Cool Pitcher Drinks for Weekend’s Hot BBQ! Mix It Up for a Gang or Just 2!

Pitcher drinks are awesome when you want to work less and and party more– even if it’s just hanging out at home enjoying sun or whatever! I like them because if I have company over I definitely don’t want to work much. I just want to enjoy the company!

Courtesy of because I have several pitcher drinks on a board as well as other food & cocktail posts that have lately been featuring sangria! I have played with sangria in various iterations going back 15 years. That along with other pitcher drinks I have done for parties is the inspiration for these recipes.

White Sangria with Peaches (or Nectarines)


2 to 3 white peaches, sliced (2 if they are large, 3 if they are small) (Yellow peaches or even necatarines could be used as a substitute!)
¾ cup peach brandy (any fruit flavored brandy will work providing it works the type of fruit!
1 bottle moscato, chilled.
(*Check with your local spirits/wine purvey about what’s available. It doesn’t have to be expensive to work. Even Prosecco would work!)
1 liter peach seltzer water, such as Seagram’s Sparkling White Peach Seltzer, chilled
(you can get other flavors of seltzer water that blend with the sangria. Peach isn’t always easy to find. Melon or Orange would be equally good too. )

In a pitcher place 3/4 of the sliced peaches (reserve some for garnish) and brandy and lightly muddle.

Add the Moscato (or it’s substitute) and seltzer water.

Stir with wooden spoon to mix.
If you have time to allow for chilling and flavors to blend, do so!
Pour into ice filled glasses and top with a couple of fresh peach slices.

From the Chew’s Carla Hall for GMA Labor Day.. Strawberry Basil Soda
With or without alcohol, this is amazing.
Alcohol suggestions:
Prosecco, Berry Rum, Tequila, Basil Vodka (Square One nails it!)

Photo is from THE CHEW’s Facebook page


1 pound Strawberries (trimmed)
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Juice and Zest of 1 Lime (plus the zest of another lime for rimming glass)
1/2 cup Basil Leaves (plus 5 more for rimming glass)
1 cup Sugar (plus 3 tablespoons more for rimming glass)

Place the Strawberries in a blender, and starting at low speed, puree until completely smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Measure 1 liquid cup of the Strawberry Juice, adding Water if necessary to yield 1 cup.

Strawberry-Basil syrup
Pour into a small sauce pot, and add the Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Lime Zest, Basil and Sugar, and bring to a boil.
Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, and then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids to yield Strawberry-Basil syrup.

Flavored sugar for rimming the glass:
Microwave the 5 Basil leaves for 30 seconds.
Combine with the 3 tablespoons Sugar and remaining Lime Zest in a food processor and pulse to create Basil scented Sugar. Pour onto a small plate or dish.
Rim the edge of the glasses with a Lemon or Lime wedge, and dip in the scented Sugar.

Add 3 tablespoons of the Strawberry-Basil Syrup to the glass, a few ice cubes, and top with Seltzer and/or add a moderate amount of spirits.
Gently stir to combine and enjoy.

The last pitcher cocktail recipe is a riff off a whiskey smash. This Cherry Whiskey Smash sounds lovely and would be ideal for Indian Summer cocktails and get-togethers. The recipe is via It sounds so yummy!


Basic recipe for one cocktail

– 1 ounce jack daniels
– 1 ounce cherry juice
– 1/2 ounce amaretto
– 1/2 ounce ginger brandy
– 2 ounces cherry cola
– 5 maraschino cherries

The math on this is pretty easy for 12 cocktails!

12 oz— Jack Daniels (one could use the Jack Daniels Honey version too)
12 + oz — Cherry Juice. (Try Trader Joes for there tart cherry juice mixed with regular cherry juice!)
6 oz. — Amaretto
6 oz. — Ginger Brandy
24 oz — Cherry Cola (Get a decent one on this. Don’t go private label unless you know it’s got the chops to hold up the drink)
3 bottles- Maraschino Cherries. These can hold up well in the refrigerator if you have leftovers. Unlikely you will, but buy more than you think you need!

Why would I worry about cherries?


Here are the instructions to concoct the recipe for a pitcher:

Add cherries (5 cherries might sound like a lot, but it’s not!) to the bottom of a pitcher or a punch bowl and muddle until smashed. (That’s why– the muddling!!)
–Add ice to the pitcher or bowl.
– Mix Jack Daniels, cherry juice, amaretto and brandy into a separate pitcher and stir briskly with a long spoon for at least 30 seconds for 15 to combine.
– Pour over ice, then top off with cherry cola and stir.
– Serve with additional cherries if desired.

Sounds delish doesn’t it? Using some tart cherry juice will balance off the sweetness of the Marschino cherries.

Given this is a post holiday week, you might be wondering how long until Friday. This might give you an idea of what you should stock up on for this coming weekend!

Stevie Wilson,

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