The 5 Bottles You Need for a Complete Summer Cocktail Bar

Less than half a decade ago it was easy enough to have your summer celebrations hosted with buckets of ice-cold beer and maybe (maybe!) some white-wine spritzers. But today your guests may want a little more than a bottle of rosé at the barbecue. It's not hard to make cocktails for your friends when they come over — the key is to make your drinks en masse so you can still entertain and get out from behind the bar. After all, barbecues are for having fun, hosts included.

You'll need a few things to make sure you're on the right track: fresh — I mean really fresh, like you juice it yourself — citrus juice, a simple syrup (called simple because it's easy to make! Just equal parts sugar and water, maybe make it with tea to give a different flavor), a measuring cup, some sort of pitcher, and you're ready to go.

Here are the bottles you should keep on hand to make sure you can make something delicious in a flash.