A lot of cocktails can be recreated in a pitcher to serve a crowd at a social gathering like a party or a barbecue. That can include many variations of a Sangria, as well as Mojitos, Iced Teas, and Margaritas.
Other cocktails can only be formed in a pitcher so try to make a Pimm’s and Lemonade if you can source a bottle.
If anything, creating a pitcher should save you time instead of making several individual cocktails for all of your guests.
Here we will look at 20 easy pitcher cocktails that are perfect for summer.
Possibly one of the most traditional cocktails to create in a pitcher, making a batch of Red Wine Sangria is a must in summer though you do need to make it ahead of time.
Leave the peel on and chop up a couple of oranges and apples into slices. Throw them into the pitcher and pour on half a cup of brandy then a quarter cup of orange liqueur (Cointreau works well).
Pour over a 750ml bottle of decent red wine, stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least four hours or even overnight for a softer and sweeter serving.
You will need four different types of berry for this Summer Berry Sangria. Throw some strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries into a pitcher and add agave nectar.
Pour over a chilled 750ml of Moscato wine then drizzle on strawberry liqueur. Top it all off with lemon lime soda.
Moscato wine is ideal for a variation of Sangria that uses white wine, such as this Sparkling White Peach Sangria.
Slice up two or three peaches and place three-quarters of the slices into the pitcher with three-quarters of a cup of apricot or peach brandy.
Add a chilled 750ml bottle of Moscato wine with a liter of peach seltzer water and pour over ice with the remaining peach slices as garnishes.
Another bright and bubbly Sangria variation is this Sparkling Watermelon Sangria. Place three cups of cold and cubed watermelon with three-quarters of a cup of dry white port.
Add around ten lime slices then add a 750ml bottle of chilled Moscato wine and three cups of chilled lime seltzer water. Stir it all together then pour into glasses over ice and garnish with a slice of lime and watermelon.
Sangria can also be pale, such as this Cucumber White Sangria which uses white wine.
Combine a 750ml bottle of chilled Sauvignon Blanc with half of a sliced cucumber, a sliced lime, half a cup of mint sprigs, and a cup of halved green grapes. Muddle it all together and leave overnight in the refrigerator.
Once you are ready to serve, strain the mixture, and add the rest of the cucumber slices, lime slices, mint sprigs, and halved green grapes then top off with seltzer.
A pitcher of Cojito begins with muddling together water, sugar, and mint leaves. Add coconut rum and freshly squeezed lime juice then stir to combine. Fill the pitcher with ice, then top off with seltzer.
You can create a creamy Cojito by adding a can of coconut milk prior to the ice and seltzer or simply up the amount of seltzer for a lighter version.
Lemonade and peaches go so well together in this refreshing cocktail. First, create a simple syrup by boiling together a cup of water and granulated sugar then simmering until the sugar has dissolved.
Allow the syrup to cool then remove the skins from the peaches, slice them in half, remove the pits, chop into cubes, and blitz into purée.
Pour the purée into the pitcher and add the simple syrup, a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, six cups of sparkling water, and one and a half cups of vodka with ice with peach slices.
As a mixture of lemon and grapefruit soda, Apposta is a seriously fruity cocktail. In a pitcher, combine gin, Aperol, sweet white vermouth, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and grapefruit soda.
The mixture should be a vivid red color and you can pour it over ice with orange peel and thyme sprigs as garnishes.
You will need a food processor or a juicer for this pitcher recipe for a more concentrated flavor. Create a purée from a pound of hulled strawberries then strain it into a pitcher and fill halfway with ice.
Add two-thirds of a cup of sugar, a cup of vodka, and three cups of water. Use a long stirrer to combine the ingredients, dissolve the sugar, and serve cold.
With a spicy kick, this pitcher cocktail sure does pack a punch. In your pitcher, combine a cup of pineapple juice with half a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, the juice of between two and four limes, and half a cup of light rum.
Give the mixture a good stir, add between 32 and 34 ounces of ginger beer and pour into individual glasses. Choose between orange slices, lime slices, pineapple wedges, and mint sprigs as garnishes.
11. Hawaiian Mimosas
You may be used to seeing Mimosas set out on a tray in flutes yet you can create a variation of them in a pitcher.
The recipe only requires three ingredients and such simplicity means you match up the batch with the amount of servings you need to make. For each serving, add one part of coconut rum to the pitcher with double the amount of pineapple juice.
For a pitcher, use a cup of coconut rum with two cups of pineapple juice, and a 750ml bottle of sparkling wine like Champagne or Prosecco.
12. Pacific Empress
This pitcher is a little specific as a true version comes with Empress 1908 gin, hence the name. First muddle a couple of handfuls of fresh or frozen blackberries with honey in a pitcher.
Add ice with pineapple juice then top up with tonic water. When you are ready to serve, gather your guests and float the gin over the top then watch the color change.
During an English summer, you can expect to find Pimm’s and Lemonade served at several large gatherings. To create your own batch, fill a pitcher with ice and combine the Pimm’s with lemonade in a 1:3 ratio.
Crush the mint leaves in your hand then add to the Pimm’s mixture with orange slices, cucumber slices, and quartered strawberries (ideally with two slices of cucumber to each of orange and strawberry). Stir and serve in tall glasses.
14. Ocean Breeze
For a tropical cocktail which is ideal for summer, create a pitcher of Ocean Breeze.
Half-fill the pitcher with crushed ice, add four ounces each of blue curaçao and white rum, with 16 ounces of lemonade, a sliced lemon and half a cup of fresh blueberries.
Stir the pitcher and pour into a glass with a few lemon slices and blueberries as garnishes.
15. Mojito Pitcher
Instead of simply creating Mojitos one by one, you can make an entire pitcher and not even have to use a simple syrup. It may even be easier to muddle together 30 mint leaves with five quartered limes and just over half a cup of sugar.
Once the sugar has begun to dissolve, add a cup of white rum and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Chill the pitcher in the refrigerator and then add club soda when you are ready to serve.
For a pitcher of Pink Gin Iced Tea, you will need to brew a chamomile tea bag in 500ml of boiling water for up to three minutes.
Remove the tea bag, leave the tea to cool, and add it to a pitcher with 100ml each of pink gin, spiced rum, elderflower cordial, and pink grapefruit juice. Add ice, stir, then finally add thyme sprigs and serve.
For this traditional cocktail pitcher, create a batch of simple syrup. Mix that with half a cup each of tequila, white rum, vodka, gin, and triple sec.
Add three-quarters of a cup each of simple syrup and lemon juice, stir the mixture in ice until well-chilled then strain into a pitcher.
Add one and a half cups of cola and give it another stir before serving in ice-filled hurricane glasses then garnish with lemon wedges.
This sweet tea recipe follows a similar method to iced tea but is made with a sweet tea-flavored vodka.
In a pan, boil up six cups of water, remove from the heat and add a cup of sugar then stir until dissolved. Add three tea bags and allow the tea to steep for around half an hour then remove the tea bags.
Add eight cups of water, stir, then add one and a quarter cups of lemon juice and refrigerate until cold. Once you are ready to serve, add two cups of sweet tea-flavored vodka with four cups of chilled ginger ale.
You will need a full 750ml bottle of tequila for this pitcher of Margaritas, and, obviously, you will need to prepare kosher salt rims to eat one with a lime wedge.
Pour in your bottle of tequila with one and a half cups each of freshly squeezed lime juice and Cointreau (though you can use triple sec).
Add between half a cup to a cup of agave nectar for sweetness, place the pitcher in the refrigerator and chill for a couple of hours before serving over crushed ice.
For a simple and colorfully pink pitcher recipe, try a batch of Strawberry Basil Margaritas. Empty a can of frozen limeade concentrate into the pitcher and add around two and a half cups of water with one and a half cups of tequila.
Hull around ten to twelve strawberries then slice them lengthwise to throw in while you crumble eight basil leaves to add too. Leave the pitcher to chill in the refrigerator for over four hours, ideally overnight, for the flavors to develop.
Bonus Section: Mocktails
If you are having a social gathering, you want to ensure that everyone is catered for. Many of your guests may want an alcoholic beverage yet there may be designated drivers too.
From a Shirly Temple to a Pomegranate Ginger Spritzer and a Mai Tai Party Punch, by creating any of these mocktails, they should be well looked after.
Mocktails can pack a serious punch, none more so than this Pomegranate Ginger Spritzer.
Place a sliced lime and half a cup of sliced ginger in the pitcher, muddle, then stir in three-quarters of a cup of orange juice, and three cups of pomegranate juice.
Leave to chill in the refrigerator overnight and then strain to remove the ginger and lime. Stir in three cups of chilled club soda, give it another stir and pour.
A Shirly Temple is a refreshing and sparkling cocktail that can be enjoyed by everyone. Begin by running a lime wedge round the rims of your glasses and dipping them into sanding sugar.
Create the pitcher by adding one part grenadine syrup to six parts ginger ale, though you could add the grenadine separately and then top off with ginger ale. The two components work well together and create a bright, vivid mocktail.
Though you can prepare individual Mai Tai mocktails, it is easier to make an entire batch in a pitcher and share it. In a pitcher, mix together almond syrup with lime juice, pineapple juice, and orange juice as your base.
When you are ready to serve, add ice to each cup, fill it halfway with juice, add grenadine to sink to the bottom then top off with sparkling water. For a garnish, use orange or lime slices, maybe a cherry or two as well.
Creating a pitcher cocktail for a summer gathering should be simple enough but ensure that you read the instructions first.
Some pitcher cocktails require being chilled overnight for the flavors to develop. If the cocktail pitcher includes fruit then there is typically a certain optimum period of time before the fruit becomes mushy.
That could make the difference between a truly impressive pitcher cocktail and one that becomes disappointing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can You Quench Your Thirst During Summer?
Aside from a cocktail poured from a pitcher, there are other ways of quenching your thirst when the heat is on during summer. Try drinking a herbal tea or coconut water which is a healthy way to keep hydrated (find more water-infused recipes here).
You can also drink smoothies using just fruit or try to eat certain fruits and vegetables that come with a high water content such as watermelon and cucumbers.
Which Cocktails Are The Seven Basic Cocktails?
Some cocktails do not belong in a pitcher but one of the basic seven cocktails that does is a Margarita. You can also include a Daiquiri, a Gin and Tonic, an Old-Fashioned, a Negroni, a Manhattan, and a Martini.