Nigel Cox
May 21, 2015

This feature first appeared in the June issue of InStyle, now available on newsstands and for digital download. For more stories like this, subscribe to the magazine

Cause a stir among friends with a laidback summer drinks party. Much lauded Portland, Oregon, mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler of hot spot bar Pepe Le Moko and tavern-style eatery Clyde Common dreamed up a cocktail for everyone in your crew. Plus, each recipe is easy to make in batches.

For the Guest Who ♥s a Grown-up Mocktail: 
Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

(Pictured at top)

“This one is so simple to make,” says Morgenthaler of his herb-infused, alcohol-free refresher. It’s also versatile: Swap out the lavender with thyme, rosemary, or tarragon to alter the flavor profile. Soda water gives it a tantalizing fizz.

Serves: 6

Mocktail Ingredients
 
9 oz. lavender syrup (recipe follows)
9 oz. fresh lemon juice
24 oz. sparkling water, chilled
Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish

Lavender Syrup Ingredients 

1 cup water
¼ cup fresh lavender leaves
1 cup sugar

Lavender Syrup Directions

In a small saucepan, combine water and lavender; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves, about 1 minute. Strain and let cool.

Mocktail Directions

In a large pitcher, combine lavender syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water. Pour into ice-filled highball glasses. Garnish with lavender.

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For the Guest Who ♥s Something with a Kick: 
Smoky Orange Margarita

Since the polling stations in Adak, AK, the last voting precinct, close at 1 a.m. ET, consider making a whole pitcher of this sweet and sour crowd-pleaser. Get the recipe here.

 Nigel Cox

Orange marmalade is the secret ingredient in this not-too-sweet crowd-pleaser. Amp up the sourness, says Morgenthaler, by substituting 3 ounces of tamarind concentrate ($9; amazon.com) for the marmalade and straining the drink to remove the seeds.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

9 oz. silver tequila
4½ oz. mezcal
6¾ oz. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
6¾ oz. Cointreau
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1½ oz. agave syrup
3 tbsp salt for garnish

Directions

1. In a large pitcher, combine tequila, mezcal, lime juice, Cointreau, marmalade, and agave syrup. Whisk. Strain and return to the pitcher.
2. Moisten each glass rim with lime wedges; coat with salt. Fill glasses with ice; add the margarita.
3. Garnish with lime wedges and serve. 

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For the Guest Who ♥s That Light Buzz All Night: 
Lillet & Cucumber

 Nigel Cox

“At a party you always need a drink that you can have a few of without feeling terribly tipsy,” says Morgenthaler, and this one fits the bill nicely. “Fresh mint and cucumber work so well together,” he adds.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 5-inch-long hothouse cucumber, sliced
6 oz. simple syrup (see below, French 75 Rosé​ cocktail recipe, for directions)  
12 oz. Lillet Blanc
9 oz. sparkling water
Mint springs for garnish

Directions: 

In a blender or food processor, purée cucumber slices with simple syrup. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in Lillet and sparkling water. Serve in ice-filled rocks glasses, garnished with mint sprigs. 

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For the Guest Who ♥s Yummy Bubbles: 
French 75 Rosé

 Nigel Cox

Sparkling rosé wine, gin, and fresh lemon juice combine to create a drink that’s “ultralight and refreshing,” says Morgenthaler. It’s a riff on the classic French 75, a Champagne cocktail that was first served at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915. Here, sparkling rosé (a barcart staple for summer fun) is the bubbly of choice.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

6 oz. London dry gin
6 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 oz. water
12 oz. chilled sparkling rosé
Lemon twist for garnish

Cocktail Directions

In a large pitcher, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and water. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Just before serving, gently stir in rosé. Serve in ice-filled coupes. Garnish with a lemon twist. (Use a vegetable peeler to create a strip, then curl it up to make a spiral.)

Simple Syrup Ingredients

¾ cup sugar
3 oz. water

Simple Syrup Directions

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Let cool. 

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