We take a closer look at 8 Upscale Cocktails For Your Next Soirée that will keep your guests ordering more.
Spring is the perfect season for outdoor evening parties and long conversations on the back patio. While idle talk can be pleasant, hosts who really want to make an impression know that a good cocktail can make all the difference.
With that in mind, here are eight upscale cocktails that are sure to please your guests.
1. Rhubarb Mojito
Mojitos are light and refreshing, making them the perfect drink for practically any occasion.
But if you want something a little fancier for a soirée, whip up a batch of rhubarb mojitos. These bright red cocktails put a sour twist on the classic lime-based recipe and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering.
First, slice the rhubarb and sprinkle it with sugar. Allow it to sit overnight to get the most vivid color, or immediately proceed to make the cocktails.
Combine the sugared rhubarb and mint in a cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the juice from one-quarter of a lime and add the wedge to the shaker. Fill with ice, add 1/4 cup of rum and shake well.
Pour into a tall glass, add a splash of soda water, and serve. Cheers!
- Cocktail shaker
- ¼ Lime
- ¼ cup Rum
- Soda water
- First, slice the rhubarband sprinkle it with sugar.
- Allow it to sitovernight to get the most vivid color, or immediately proceed to make thecocktails.
- Combine the sugaredrhubarb and mint in a cocktail shaker.
- Squeeze in the juice from one-quarter of alime and add the wedge to the shaker.
- Fill with ice, add 1/4 cup of rum and shakewell.
- Pour into a tall glass, add a splash of sodawater, and serve. Cheers!
2. Lavender French 75
Whether you’re hosting a summer garden party or graduation celebration, the Lavender French 75 makes a perfect addition to the cocktail menu. This delightful drink is pretty in pink and features a lavender blossom garnish that you can pluck fresh from the garden or local farmer’s market.
Hosts who love to go the extra mile can make the lavender simple syrup from scratch. Bring 4 cups of water and sugar to a boil and add the lavender blossom and blueberries. Steep for 20 minutes and strain. Then, refrigerate the syrup and, when it’s cool, add it to a large pitcher with the gin and lemon juice.
Pour the cocktail mix into champagne flutes and top with sparkling wine until you have enough drinks to go around.
Lavender French 75
- Sauce pan
- Large pitcher
- Champange Fluts
- 4 cups Water
- 4 cups Sugar
- Lavender Blossoms
- Lemon juice
- Sparkling wine
- Bring 4 cups of waterand sugar to a boil .
- Add the lavender blossomand blueberries.
- Steep for 20 minutes and strain.
- Then, refrigerate thesyrup and, when it’s cool, add it to a large pitcher with the gin and lemonjuice.
- Pour the cocktail mix into champagne flutesand top with sparkling wine until you have enough drinks to go around.
3. Classic Bloody Mary
Bloody marys might be a brunch staple, but they also make delicious evening cocktails if you know how to make them. The best part is, guests can top their bloody marys with whatever garnishes they please so everyone can enjoy their own unique take on this classic.
While there are many variations of the bloody mary, most begin with a vodka and tomato juice base and include lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Shake this mixture gently and strain into a salt-rimmed glass. Then, garnish with everything from olives to lobster tails, or let your guests decide by creating a toppings bar.
Remember to include classics like pickles, celery, limes, and peppers and throw in a few wild cards like sausage, smoked oysters, and onion rings.
Classic Bloody Mary
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail strainer
- Celery salt
- 1 wedge Lemon
- 1 wedge Lime
- 60 ml Vodka
- 120 ml Tomato juice
- 2 tsp Prepared horseradish
- 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pinch Ground black pepper
- 1 pinch Smoked paprika
- Garnish: parsley sprig
- Garnish: green olives
- Garnish: lime wedge
- Garnish: celery stalk
- Pour some celery salt onto a small plate.
- Rub the juicy side of the lemon or lime wedge along the lip of a pint glass.
- Roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt until fully coated, then fill the glass with ice and set aside.
- Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into a shaker and drop them in.
- Add the vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, Tabasco, Worcestershire, black pepper, paprika, plus a pinch of celery salt along with ice and shake gently.
- Strain into the prepared glass.
- Garnish with parsley sprig, 2 speared green olives, a lime wedge and a celery stalk (optional).
4. Pomegranate Pimms
Want something a bit more fruity — and even more colorful? Whip up a batch of pomegranate Pimms cocktails. This recipe serves six and features the gin-based Pimms No. 1 fruit cup, pomegranate juice, cucumber, and various other fruits and mixers.
To make a pitcher of this delicious drink, combine the Pimms, juice, ice cubes, soda water, and lemonade. Then, stir in the cucumber, orange slices, and mint leaves. Store in the fridge until guests arrive or serve immediately and garnish with edible borage flowers.
- 200 ml Pimms No. 1 Cup
- 200 ml Pomegranate juice
- Ice cubes
- 1 cup (250ml) Soda water
- 1 cup (250ml) Lemonade
- ¼ Cucumber halved cut into long, thin slices
- 1 Orange thinly sliced
- ¼ cup Mint leaves
- Borage flowers (optional)
- Place Pimms, juice and ice cubes into a jug.
- Fill with soda water and lemonade.
- Stir in the cucumber, orange, and mint.
- Serve garnished with borage, if using.
Hosts who want to add an Italian flair to their soirée will likely favor the Rosemarycano. This summery, aromatic cocktail is light and fresh and doesn’t contain too much alcohol. However, you can easily switch the soda water for gin and turn it into a more rousing Negroni if you wish.
For this basic recipe, you’ll only need lemon, rosemary, Campari, vermouth, and tonic water.
Cut the lemon in quarters and squeeze half into a glass. Then, rub and twist the rosemary sprigs and drop them in as well. Add a scoop of ice, the Campari, and vermouth, and top with bubbly.
Stir once and serve with a lemon twist and an additional rosemary sprig.
- ½ Lemon untreated
- 2 sprigs Rosemary
- 40 ml Campari
- 40 ml Antica Formula or another red vermouth of your choice
- 100 ml Tonic Water preferably Fever-Tree
- Cut the lemon in quarters and squeeze them directly into the glass, making sure that the essential oils from the zest hit the glass.
- Rub and twist the rosemary between your hands to release the aromatics and add to the glass along with ice cubes.
- Add Campari and Antica Formula and fill with Tonic Water.
- Stir vertically once with a long spoon.
- A rosemary sprig and a lemon twist go well as garnish.
6. Hemingway Daquiri
Are you hosting an evening party for bibliophiles? Cater to their excellent taste in books and cocktails with the Hemingway Daquiri. This delicious ode to the famous writer is reminiscent of his time in Cuba, where he always had a double serving of his namesake drink.
To make it, pour the cane rum, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup into a mixing glass, add ice, and shake well.
Strain into a glass and garnish with a strawberry. Then, make a second batch and toast the writer who made your soirée one for the books.
- Cocktail shaker
- 60 ml Light rum
- 15 ml Maraschino liqueur
- 15 ml Grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
- 20 ml Lime juice freshly squeezed
- 10 ml Simple syrup
- 1 wheel Lime for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the rum, maraschino liqueur, and grapefruit and lime juices. Add the simple syrup if desired.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a lime wheel. Serve and enjoy.
7. Vegan Pisco Sour
The most upscale parties should have some vegan alternatives for plant-based guests.
Luckily, this pisco sour fits the bill without sacrificing flavor. It even looks identical to the classic version, thanks to a simple substitution of aquafaba for egg whites. This secret ingredient, which is actually the leftover cooking liquid from chickpeas, whips up just as well without altering the flavor profile in the slightest.
Achieve that frothy consistency by adding the aquafaba to a mixing bowl and beating with an electric mixer for about five minutes. Then, fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, and the whipped aquafaba. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled glass.
Top with more froth and add a dash or two of angostura bitters and serve.
Vegan Pisco Sour
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixture
- ½ cup Stawberries fresh
- ¼ cup Water
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
- Elderflower liqueur (optional)
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- Whip up your aquafaba into a light, frothy mixture.
- To do so, add the aquafaba to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixture. It takes about 5 minutes to form a foamy, stiff mixture.
- While that's whipping up, make a quick strawberry purée by blending together ½ cup of fresh stawberries and ¼ cup of water.
- You can also use defrosted frozen strawberries. For remove the seeds, you can strain through a fine mesh sieve, but it's not necessary.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in pisco, strawberry puree, lemon juice, simple syrup and (optional) elderflower liqueur.
- Add in 2 tbsp of whipped aquafaba and shake vigorously.
- Pour into a chilled glass, then top with more aquafaba and a few dashes of angostura bitters.
8. Ritz-Paris Sidecar
Hosts with a few grand to spare on a soirée can take inspiration from one of the most expensive cocktails on the planet: the Ritz-Paris Sidecar. This cocktail is worth a whopping $1,800 and was one of the first to earn a Guinness World Record title.
Why is it so expensive? The exact ingredients, which include 1865 vintage cognac, are quite rare today. If you can’t get your hands on centuries-old ingredients, offer guests a taste of history by concocting a more modern version of this signature cocktail.
Simply add brandy, lemon, and triple sec to a shaker with ice and hand-shake until the tin frosts over. Strain into a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
- Shaker Tin
- 50 ml Brandy
- 30 ml Lemon
- 20 ml Triple sec
- Combine all ingredients in shaker tin.
- Add ice to small shaker tin.
- Shake vigorously, until tin is frosted over.
- Strain into chilled cocktail glass, rimmed with sugar.
- Garnish with lemon twist and enjoy.
Keeping It Classy
When hosting a soirée — or any event, for that matter — it’s best to keep things simple and classy. While the cocktails may be fancy, the entertainment and conversation can be as laid-back as you’d like. Just remember that you’re the host, so you set the mood. Everyone else will simply follow suit.