The best drink dispensers offer a stylish way to dress up some sangria, fresh lemonade, or refreshing iced tea for your guests. The next time you host a group, don’t spend the evening rushing around, trying to keep everyone’s cup full. Instead of tiring yourself out, use a self-serve drink dispenser to hold a signature batch cocktail or ice water to keep everyone hydrated! 

Best Drink Dispensers
Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Sure, if you are hosting a couple of people on the patio for a cocktail or two, you might get away with one of Sommer’s top picks for the Best Sangria Pitchers. But If you’re entertaining a crowd, you want to invest in a drink dispenser! After researching multiple popular beverage dispensers, Sommer and I narrowed the list down to the best party-sized ones on the market, so your guests can serve themselves and you can celebrate more!

In this guide to the best drink dispensers, we’ll not only help you narrow down your options, but we’ll also dish on the ones we love as well as the qualities to look for while shopping for one. Happy sipping! 

Our Top Picks:

  1. Sommer’s Top Pick: Buddeez 3.5 Gallon Beverage Dispenser – $53.99 at Amazon
  2. Best Glass Drink Dispenser: 6.5-Quart Glass Beverage Dispenser – $99.95 at Williams-Sonoma
  3. Best Plastic Drink Dispenser: CreativeWare Beverage Dispensers – $37.98 at Amazon
  4. Best Mason Jar-Inspired:  Le’Raze 1 Gallon Glass Beverage Dispenser – $27.95 at Amazon
  5. Best Drink Dispenser For Hot Beverages: Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn – $57.99 at Amazon

Reviews of The Best Drink Dispensers

1. Sommer’s Top Pick: Buddeez 3.5 Gallon Dispenser

Buddeez Drink Dispenser
Credit: Amazon

Sommer loves the simplicity of the old-fashioned drink dispensers that are easy to use, like this large-capacity beverage dispenser. It holds 3.5 gallons of liquid and is made of unbreakable and shatterproof plastic, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking or getting smashed. The top has a removable ice holder that allows the drinks to be kept cold without getting watered down, which is great for sangrias and other boozy drinks! 

It also comes with a small chalkboard for labeling what’s inside, so it’s a cute addition to the drink station. Plus, it doubles as a warning sign for parents that there’s an alcoholic drink inside, so they know to keep the kids away!

What Sommer Says: 

“Because they hold so much, the larger dispensers are especially great for parties! I like to set mine out with little cups as a reminder for my guests to stay hydrated. Since they can self-serve, it’s a great addition to any gathering, plus it’s one last thing for me to worry about.” 

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 3.5 gallons
  • Dimensions: 11.34” W x 19” H
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
  • Care:  Hand wash

The Pros:

  • Shatterproof
  • Removable ice cone
  • Large capacity
  • Made in USA
  • Comes with a chalkboard sign

The Cons:

  • Plastic can scratch
  • Not dishwasher safe 

What Others Are Saying

Southern Living and The Spruce Eats found the Buddeez 3.5 Gallon Dispenser to be the best drink dispenser they evaluated. It has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon from over 2,000 reviews. 

Buy the Buddeez 3.5 Gallon Dispenser:

2. Best Glass Drink Dispenser: Williams-Sonoma Glass Beverage Dispenser

Williams-Sonoma Glass Beverage Dispenser
Credit: Williams-Sonoma

What may be considered the most stylish beverage dispenser to make our list (depending on your preferences), is also the most expensive. But if your design aesthetic includes gold and budget isn’t a concern, we think you’ll love this option by Williams-Sonoma. The glass is mouth-blown with a stainless steel spout that is drip-resistant and finished in gold, so it’s an attractive addition to your table or counter. It requires the use of a base like this Light Woven Beverage Dispenser Base made of hand-woven natural rattan but there are also ceramic and hammered stainless steel options, too.

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 1.5 gallons
  • Dimensions: 8” L x 8” W x 12 1/4” H
  • Materials: Glass and stainless steel
  • Care: Handwash only

The Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Drip-resistant spout
  • Gold finishes
  • Mouth-blown glass

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires a base (sold separately)

What Others are Saying:

Food & Wine named the Willams-Sonoma dispenser the best glass beverage dispenser. 

Where to Buy: 

3. Best Plastic Drink Dispenser: CreativeWare Beverage Dispensers

CreativeWare Drink Dispenser
Credit: Amazon

The CreativeWare beverage dispensers come in two sizes: 1.5-gallon and 2.5-gallon. Both sizes feature a no-drip spigot to avoid messy cleanup and a reservoir at the bottom of the container for ice, so drinks stay cool longer. The break-resistant acrylic body has an attractive beehive-like pattern that makes it look more high-end. Plus it’s durable and break-resistant, so this drink dispenser will travel well. Since it’s so affordable, you could order more than one, which is great if you host company often or want to offer more than one type of beverage. 

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 1.5 gallons; 2.5 gallons
  • Dimensions: 9.25″ W x 15.25″ 10.5” W x 17” H
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
  • Care: Hand wash

The Pros:

  • No-drip spigot
  • Looks expensive
  • Break-resistant acrylic
  • Ice reservoir

The Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe 

What Others Are Saying

The CreativeWare 1.5-Gallon Bark Beverage Dispenser has a 4.6-star rating from more than 8,500 reviews on Amazon. Additionally, Food and Wine named them the best plastic drink dispensers. 

Buy the CreativeWare 1.5-Gallon Bark Beverage Dispenser:

4. Best Mason Jar-Inspired: Le’Raze 1 Gallon Glass Beverage Dispenser

Le'Raze Glass Beverage Dispenser
Credit: Amazon

Lovers of a more rustic look will love this glass Mason jar-inspired design with a screw-on stainless steel top from Le’Raze. It also includes a cute chalkboard and marker you can hang around the jar to identify the beverage inside. 

Since both the gallon drum and the oversized stainless steel pour spout are dishwasher safe, it’s also easy to clean after use. The best feature is the separate ice cylinder because it prevents drinks from getting watered down but keeps the liquid cold on even the hottest of summer days. It’s only sold in a 1-gallon capacity, so it’s best for transporting for a small family picnic where you wouldn’t need a ton of drinks. 

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Dimensions: 7″ W x 11″ H
  • Materials: Stainless steel, glass
  • Care: Dishwasher safe

The Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Leak-proof spigot
  • Comes with an ice cylinder and chalkboard
  • Wide mouth

The Cons:

  • Small capacity 

What Others Are Saying

The Le’Raze 1 Gallon Glass Beverage Dispenser has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon from nearly 900 reviews. 

Buy the Le’Raze 1 Gallon Glass Beverage Dispenser: 

5. Best Drink Dispenser for Hot Beverages: Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn

Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn
Credit: Amazon

If you need to brew enough coffee for a crowd and keep it hot, the electric Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn brews up to 45 cups of coffee in about 25 minutes and keeps it perpetually hot, making it the best drink dispenser for meetings or large gatherings. Its comfortable carrying handles, water level markings, heat-resistant handles, and twist-lock lid make it easy to set up and use without fear of overfilling or spilling.

You’ll know the coffee is ready when the ready-to-serve indicator light turns on. If you need to fill a carafe, the two-way dispenser can be pushed into a stationary position that will allow the coffee to pour freely until you push it back down to stop it from flowing. Only the lid and brew basket are dishwasher safe; the basin and detachable chord should be wiped down with a damp cloth. 

The Specs:

  • Capacity: 45 cups
  • Dimensions: 11” L x 11” W x 16.12” H
  • Materials: Metal and plastic
  • Care: Some parts dishwasher-safe

The Pros:

  • Fast brewing
  • Large capacity
  • Detachable cord
  • Easy to carry

The Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Big to store

What Others are Saying:

The Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon from more than 10,000 reviews.

Where to Buy: 

Other Drink Dispensers We Researched

Threshold Glass Beverage Dispenser

This glass drink dispenser holds 6.8 liters (less than 2 gallons) and has an infuser so you can add fresh cucumber or lemon to your water or fruits for batch cocktails. It’s easy to set up, but didn’t make the top of our list because it’s hand wash only and the spigot and top can be problematic for some people. The Threshold Glass Beverage Dispenser is available at Target for $26.

Pumpkin 2-Gallon Drink Dispenser Glass Standard

We wanted to find a great pumpkin-shaped drink dispenser for hosting during the fall. This model is very cute with a modern design, holds 2 gallons of liquids, and has an easy-to-use spigot, but the price made the juice not worth the squeeze. Still, if money is not an option, it’s a great addition to your fall tablescape. The Pumpkin 2-Gallon Drink Dispenser Glass Standard is available at Amazon for $199.99.

Pottery Barn Bleecker Bar Drink Dispenser

This is a Pottery Barn exclusive, with a stylish design that boasts sleek curves, a slim gold handle, and a strong mango wood lid that will withstand getting wet without warping. We love how durable and stylish it is but it is a bit pricey. The Pottery Barn Bleecker Bar Drink Dispenser is available at Pottery Barn for $149.

Anchor Hocking 2-Gallon Dispenser with Lid 

This 2-gallon beverage dispenser has heavy-duty glass that will not warp, stain, retain smells, or allow chemicals to leach into drinks. The large spigot makes dispensing drinks easy and it is removable, so it’s easy to toss into the dishwasher for effortless cleanup. Although it won a high price from publications like Food & Wine, some reviewers indicated some issues with the tap leaking, so it may require additional sealant (which sounds like unnecessary work to us). The Anchor Hocking 2-Gallon Dispenser with Lid is available at Amazon for $38.99. 

Igloo Portable Sports Cooler & Water Dispenser

If you’re looking for the best-insulated water dispenser, this giant sports cooler you may remember from your childhood works as well as it ever did! The newer Igloo Portable Sports Cooler has the same old insulated design that can hold ice for up to 3 whole days and will keep hot cocoa steamy all night! The side handles make it easy for two to carry to a playing field or picnic spot, and the pressure-fit lid will keep all the bugs out. Although it’s heavy-duty and great for outdoor gatherings, it’s not exactly pretty. Buy the Igloo Portable Sports Cooler & Water Dispenser at Amazon for $39.99

Why You Can Trust Us

Sommer Collier is a professional recipe developer, food stylist, and food writer. She loves to travel and help home cooks learn how to make global fare. Sommer has perfected a number of her own drink recipes for A Spicy Perspective and recommends using one of these beverage dispensers to serve them. Always the hostess, she sometimes fills hers with ice water and sets it out as a reminder for her guests to stay hydrated.

Belle DuChene is an award-winning content creator and freelance journalist who loves to help readers find the best products to avoid wasting time and money. She has written about consumer products for a wide range of publications, including Better Homes & Gardens.

To create this list, we leveraged our own personal experience hosting and attending large get-togethers and deeply researched the market to pick the best beverage dispensers. We factored in different sizes, capacities, materials, ease of cleaning, price, customer satisfaction, and overall value to determine the best drink dispensers currently available. 

What to Know About Drink Dispensers

Stormy Donkey Party Punch
Credit: A Spicy Perspective

What to Consider Before Buying a Drink Dispenser

Before buying a drink dispenser, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.

Capacity

Since there are numerous sizes of drink dispensers available, you should consider the size of your gatherings and estimate whether or not your guests will have more than one glass. For reference, a 1-gallon container yields about 16 eight-ounce servings. Getting the right size is crucial! If you estimate too low, you may run out. But if you buy a huge drink dispenser and only fill it halfway, it will look awkward on the table.

Dimensions

Consider the width and height of the drink dispenser before buying it. A large drink dispenser might be too tall to fit under your counters if you host a party inside, plus it could be cumbersome to store.

Material

The best materials are shatterproof, food-grade plastic or shatterproof glass vessels because they travel well, look better longer, and won’t pick up odors. Always opt for stainless steel spigots so they can be washed in a dishwasher without rusting. Remember that cheaper plastics can scratch easily.

Temperature Control

Will you be hosting outside in the hot sun or serving lemonade from your kitchen counter? Depending on where you’ll use your beverage dispenser, you may want to consider buying one that comes with ice inserts that keep the liquids cold without watering everything down.

Ease of Use and Cleaning

These drink dispensers are on the larger side, so make sure you consider whether or not you’ll have trouble lifting them when full or fitting them in your kitchen sink to clean. Pay attention to the spigot and make sure it’s easy to operate. Stainless steel spigots are durable and tend to be dishwasher-safe. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Drink Dispenser

Bahamian Blast Batch Cocktail
Credit: A Spicy Perspective

Drink dispensers provide a convenient way to serve beverages, especially to a large number of people. If you create a drink station, you can add a little flair to your presentation by adding fruits and other garnishes to the drinks. Because they are self-serve, guests can help themselves, freeing up the host to tend to other things. Most dispensers are designed for easy refilling, which is useful during a large event. 

There really aren’t too many disadvantages to owning a drink dispenser, unless you are tight on space, because they are large to store. Depending on your crowd, it can also be difficult to monitor portions, so you’ll need to watch out for overconsumption. 

How to Clean a Drink Dispenser

Many of the beverage dispensers on our list are dishwasher safe. But all of them can be washed by hand with mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft brush or sponge. To ensure the longevity of your drink dispenser, we recommend disassembling any removable parts (such as a spigot or ice chamber) and pre-rinsing them so you can flush out any bits of fruit or sticky residue. 

Pay attention to the spigot and make sure no buildup forms. If needed, a small brush can reach little hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Also, always leave the parts unassembled and take the top off to allow everything to dry out. If not, you may have a musty mess.

Can You Put Wine in a Drink Dispenser?

Yes, you can put wine in a drink dispenser, but make sure it’s not made of any materials that will alter the taste of the wine like some metals can. Before using a drink dispenser for wine, it’s a good idea to read the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. If you’re unsure, you might want to stick to a decanter. 

Note that there are a few types of liquids that are not well-suited for all drink dispensers, especially plastic ones. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions for hot beverages that could damage plastic parts, carbonated beverages, fruits with high acidity, dairy products that can spoil, and thick drinks like smoothies that could clog the spigot. 

How Do I Keep My Drink Dispenser Cold?

If your primary concern is keeping your drinks cold, we’d suggest going with one of our top picks that has an ice core because it will hold the temperature down without watering down your drinks. Plus, you can add ice as frequently as you need. 

You could also get creative by using frozen fruit that will keep the temps low while adding flavor, using large ice balls that take longer to melt down, or stainless steel cubes that are popular in whiskey and bourbon drinks. 

The Best Beverage Recipes for Your Drink Dispenser

Goombay Smash
Credit: A Spicy Perspective

A great drink dispenser pitcher can be used for all kinds of summer drinks. Here’s some recipe inspiration for showing off your beverage dispenser: 

Prices were accurate at the time of publication. 

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