Assemble in Stages
Serving a crowd? Most summer drinks (unless they're blended) can be made ahead in large batches. Simply omit ice and anything carbonated such as soda or sparkling wine, then mix up the rest of the ingredients in a cooler with a spigot. When it's party time, either add ice and bubbly at the last minute, or offer them alongside with instructions for mixing.
Many of these recipes work in either alcoholic or nonalcoholic versions. Lemonade and limeade are delicious kicked up with vodka or rum, and most punches can be made without the alcohol. If you have some guests who drink and some who don't, try serving a signature nonalcoholic drink with liquor as an optional add-in.
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