Pitcher cocktails

When you’re grilling with friends in the neighborhood cookout or throwing a party for the big game, it’s nearly impossible to find the time to mix individual cocktails. To save time, we love to whip up refreshing, summery cocktail recipes by the pitcher-full. Packed with seasonal fruits and herbs, these libations are colorful, fun, and perfect foils to the heat and smoke of flame-kissed grilled foods. And the longer they keep, the more concentrated the fruity and floral flavors become.

Sangria is a perfect cookout pitcher cocktail: with a base of wine, fruit, brandy, and seltzer, sangria is light, refreshing, and just low-alcohol enough to keep sipping all afternoon. Got a super-sized party? Multiply the specs of any of our recipes—as long as you keep the proportions the same, the drink will stay balanced—and build them in a festive punch bowl. From refreshing large-format margaritas to red and white sangrias, we’ve rounded up our favorite pitcher drinks to sip on all summer.


Red Sangria

For his riff on the classic Spanish wine-based drink, Jon Santer of Prizefighter in Emeryville, California, layers on more fruity flavors with French apéritif Lillet Rouge and the orange cognac-based liqueur Grand Marnier. Get the recipe for Red Sangria »

White Sangria

Choose a high-acid, no-oak sauvignon blanc or similar white for this sophisticated version of the party wine drink from bartender Jon Santer of Prizefighter in Emeryville, California. Get the recipe for White Sangria »

Grilled Sangria

Whether it’s juicing grilled limes into margaritas, charring tomatoes for bloody marys, or making this reimagined sangria with caramelized fruits, grilling your drinks will add smoky depth to every sip. Get the recipe for Grilled Sangria »

Stone Fruit Rosé Sangria

This version of a Spanish sangria is ripe with summer fruit; its light, crisp flavors complement seafood and poultry. Get the recipe for Stone Fruit Rosé Sangria »

Watermelon Cooler

Sweet watermelon balances the chiles in this summery drink.

Vodka Lavender Thyme Lemonade

Lemonade gains herbaceous depth from lavender and thyme, while vodka delivers a good, clean punch.

Strawberry Pimm’s Cup

A twist on the British classic, this summer cooler takes on spicy, herbal notes from Kaffir lime leaves, while strawberries lend sweet balance to the pleasingly bitter liqueur.

Green Monster

Floral, tropical passion fruit juice pairs with white rum and cool mint in this vibrant drink based on a Costa Rican cocktail.

Frozen Limeade Margarita

Canned frozen limeade intensifies the citrus flavor of this slushy Mexican libation.

Mezcalita de Piña

Mezcal, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, and lime lend a festive kick to the classic margarita.

Colombiana Pitcher Cocktail (Refajo)

Crisp and bittersweet, this Colombian lager-based cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon around the grill. Get the recipe for Colombiana Pitcher Cocktail (Refajo) »