Nothing brings back childhood memories faster than seeing a kid run by with a bright red Kool-Aid mustache. That cold, refreshing sweetness, served up by the half gallon in the kitchen refrigerator. After hours of bike riding and running in breathless circles, a quick shuffle across the linoleum floor to reach for the big pitcher of brightly colored tropical punch is all we needed to refuel for another couple of hours. Becoming a grown-up creates an endless list of new options in life, but it usually closes the door to the simple pleasure of guzzling sugary drink mixes. Until now. Here it is: Adult Kewl-Aid.
These easy party punch recipes are great for celebrating youthful spirit, but soaked with booze, and therefore mixed for adults only. And as adults, we’ve earned the right to enjoy fruity alcoholic drinks with pride, and even sport a colorful mustache as a badge of honor. Each adult Kool-Aid cocktail recipe is inspired by a classic combination, but much easier to make in large batches. So whether you’re looking to save time with an easy party punch, or just want to enjoy refreshing Kool-Aid cocktails for your own trip down memory lane, these easy mixed drink recipes will turn any day into Funday.
Tropical Punch + Rum
Of all the Kool-Aid flavors, tropical punch is the most popular. Not only because it brings together tasty fruit and citrus flavors, but because bright red is the quintessential Kool-Aid color. Follow the package directions to make a gallon of ice cold tropical punch, and mix with a liter of rum for a perfect treat at any summer party. With a flavor combination similar to a Hurricane cocktail, these go perfect in a one size serves all giant glass like this. If you want to get extra fancy, try garnishing this Kool-Aid cocktail with fresh cherries, and orange wedges.
Green Apple + Tequila
When figuring out how to make party punch, it’s always good to experiment. We found green apple flavored Kool-Aid at the store, and decided to give it a try. The flavor and color are reminiscent of sweet and sour mix, so tequila is the perfect companion. Aside from the fun your guests will have making jokes about the effects of drinking something bright green, the unmistakable tequila and fruity Kool-Aid flavors mix well, and aren’t too far off from the apple margaritas you find in some restaurants. You can go weak or strong with this one, but you want to keep it really cold, so use lots of ice. This easy party punch is also great to throw in the blender with some ice, and mix up a frosty frozen drink.
Orange + Whiskey
Okay, hear us out on this one. Orange flavored Kool-Aid and whiskey are actually awesome together. One of the all time classic cocktails, the Old Fashioned, combines orange and whiskey flavors, and this Kool-Aid drink recipe follows suit. There’s no need to go top shelf with the whiskey, and bourbon or Canadian blends work best. We also recommend making the orange Kool-Aid a little weaker than the package directions, because the flavor is strong, and you want to get a good balance. One gallon of cold Kool-Aid mixed with one liter of whiskey should be your starting point, but you can tinker with the actual proportions to suit your own taste. Cherries and oranges make a great garnish here, too.
Grape + Vodka
If you think about it, grape flavored Kool-Aid is like the little brother to tropical punch. Grape sits around, letting Tropical get all the attention, then when Tropical leaves the room, everyone whispers to Grape, “You’re actually my favorite.” There’s not a signature drink that uses grape flavored anything, so it’s vodka’s turn. Vodka is great because it adds the booziness you need for adult Kool-Aid, but won’t mess up that classic grape taste. Of all the alcoholic punch recipes, this one brings out the most smiles. Who doesn’t love grape Kool-Aid? The purple color sets it apart, making a visual splash as well. Don’t worry about a garnish on this one. That would be silly. Unsure which vodka to pick? Checkout this vodka taste test.
Bonus Recipe: Shots
Kool-Aid mix will quickly and easily turn any bottle of alcohol into tasty shots. The process is quite simple. First, open the bottle of booze. Next, pour in any amount of dry drink mix. Screw the lid on again and shake it up. Finally, pour it into shot glasses. Poof, done. If you’ve got time, you can even use an ice mold like this to make ice shot glasses out of frozen Kool-Aid. Enough already. Let’s go drink the Kool-Aid!