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Whether you are sipping coffee, lemonade, flavored water, or something stronger, there's a range of beverage dispensers available for all of your drinking needs. Some are designed for serving many, with two 1-gallon dispensers built into one, while others are crafted for fancy punches along with infusion cones that allow you to add citrus, herbs, and other fruits to your drink. Simply put your ingredients in the container, toss in any garnishes, and pour at your leisure via the spout.
Here are the best beverage dispensers.
Best Overall: Jeff Henderson Stone Drink Dispenser
Like your drink on the rocks? This stone beverage dispenser is made with rustic cobbled granite and outfitted with a stainless steel tap that's charming in a garden or the great outdoors. The sturdy, gravity-fed option dispenses wine, spirits, and cocktails with ease.
What’s particularly fun about this option is in the details. The naturally tumbled beach stone handle and real stone body gives this dispenser an upscale appeal for casual or sophisticated use. Another feature is a custom removable plug for refills. Just take it out, fill the dispenser, and recork it.
This option primarily holds standard bottles, such as a 750-milliliter liquor or wine bottle. Try premixing a cocktail and pouring it into a glass bottle if you’re in the mood for a mixed drink. The matching stand for this beverage dispenser is sold at an extra charge.
Best Personalized: Uncommon Goods Personalized Whiskey Barrel
Calling all whiskey lovers: This spirited dispenser channels the massive oak barrels that your favorite drams are aged in. The miniature barrel further ages your whiskey for you, and when it’s ready, dispenses it via a small spigot. Best of all, you can perch this barrel on top of a bar or bar cart, just as you would your favorite show bottle. If that wasn’t enticing enough, you can add your own "distillery" name to the barrel and add a date, city, and state.
Note that this oak barrel will impart flavors from the wood (aging in oak adds flavors of vanilla, butter, coconut, and caramel to whiskeys), so beware of pouring expensive bottles into it. To start, try one of your favorite affordable bottles to see how the oak changes its flavor profile. This barrel comes in 2- or 5-liter sizes.
Best Plastic: Buddeez Unbreakable 3.5-Gallon Beverage Dispenser
Made of Tritan (a glass-like, impact-resistant plastic), this dispenser is virtually unbreakable, making it a great alternative to standard glass beverage dispensers. Furthermore, the no-drop Tomlinson faucet prevents leaks and spills.
On top sits a removable ice cone. Fill it with cubes to keep drinks chilled without watering them down, and simply refill the cone when the first batch melts. The bottom portion of the dispenser features an open compartment that can be used for decoration—add fruit, florals, or other decorations to add a little pizzazz. This cooler holds a generous 3.5 gallons and, as a nice bonus, includes a small chalkboard for labeling what’s inside.
Best Mason Jar: Gracie Oaks Wimbledon 5-Piece Beverage Dispenser Set
There's nothing quite like Mason jars to add a little southern charm to your festivities. This beverage dispenser holds 128 ounces—enough to fill 16 8-ounce glasses with spiked sweet tea or pre-batched Moscow mule. One of the biggest draws to this vintage-inspired set is that it comes with four matching 8-ounce glasses with lids and stoppers. Consider picking up straws, too, as the lids include space to fit them.
Pour the first round right into the glasses, and then use the beverage dispenser to keep the drinks flowing throughout the evening. Both the glasses and the beverage dispenser are dishwasher safe. This set is a great option if you’re serving drinks outside, as the lids of the glasses protect drinks from critters and leaves.
Best for Hot Drinks: Update International Stainless Steel 48-Cup Coffee Urn
Whether your hot beverage of choice is coffee or a hot toddy, this urn is designed to keep it warm for hours without the use of electricity. With a roomy 3-gallon capacity, it’s an excellent option for buffet-style dinners, weddings, or chilly-weather parties, where a warm beverage is needed. It holds 48 cups of coffee (or something stronger).
Chicer than your average coffee urn, this chrome-plated stainless steel beverage dispenser features retro-inspired gold detailing. The metal is finished with rust-, corrosion-, and leak-proof coating. Beverages are dispensed via a press-down handle.
If you do need a little extra power to keep the drinks warm for longer, the beverage dispenser is outfitted with a fuel holder (fuel sold separately). A gold-accented set of handles, lid, and sturdy legs finish it off.
Best for Wine: Uncommon Goods Wooden Wine Dispenser
For wine lovers, this beverage dispenser is specifically crafted to hold 101 ounces—be it red, white, or rosé. Crafted from strained pinewood with aluminum finishes, think of this as a classier alternative to boxed wine. In fact, the unit perfectly holds an entire boxed wine bag. If you’re looking to add a bottle, simply pour it into the included bag. Both options will send the liquid down a small ramp and into the handcrafted pine dispenser.
This item is finished off with a few special details: removable scrolled feet that make the unit easy to move, an ice pack that keeps wine cool for hours, and a small chalkboard that highlights what’s in your glass. Take care to clean the body with a cloth. Of note, the stained wood is susceptible to fading when in extended contact with sunlight, so avoid keeping this out in the heat of the day.
Best Glass: Dailyware Twin 1-Gallon Beverage Dispenser With Metal Rack
Conflicted over what to serve? A two-jug beverage dispenser takes out the guesswork and allows you to serve not one, but two drink options. Dailyware's dispensers each hold a gallon and sit on a single metal rack. They have clean lines, a large capacity, and a stand to keep condensation off surfaces.
Try serving a fruity drink in one and a tart, spirit-forward concoction in the other. You could even designate one container for boozy beverages and the other for flavored water or mocktails. Each one is made of durable glass, although they do need to be washed by hand.
Best Infuser: Mind Reader 1-Gallon Beverage Dispenser With Cone Infuser
This 1-gallon dispenser features an integrated infuser. Use it to keep your drink cool with ice or add fresh fruit, herbs, and other flavors. If you go for the latter, an ice holder installed in the bottom of the beverage dispenser keeps drinks cold. A leak-free spigot allows for easy pouring, and the dome lid is a nice addition that lends the dispenser visual appeal.
Another draw of this option is that the price is very affordable. If you’re hosting a special evening, the lower price tag means you can pick up a few beverage dispensers for a variety of drinks. All parts are made of durable plastic and require hand washing.
What to Look for in a Beverage Dispenser
There are many options available for beverage dispensers, and those options include the materials that they are made with. Each one has its own personality and can be a conversation piece at any gathering. They can be made from glass, plastic, wood, metal, and even rock. It all comes down to what you like and also what beverage will be in the dispenser.
Decipher how much a dispenser needs to hold with your desired drink before selecting the right one for you. Do you need one that holds a 750-milliliter bottle of wine, one that can hold over 3 gallons, or even up to 5 liters?
What look fits best with your style? Are you contemporary or classic? What are your favorite colors and how will the dispenser of your choice fit displayed on your kitchen counter or bar?
What do you use a beverage dispenser for?
We've all seen these in restaurants and most likely dispensed our own drink into a cup from one. Put the desired beverage in one—whether it's juice, water, tea, wine, or liquor.
Can beverage dispensers be used for both hot and cold drinks?
Yes! Check the specifications and manufacturer's manual to make sure you are getting one that will do both—if this is what you need.
How do you clean a beverage dispenser and the spigot?
You can fill the container with warm water and a drop of dish soap. Or you can fill the container with water and use a tablespoon or two of white vinegar. In either case, turn on the spigot and run the mixture through to clean it out. Rinse thoroughly, making sure to run clean water through the spigot to get rid of any residue.
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Kate Dingwall is a freelance writer whose work focuses on food, drinks, and travel. She is based in Toronto and holds a Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level III qualification.