Big Batch Tequila and Mezcal Cocktails

Two pale pink-orange drinks with ice cubes, right is a pitcher of a light green drink with lime slices, orange segments, a jalapeno and watermelon slices on the table
The Friendly Fires Punch cocktail (L) and the La Columba cocktail (R) / Photo by Sara Littlejohn

Friendly Fires Punch

Courtesy Shannon Tebay Sidle, bartender, Death & Co, New York City

This drink appears in Batch Cocktails, by Maggie Hoffman, who says the fruity, savory concoction captures “that barbecue you dream of all winter long.” To make watermelon juice in a blender, purée about 2¼ cups cubed seedless watermelon until smooth, and strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

La Columba

Courtesy Jose Luis Betancur, sommelier, wine & beverage manager, Tuscan Kitchen, Boston

Loosely modeled on the classic Paloma, this bubbly sipper adds sage’s herbaceous notes. For those who seek an interesting nonalcoholic beverage, mix the sage simple syrup into grapefruit soda with a squeeze of lime.

Easy Big Batch Cocktails Perfect for Entertaining
  • 1½ cups mezcal, like Del Maguey Vida Mezcal (or Tequila)
  • ½ cup chile vodka, preferably St. George or homemade (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup Green Chartreuse
  • ½ cup simple syrup
  • 1½ cups fresh watermelon juice
  • ¾ cup fresh lime juice
  • 8 lime wheels, for garnish

Up to 1 week prior, combine mezcal (or Tequila), vodka, Green Chartreuse and simple syrup in 2 quart pitcher. Stir, then store in refrigerator.

Up to 2 hours prior, prepare watermelon and lime juices, and add to mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, stir mixture. Add lime wheels, fill pitcher with ice, and stir until pitcher cools. Pour into ice-filled rocks glasses. Serves 8.

Chile Vodka Ingredients and Directions

To make chile vodka, combine 6 thin slices jalapeño and ⅔ cup vodka in mason jar. Let sit 4 minutes, then taste. Let sit longer, if desired, until mixture reaches preferred spice level. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer. Sealed and stored in cool, dark place, vodka will keep for several months.

La Columba
  • 1½ cups silver Tequila
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup sage-infused simple syrup
  • ½ cup grapefruit juice
  • Grapefruit soda, to top
  • Sage leaves, for garnish

Up to 2 hours prior, combine first four ingredients in pitcher. Stir, then refrigerate.

To serve, stir mixture well. Fill pitcher with ice, then stir again gently until pitcher cools. Pour into 8 ice-filled rocks glasses, then top each glass with soda and garnish with a sage leaf. Serves 8.


Published on May 22, 2019