Cheers to the Grad! Graduation Party Drink Recipes

Punch Bowl With Tropical Drink

It’s the last few weeks of senior year. In the blink of an eye, graduates will be tossing their caps in the air and raising glasses with family and friends to toast new beginnings. If bottled water seems boring and soda pop passé, serve the unexpected! Try a few of these easy-to-make drinks to give your graduation party the punch you crave.


Summertime Punch (Serves 12)
2 cups orange juice
46 oz. pineapple juice
32 oz. cranberry juice
24 oz. grape juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
32 oz. sparkling water

  • The night before, fill one ice cube tray with pineapple juice, one ice tray with cranberry juice, and one ice tray with grape juice. Freeze the ice cube trays overnight. Refrigerate the remaining juice and orange juice.
  • In small saucepan, over medium heat, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup of water, stirring constantly. Once sugar is dissolved, bring mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Pour lemon juice in a punch bowl. Pour the cooled sugar-water mixture into the punch bowl along with the remaining juices and orange juice. Add sparkling water and stir.
  • Prior to serving, add the frozen juice cubes.

Apple Orchard Punch (Serves 15)
36 oz. apple juice, chilled
12 oz. frozen cranberry cocktail concentrate, thawed
1 cup orange juice
6 cups ginger ale or champagne, chilled
1 red apple

  • In large punch bowl or pitcher, stir together apple juice, cranberry concentrate and orange juice.
  • Slowly add ginger ale or champagne.
  • Thinly slice apple vertically to create whole apple slices. Float on top of punch.

Banana Punch (Serves 32)
6 bananas, mashed
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup sugar
7 cups water
1 liter ginger ale, chilled
Few drops of yellow food coloring, optional

  • In large container or bowl, mash bananas and mix together all ingredients, except ginger ale.
  • In blender, blend until smooth.
  • Put in large plastic container with cover and place in freezer.
  • Depending on the temperature, remove 1-3 hours prior to serving.
  • Place mixture in punch bowl and add ginger ale to fill bowl. Will be very slushy.

Iced Cranberry-Mint Tea (Serves 8)
4 cups water
2/3 cup loosely-packed fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp. sugar
8 lemon herbal tea bags
3 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Ice cubes
Lemon slices, optional

  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, mint and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat; add tea bags. Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
  • Discard tea bags. Cover and let stand 45 minutes longer. Strain and discard mint leaves. Stir the cranberry and lemon juices into tea. Serve over ice with lemon slices if desired.

Cran-Orange Ice Tea Cooler (Serves 6)
5 cups tea, brewed and cooled
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3 tbsp. lemon juice, adjust to taste
5 tsp. sugar, adjust to taste
4 cups ginger ale, chilled

  • Stir together the tea, cranberry juice, orange juice, lemon juice and sugar. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  • Prior to serving, add chilled ginger ale and additional lemon juice or sugar if needed.
  • Serve over ice, garnished with thinly sliced half orange slices.

Summertime Slush (Serves 20)
3 oz. any red fruit-flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
3 cups cold water
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
12 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, chilled

  • In small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
  • Combine dissolved gelatin with remaining ingredients except carbonated beverage.
  • Cover and freeze overnight or about 8 hours.
  • To serve, spoon 1/2-cup mixture into serving glass, then fill with carbonated beverage.


Piña Colada Slush (Serves 12)
18 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 cups water
10 oz. frozen non-alcoholic piña colada mix
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tub lemonade drink mix
6 cups lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, chilled

  • In a large bowl, combine pineapple juice, water, piña colada mix, lime juice and soft drink mix; stir until drink mix is dissolved.
  • Freeze overnight or about 6-8 hours.
  • Remove from the freezer 45 minutes before serving. For each serving, combine 1/2-cup slush mixture with 1/2-cup lemon-lime soda.

Now that you have a few drink ideas, what about the rest of the party? Get your graduation party started off right with a Smart Graduation Party Planning Guide.