Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by David Michael

Cocktails by the Pitcher

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Mixing up a pitcher of cocktails is like whipping up an instant cocktail party.

You instantly have drinks to serve, freeing you up from bartending duties. Now you can enjoy your guests company. Making big batch cocktails is a timesaver.

A pitcher of drinks can also help with a theme, tying everything together with a special drink. A scorpion filled pitcher is easier to make than an individual one, and instantly sets a tiki theme. Take a trip south of the border with a tequila pitcher drink like margaritas.

Brunch wouldn’t really be brunch if there wasn’t a pitcher or two of bloody marys ready to pour. Brunch pitcher cocktails nearly always mean bloody mary, but a pitcher of mimosa is another classic option for brunch.

Set out some garnishes and add ins when you make pitchers of bloody marys and let your guests customize their own drinks.

Brunch Pitcher Cocktails

See our Recipe for Pitcher of Bloody Marys

Mimosas by the Pitcher

1 750ml bottle of dry champagne or prosecco, chilled
24 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice, chilled
4 ounces cointreau.

Add all ingredients to a pitcher and stir gently to combine.
Serve in champagne flutes.

Serving cocktails by the pitcher also helps you narrow down what you need to buy. Plan on serving two different pitcher drinks at a party and you don’t need to worry about stocking up a full bar.

I like to serve two different pitcher drinks because there’s always someone that won’t drink one of them. Serve a vodka pitcher drink and a rum pitcher drink for instance.

Cocktails by the pitcher are perfect for all seasons.

Summer Pitcher Cocktails

Summertime and the livin is easy, as the song goes. Summer entertaining should be just as easy. Simplify your bar menu by serving cocktails by the pitcher. Classic summer drinks like sangria and gin and tonics are perfect for warm weather entertaining.

See our Sangria Recipe

Gin and Tonic by the Pitcher

Pitcher of Gin and Tonics next to a Riedel highball glass of gin and tonic.
Gin and Tonic: A Refreshing Classic with a Twist

A classic summer refresher, made even easier by batching up a pitcher.

Get The Gin and Tonic by the Pitcher recipe

Autumn / Winter Pitcher Cocktails

As the weather cools and the leaves begin to change we tend to change to warmer spirits like whiskey and bourbon. A spiked apple cider is autumn in a glass. Classic milk punch isn’t just for tailgating, it makes a great pitcher drink too. These are great options for the winter also when you don’t want to serve a hot drink.

Spiked Apple Cider Pitcher

64 ounces apple cider
16 ounces whiskey or bourbon
2 cinnamon sticks
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced
Garnish: apple slices.

In a small saucepan heat 2 cups of the apple cider with the cinnamon sticks and ginger for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
Add the unheated apple cider and the whiskey or bourbon to a large pitcher.
Strain the spiced cider into the pitcher and discard the cinnamon and ginger.
Add the apple slices to the pitcher and stir.
Serve over ice in highball glass and garnish with an apple slice.

Milk Punch by the Pitcher

24 ounces whole milk
16 ounces half and half
1 750ml bottle of bourbon
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Garnish: grated nutmeg.

Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, overnight allows the flavors to meld and mellow.
Stir again before serving.
Serve in old fashioned glasses garnished with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

Spring Pitcher Cocktails

Spring is all about freshness and renewal. A light, sparkling drink like the French 75 hits all the right notes with fresh citrus and champagne. Lemon also is the invigorating flavor of the lemon drop, here served up by the pitcher.

Here’s our Recipe for a French 75 by the Pitcher

Lemon Drop by the Pitcher

32 ounces vodka
12 ounces simple syrup
6 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
Garnish: Lemon wedge

Add all ingredients to a pitcher and stir.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Stir and serve neat in a small chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Happy entertaining, cheers!

Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.

Recommended Products for Pitcher Cocktails

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Pitchers for Cocktails

You can’t serve drinks by the pitcher without pitchers. I particularly like these.

Libbey Glass Cantina Pitcher

This is the pitcher that I use for Bloody Marys. It hold a lot, nearly two batches of my bloody mary recipe.

Libbey Glass Cantina Pitcher

Mikasa Napoli Glass Pitcher

This is the style of pitcher that I like to use for Sangria and other drinks that have fruit in it.

Mikasa Napoli Glass Pitcher

Stirrer / Bar Spoon by Barfly

Barfly’s stirrer is sturdy enough to stir any pitcher drink. At 12″ it works for just about every pitcher. I personally love the stainless, but it comes in other finishes as well. Gold, copper, and gunmetal finishes let you express your style without compromising quality.

Bar Spoon by Barfly

Cocktail Glasses

The other thing you need is glasses to serve your cocktails in.

Godinger Highball Glasses

These hold 14 ounces are a great size for holding enough ice to keep your drink cold to the last drop.

Godinger Highball Glasses

Godinger Old Fashioned Glasses

Comfortable to hold and swirl your drink in, these old fashioned glasses are just the glass for drinks like our milk punch.

Godinger Old Fashioned Glasses

Stemless Cocktail Glasses

The smaller 9 ounce size makes these ideal for drinks you want to serve smaller portions of, like our lemon drop.

Stemless Cocktail Glasses by Elixir

For a selection of cocktail picks, swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins and more; see our post on our favorite cocktail accessories.

Looking for something for your favorite bartender or for your home bar? Check out our Gifts for the Bar post!

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