No matter how cool the party crowd, sipping lukewarm wine coolers and tasteless margarita mixes is no way to spend a summer Saturday. But don’t decline the invite just yet—innovative mixologists have a solution for your next bad-booze-infused soirée: portable cocktails. These tipples were created and tested by top mixologists across the country for portability and palatability, and the results are in: They’re the party-pleasing cocktails you’ll want to pack for your next summer bash.
Pineapple Honey Bee
Recipe courtesy Maureen Petrosky, author of The Wine Club (Meredith Books, 2005)
“Preportioned cocktails are perfect for kicking off any soirée,” says Petroksy. She recommends sticking to simple and seasonal recipes, like the Pineapple Honey Bee. “With a little planning, you’ll have a delicious portable drink in no time.”
8 ounces Little Black Dress Pineapple Honey Vodka
2 tablespoons honey dissolved in 4 ounces hot water
2 ounces fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh basil
2 dashes bitters
Club soda, to top
4–6 lemon slices, for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine vodka, honey water and lemon juice. Add basil and muddle, then add the bitters. Shake and distribute cocktail evenly among 4–6 small mason jars. Once at your party, add fresh ice, top with club soda and garnish with lemon slices. Serves 4–6.
Black Barrel Red Bird
Recipe courtesy Kyle Ford, mixologist, Rémy Cointreau
This refreshing concoction combines the flavors of Mount Gay’s Black Barrel Rum—a small batch, handcrafted rum—with touches of citrus and sour notes.
7½ ounces Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
5 ounces Cointreau
3¾ ounces fresh lemon juice
2½ ounces Campari
Orange twists, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a large portable pitcher and mix well. Prep the orange twists and bag. At your destination, add fresh ice, stir and strain into cocktail glasses. Garnish with orange twists. Serves 4–6.
Recipe courtesy Tim Laird, chief entertaining officer, Woodford Reserve
This updated, portable version of the mint julep highlights fresh seasonal ingredients. Bring this to your next bash and any transform any barbecue into an old-fashioned plantation picnic.
7½ ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Juice of 2½ limes
1½ tablespoons molasses
4–6 medium pieces of candied ginger
15 ounces bitter lemon soda
4–6 lemon or lime twists, for garnish
Combine Bourbon, lime juice and molasses in a portable pitcher. Add ginger and muddle. At your destination, pour mixture into ice-filled short glasses and top with splashes of lemon soda. Garnish with lemon or lime twists. Serves 4–6.