Some guests love inventive craft cocktails, others prefer sticking with the tried-and-true. For the latter crowd, choose classic pitcher cocktails such as this traditional margarita. Then serve your more adventurous pals a great watermelon pitcher cocktail. Check out the tweaks in the recipe.
This Italian drink recipe means you can stop your search for big-batch gin cocktails right here. This baby has everything going for it: gin, Aperol (a refreshing bitter-orange aperitif), vermouth, and citrus, plus an unmistakable Italian essence. PS: This recipe puts the “big” in big-batch cocktails. It serves 12, but feel free to scale it back for a smaller gathering.
Grilled Peach Frappé
When the temperature rises and you’re looking for creative big-batch summer cocktails, pick up some peaches! Grill the fruit, then toss them in a blender with fresh lemon, sugar, and a swig of Southern Comfort for one of our coolest (and most creative) pitcher cocktails yet.
Coconut Cream Island Punch
We love rum cocktails like mojitos to mai tais. But we also adore rum cocktails that introduce inventive flavor combinations, such as this recipe. Star fruit is the unexpected pleasure here (it’s a beautiful garnish) and mixing the rum with grapefruit soda and coconut sorbet adds a refreshing balance of sweet and tart. Cheers!
How do you make one of the world’s most refreshing pitcher cocktails? Start with some of the most refreshing ingredients. Honeydew melon, cucumber, mint, lime, and Sauvignon Blanc (the crispest of crisp wines) team up for one of our most thirst-quenching summer pitcher cocktails ever.
Spicy Beer Mary Cocktails
Lightly citrusy and a wee bit floral, elderflower liqueur has been called bartender’s bacon because, like bacon, it greatly enhances many drinks. It’s no surprise that the liqueur works beautifully in pitcher cocktails. Add it to rosé wine with a little lemon juice for a head-turner.
Sparkling Golden Sangria
Apple-Cinnamon Winter Sangria
Refreshing pitcher cocktails are not solely for summer. They're handy for winter gatherings, too, especially when the party’s rife with salty snacks, warming fires, and happy holiday revelers. Here, dried fruits and cinnamon add a seasonal angle to this winter sangria.
The dilemma: You’re hosting a Mexican-theme party, but you’re looking for big-batch cocktails that go beyond the usual margarita. The solution: the Pepino. This ultra-contemporary cocktail has the sweet-tart angle found in many batch summer cocktails but with an ultrafresh and cool touch of cucumber.
Big-batch summer cocktails are even better when they make the most of your trip to the farmers market. When strawberries are at their ripest, bring home a few pints and plunk them into this colorful beverage. PS: Because it doesn’t include a brandy (the high-proof ingredient in many sangria pitcher drinks), this recipe is a good choice for day-drinking.
Thanks to two hits of pineapple—one in the juice and the other as a garnish—drinking this will make you'll feel like you've landed in Hawaii. The fizz comes from a couple of our favorite bubble-makers for pitcher cocktails: prosecco and beer.
Sweet Honey White Sangria
Sangrias always make terrific choices for easy summer pitcher cocktails. Want something even more on point? Try a sparkling sangria. Bubbles really enliven punch recipes. Cava—a Spanish sparkling wine—is an admirable (yet inexpensive) choice for the fizz. Its dryness balances the lush sweetness of the the nectarines, honey, and orange liqueur.
Brown Derby Cocktail
Did someone say whiskey is a winter drink? Not so! Whiskey is a terrific option for batch summer cocktails, especially when punched up with bitter ingredients. That’s because in cocktails, bitter = refreshing. This drink relies on lemon, grapefruit, and bitters.
Amidst collection of cocktails for parties, remember to choose at least one nonalcoholic choice for the abstainers. Watermelon, mint leaves, lime, and ginger ale make this choice much more interesting than the usual club soda with lime. PS: For those who do drink, see the alcoholic version for a great watermelon pitcher cocktail.
Basil Lemon Drop
When you’re searching for pitcher drinks for a summer brunch, keep these Champagne cocktails in mind. Sweet summery fruit and uplifting sparkle means they cheer any gathering. Plus, you'll already be cheery because the drink requires only four ingredients and ice.