What’s the difference between a batch cocktail and a punch? Nothing really, except perhaps for scale. In Maggie Hoffman’s slim but well-tuned Batch Cocktails, each recipe will net you about 8 to 12 servings from a 2-quart pitcher. Perfect for a sizable dinner party, but if you want to host a rager, you’ll need to triple (or more) each recipe.
And that’s fine, because a lot of Hoffman’s 65 recipes sound like quite the delight, and the way she organizes them by flavor — with an index that reorganizes them based on the type of occasion you’re hosting or the season, so it’s easy to flip right to recommendations for New Year’s Eve or an engagement party.
Most of the recipes are simple yet unexpected, like the Poolside, whose only alcoholic ingredient is Grand Marnier. Others tend to stray into experimental territory — like the Grand Prix’s mix of Campari, coffee, and grapefruit juice; or the Jagermeister Bloody Mary, which is exactly what you think it is. The Riled and Wrangled is a shandy of sorts, half beer, then half boozy mix of rye, Chartreuse, and serrano honey syrup.
I can’t imagine I’ll make more than a handful of the cocktails in this book — in part because when I have people over, no one ever wants to drink the same thing — but I sure am enjoying thinking about them.
B+ / $15 [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]