Summer’s arrival means long, easy weekends, smoky barbecues, lounging poolside or just outside in the backyard chilling with friends. In the spirit of the season, we asked a few of our favorite spots from the around the country to share their easy-to-make, easy-to-pour pitcher recipes full of fresh ingredients. Your job? Whip up a few batches, taste test, refrigerate, taste again and get the party started.
Cucumber Margarita from GG’s, New York City
Recipe compliments of Gabe Richter, partner/beverage director.
“At GG's we shake all our "pitchers" in a comically large cocktail shaker that fits 1.5 liters. At home I just stir everything in a glass pitcher with lots of ice until the ingredients are combined and the drink is cold. Each of these serves about 5 drinks.”
10 oz. silver tequila (use 100% agave like El Jimador)
5 oz. cucumber purée or cucumber juice
3 3/4 oz. simple syrup
3 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Fill pitcher with ice, combine ingredients and stir (unless you have a comically large cocktail shaker)
Classic Pitcher Margarita from Big Star, Chicago
Recipe compliments of Beverage Director, Laurent Lebec
“With just enough orange marmalade-like sweetness to tame the bright, fresh-squeezed lime notes, this margarita is spirit forward and showcases the complex tropical aroma and taste of tequila without being too overpowering.
12 oz. tequila (less to taste, basically a half bottle if it's a 750 ml)
6 oz. water
6 oz. lime juice
4 oz. orange curacao
1 1/2 oz. simple syrup (this is dissolved sugar in a 1:1 sugar to warm water ratio)
Combine ingredients in a pitcher, stir.
NOTE: The lime juice should be fresh squeezed. It's so much better that way and strained once to get rid of pulp. A little more orange liqueur will boost the alcohol and color but won't make it sweeter. If you like it sweeter, just ramp up the simple syrup slowly.
Summer Sangria from Eveleigh, Los Angeles
Recipe courtesy of China Morbosa, Bar Manager
1 Bottle rosé
3/4 Cup lavender syrup (see below)
3/4 Cup lemon juice
1 Cup sliced strawberry
1 Cup tangerine juice
3/4 Cup halved green grapes
3/4 Cup halved red grapes
1/2 Cup lemon wheels
1/2 Cup Cognac
1/4 Cup Aperol
1/4 Cup Campari
5 cups water
4 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup dried lavender
First prepare your lavender syrup, simmering ingredients for 10 minutes then straining. Allow it to cool while prepping the fruit for the sangria. Add the lemon and tangerine juice over the cut fruit first, then combine the Aperol, Campari, and cognac to the mix. Lastly add the cooled lavender syrup and rosé wine.
Reagan Smash from Rue, Portland
Recipe Courtesy of Jon Lewis, Bar Director
"When I said the word patio pounder, a whiskey smash came to mind but I wanted to change it up and have bitter and herbaceous liqueurs be the focus but still refreshing with the citrus and mint."
Fill pitcher with ingredients and a scoop of ice. Fill each glass with crushed ice, pour cocktail about 3/4’s of the way and top with soda, 4 dashes of Angostura bitters and a mint sprig.
Related: ELITE PUNCHES FROM ELITE BARTENDERS
Punch Bowl from The Continental, Miami Beach
Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Hart
“The Rum Punch exemplifies Miami. It was designed to be a straightforward and refreshing yet fruity cocktail that encourages a social atmosphere as friends linger over the punchbowl. It's best enjoyed outside in the sunshine."
6 oz. Rum
2 oz. Lime
2 oz. Aperol
2 oz. Velvet falernum
9 oz. Pineapple
Pour ingredients into a punch bowl or pitcher, stir and garnish with your choice of fruit. The Continental uses cherries, pineapple and grapefruit.