Perfect Pitcher Cocktails for Your Next Summer Party

There’s no better time than the advent of summer to call up our friends, put some fairy lights up in the garden, and maybe even fire up the barbecue!

If you really want to impress your summer party guests, why not serve up a round of refreshing cocktails alongside your beers & wines?

Luckily, the notion of fancy mixed drinks being a complicated or time-consuming task need no longer put you off preparing your own.

Whipping up a pitcher of cocktails makes hosting a cocktail party a breeze, as you and your guests can spend all night sipping on bar-worthy drinks without running back to the kitchen every half hour for top-ups.

With this list of classic batch cocktail recipes, you can be ready to keep the cocktails flowing before the doorbell has even rung. Just make sure the freezer has plenty of ice!

Depending on just how much you want to impress with your pitchers, this guide ranges from Simple & Easy to intermediate Summer Classics, and finally a couple of Expert Cocktails for when you’re really pulling out all the stops.

The recipes below will provide roughly 6 servings in a pitcher, but if you’re entertaining large numbers or have a notoriously thirsty group of pals, go ahead and double, triple, or quadruple the ingredients to satisfy your guests.
 

Simple & Easy

 

Aperol Spritz

The past few years have seen the Aperol Spritz become one of the nation’s favourite serves, bringing glimmers of Italian sunshine to our often-cloudy summer evenings.

Traditionally drunk as an aperitif, its slight bitterness makes it more refreshing than many sugary alternatives and perfect for sipping alongside nibbles or before a meal. So as not to over-sweeten your Spritz, we’d recommend using a dry prosecco such as Bottega Black Diamond to compliment the Aperol Aperitivo.

Ingredients:

  • 450 ml Prosecco
  • 300 ml Aperol
  • 150 ml Soda Water
  • 1 Large Orange, thinly sliced

How to Make:

  1. Add all ingredients to a pitcher full of ice and gently stir

 

Moscow Mule

A simple mix of vodka, ginger, and lime – the Moscow Mule stands as a true cocktail classic. These core ingredients blend peppery spice and sharp citrus to create an endlessly sippable summertime treat.

As this cocktail was first invented to help market Smirnoff to a new American audience, it’s good to keep it classic and use their Original Vodka to create your Moscow Mule.

Ingredients:

  • 300 ml Vodka
  • 900 ml Ginger Beer
  • 50 ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • Handful of Fresh Mint

How to Make:

  1. Add ice, crushed mint leaves, and wedges of lime to a large pitcher
  2. Pour in the liquid ingredients and stir

 

Sex on the Beach

Sex on the Beach is one of the world’s most popular pitcher cocktails, loved for its simplicity and satisfying sweetness. You may be very familiar with ordering one in a bar, but thankfully a Sex on the Beach is also incredibly easy to make at home.

Vodka is the base spirit here and you could choose between a traditional unflavoured number like the original Absolut or bring an extra hit of taste with Au Fruit Punch or Skyy Citrus Vodka. For the Peach Schnapps, stick to a bottle of Archers.

The original recipe calls for orange juice and cranberry juice, but you can swap these out for your personal favourites. Grapefruit or pineapple would work excellently.

Ingredients:

  • 300 ml Vodka
  • 150 ml Peach Schnapps
  • 300 ml Orange Juice
  • 300 ml Cranberry Juice

How to Make:

  1. Simply pour all ingredients in to a pitcher half-filled with ice and give it a good mix

 

Summer Classics

 

Sangria

Sangria is made to be shared and bears a longstanding tradition of being prepared in large batches and sipped slowly over an evening. Filled with fruit and a perfectly intoxicating mix of wine and brandy, this cocktail truly screams summer.

You’ll want a very light red wine to make sangria, so choose a Pinot Noir such as those from Cap Maritime or Babich. If you like a sweeter mix, swap out the sparkling water for lemonade.

As for the fruit, you could move away from the signature orange, apple, and berry mix to include your favourite seasonal produce (or whatever you’ve got in the fruit bowl).

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Red Wine
  • 100 ml Brandy
  • 300 ml Sparkling Water
  • 1 Large Orange, sliced
  • 1 Apple, sliced
  • A Handful of Fresh Berries
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 3 tbsp Caster Sugar

How to Make:

  1. Chop the fruit to your desired size, sprinkle with sugar, and leave in the fridge for 2 hours to macerate
  2. Add the fruit mixture, wine, brandy, and sparkling water to large jug filled with ice, and serve

 

Mint Julep

Here’s one for the whisky lovers: a bourbon-based drink that maintains a summery edge thanks to its generous serving of fresh mint leaves. A world away from whiskey’s reputation as a warming fireside tipple, the Mint Julep has the perfect dose of eucalyptic coolness to keep you refreshed on a summer’s day.

Bourbon is the primary ingredient in a Mint Julep, so it’s worth picking up a quality bottle such as Maker’s Mark or Buffalo Trace. This drink is a little stronger than your average pitcher cocktail, so serving up in small portions over lots of ice is recommended.

Ingredients:

  • 400 ml Bourbon
  • 75 ml Simple Syrup
  • A Large Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Crushed Ice

How to Make:

  1. Add a good portion of ice cubes to a blender and pulse until crushed
  2. In a pitcher or bowl, gently muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup
  3. Add the bourbon and ice to the mint mixture and stir thoroughly

 

Strawberry & Basil Mojito

This delicious twist on a Mojito is perfect for summer sipping, with a light strawberry sweetness and a touch of aromatic basil. If you’re wary of herb-infused drinks, this is a great place to start as the basil brings only the subtlest savoury perfumes and is perfect for balancing out sugary, citrusy fruits.

Preparing a Strawberry Mojito would typically require making a “strawberry simple syrup,” but we’ve replaced this step with the Funkin Strawberry Puree for less hassle and a stronger fruity taste. For the rum, we’d recommend Havana Club or Old J Silver Spiced Rum for their iconic tropical flavours.

For a harder ‘spiked’ version of this cocktail, treat yourself to an overproof rum such as Wray & Nephew.

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml White Rum
  • 200 ml Strawberry Puree
  • 400 ml Soda Water
  • 100 ml Lime Juice
  • A Large Bunch of Basil Leaves
  • 10 Fresh Strawberries, chopped

How to Make:

  1. Take half of the basil leaves and crush them with a pestle and mortar until soft and fragrant
  2. Add the basil, rum, strawberry puree, and lime juice to a pitcher full of ice and mix thoroughly
  3. Top off the pitcher with soda water and garnish with the remaining basil leaves and chopped fresh strawberries

 

Expert Cocktails

 

Electric Iced Tea

An Electric Iced Tea is a fun alternative to the quintessential Long Island Iced Tea. This version simply swaps out cola for lemonade and Triple Sec for Blue Curacao. Both liqueurs are orange flavoured so this makes no difference to the taste but does give the cocktail a stunning bright blue colour.

So, no overly drastic changes, but this neon tone and lemony base means the Electric definitely has more of a ~summer vibe~ than the original.

Though there’s nothing particularly difficult about making an Electric Iced Tea, it deserves its place in the Expert list purely because it has so. Many. Ingredients. Gin, rum, tequila, and vodka go into this one, so make sure your liquor cabinet is fully stocked and maybe drink a glass of water before bed.

Ingredients:

  • 100 ml Gin
  • 100 ml White Rum
  • 100 ml Tequila
  • 100 ml Vodka
  • 100 ml Blue Curacao
  • 500 ml Lemonade

How to Make:

  1. Add all ingredients to a pitcher full of ice, stir well, and pour into tall glasses.
  2. Serve alongside another pitcher of lemonade so your guests can water down this exceptionally boozy cocktail!

 

Zombie

One of the most popular Tiki cocktails, the Zombie is a tropical mix of rums, liqueurs, and fruit juices. Like the Iced Tea, this cocktail belongs in the expert section by virtue of having a particularly long and strong ingredients list – this is not for the faint of heart!

There’s no authoritative recipe for a Zombie, so you can play around with your own mix of liqueurs and juices. You should always begin with a base of Dark, White, and Golden rums which you can find in Captain Morgan’s range.

Ingredients:

  • 75 ml Dark Rum
  • 75 ml White Rum
  • 75 ml Golden Rum
  • 200 ml Pineapple Juice
  • 200 ml Orange Juice
  • 100 ml Lime Juice
  • 50 ml Triple Sec Liqueur
  • 50 ml Passion Fruit Puree
  • 30 ml Grenadine

How to Make:

  1. Pour all ingredients except the grenadine into a pitcher full of ice and stir thoroughly
  2. Serve the Zombie in tall glasses and add a couple drops of grenadine to each glass to create an ombre effect

 

And there you have it, the ultimate pitcher cocktails for easy summer hosting!

(Of course, if putting these together still seems a little too strenuous, check out our brilliant range of Pre-Mixed and Ready to Drink Cocktails.)

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