Having guests around for a party is an integral part of summer and serving cocktails is a popular option.  But serving up all of those individual drinks can take an age.  So the easy option is to go for summer cocktail recipes by the pitcher and let your guests tuck in themselves.

Sangria variations

Sangria

Sangria

Without doubt, summer cocktail recipes by the pitcher are dominated by sangria.  This is a drink that came from Spain and Portugal and was originally made with red wine, chopped fruit, a touch of brandy and often something to sweeten the drink a touch.  This might be honey, sugar or even orange juice while fruits can be oranges, citrus fruit, melon, pineapple, kiwi or mango to name just a few.  Sangria looks great in a big glass pitcher on the table or in a bowl with a matching ladle that lets the guests help themselves.

Peach Sangria

Rather than citrus or exotic fruits, why not opt for peach in your sangria?  This recipe uses five fresh peaches and a bottle of moscato wine as well as the same amount of either a sparkling wine, prosecco or champagne if you are feeling generous.  You can substitute it for sparkling water if you want the party to stay a little quieter!  A few springs of thyme finish the taste.

To make, prepare the peaches, cutting into wedges.  Add them to the pitcher with the moscato and thyme for around four hours or overnight.  Just as you come to serve, add the sparkling wine or water and plenty of ice.  Garnish it with a few more pieces of peach and a sprig of thyme.

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Pimm’s

Pimm's Cup

Pimm’s Cup

Pimm’s is without doubt a summer drink and there are even a few new variations reaching the supermarkets now that further add to the range of drinks you can create with it.  Pimm’s is classed as a liqueur and has a subtle spicy, fruit flavour that pairs well with lemonade.  However, those flavours also make it a great candidate for pitcher drinks.

Using Pimm’s to make a pitcher is an ideal way to use up any fruit you have around the house.  One recipe calls for:

  • ½ small cucumber
  • 8 strawberries
  • ½ orange
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ apple
  • 1 cup Pimm’s
  • 3 cups 7-Up or other citrus fizzy drink

Slice all the fruit into thin slices and layer them in the pitcher with ice.  Add the Pimm’s and the 7-Up then give it a gentle stir.  When pouring into the glasses to serve, add a leaf of mint to finish.

Margarita

The margarita is the classic tequila cocktail and is one that already has a million offspring using different flavours and ingredients.  Therefore, it isn’t a big leap to get to a margarita pitcher drink such as the Cucumber Margarita.

All you need is around 10 ounces of silver tequila, 5 ounces of cucumber juice or pureed fruit (grab a blender and give it a spin to create this).  Along with this use 3.75 ounces of sugar syrup and the same of fresh lime juice.  Add everything into a pitcher with ice and you are ready to serve.

Alternatively, loose the cucumber and bring in watermelon.  You can also add about 5 ounces of an orange flavoured liqueur such as Cointreau for an extra kick and if you like a traditional margarita, you can salt the rim of the glass when serving with coarse sea salt.

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Conclusion

The great thing about pitcher drinks is there is no set rules – take the fruit you like and the alcohol that works with it and be creative!  What would your favourite summer cocktail recipes by the pitcher be?

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