger together in a pot, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and mix the sugar in until it dissolves completely. Allow the sweetened juice to cool, then strain out the blossoms and ginger slices. Chill for at least an hour until it’s time to mix the punch. Chill the ginger ale and champagne or mineral water as well.

When it’s time to serve, pour the hibiscus juice, ginger ale, and champagne or mineral water into a punchbowl. Garnish with mint leaves, slices of lemon or lime, or reconstituted hibiscus blossoms used to make the hibiscus-ginger juice.

3. Blood Orange-Jalapeño Margaritas

Margaritas are perennially popular party cocktails. This version has a spicy, Southwestern twist and a vibrant color reminiscent of a desert sunset.

Makes 8 servings

  • 4 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 cups silver tequila
  • 1.5 cups fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup Cointreau

First, infuse the tequila with the jalapeños by slicing the peppers and steeping them in the tequila for 2-4 hours. You can taste the tequila after 2 hours to determine whether it’s spicy enough, or if you prefer to give it more time for a more intense heat. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor, strain out the jalapeños.

Combine the jalapeño-infused tequila, blood orange and lime juices, and Cointreau in a pitcher. Chill until serving time. Serve over ice in cocktail glasses, salting the rims of your glasses for added effect.

4. Semi-Traditional Mimosas

Mimosas are a highly anticipated part of any brunch, but you can serve these sumptuous cocktails at a dinner party just as easily.

A traditional mimosa usually consists of equal parts orange juice and champagne or sparkling wine, but you can substitute the orange juice for grapefruit or pomegranate juice for a delicious twist. For an extra fruity kick, stir in 2 ounces of pureed berries – or Grand Marnier – to the pitcher before serving in champagne flutes.

5. Sparkling Tropical Mimosa Punch

For a contemporary variation on mimosas, try this tropical punch.

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 cups guava nectar
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 750-mL bottle sparkling wine

Chill all the ingredients, then pour into a punchbowl, stir, and serve. You can garnish the punch with fruit for extra pizazz. Orange slices look nice floating on the surface of the punch, while pineapple rings can be slipped onto the rim of the bowl.

Cheers!

We hope these recipes will inspire the drinks at your next party in your condo. What are some of your favorite cocktails to serve at special occasions?