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Party drinks

Matthew Bax

Matthew Bax

How do I make cocktails for a big party?

I'd always recommend a good punch bowl - making drinks to order for more than a handful of people on your own is no recipe for fun. The main benefit, of course, is that you only have to mix it once, so you don't have to worry about measuring errors. Once things get going, hosts are known to get a little generous with the pours, but balance is the key to a good drink, not simply more booze. Punch also gets around the challenge of having decent ice at parties - you just freeze a big block in an ice-cream container first. If you want to be really fancy you can layer some fruit inside it, too. David Wondrich's book Punch is the most authoritative and entertaining book on the subject and I highly recommend it. If you want a real show-stopper, I like the Crimean Cup à la Marmora - it's a mellow mix of Cognac, Jamaican rum, maraschino, orgeat syrup and lemon juice, all fizzed up with Champagne. And the best part about opting for a punch bowl? It gives you leave to be the host(ess) with the most(ess).

+ Got a question for our experts? Email us at For more advice from our Ask the Experts team, check out our How-To section.

Illustration Lauren Haire

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