Drinks

Easy Pitcher Cocktails for Fuss-Free Spring Entertaining

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Spring and summer bring on all kinds of get-togethers. We've partnered with Smirnoff Red, White, & Berry to help you bring your entertaining game to the next level with easy, impressive cocktail recipes.

When you’re making a round of cocktails for yourself (and perhaps a drinking companion), you might be up for shaking, stirring, or muddling. But when you’re making cocktails for an entire party? You’ve got enough work on your hands; there’s no time for complicated drinks shaken on the spot.

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Spring Sangria and an "Adult" Shirley Temple are two vibrant options.
Spring Sangria and an "Adult" Shirley Temple are two vibrant options. Photo by Julia Gartland

The holy grail: A classy, crowd-pleaser of a drink that’s as complex in flavor as it is straightforward to make. Even if there’s a bit of prep work involved, once the party gets going, any cocktail you’re serving should feel as easy as pouring wine out of a bottle. This is why, in our opinions, the best party cocktails are made by the pitcher—whether you start them the night before, or pour ‘em together just a minute before the first guests arrive.

Here, we’ve pulled together a few party-ready pitcher cocktail recipes, for all your spring gatherings, and beyond.

spring sangria

The basic concept of sangria—wine, liquor, and a little fruit—is a great one. Make it the night before, and the fruit will steep into the drink as it sits, leaving you with a fruit-tinged cocktail and booze-tinged berries...what’s not to love? While we like the combo of strawberries and and mint, you can use any kind of berries or fruit you like—fresh raspberries with an orange wheel garnish, blueberries with a basil garnish, or peaches with a peach slice garnish would all be lovely.

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Spring Sangria with Strawberries and Mint

Spring Sangria with Strawberries and Mint

Food52 Food52
Serves 6
  • 12 ounces light and dry white wine (we like Vinho Verde)
  • 7.5 ounces Smirnoff Red, White & Berry vodka
  • 3 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish
Go to Recipe

"adult" shirley temple

There’s a reason Shirley Temples are such a hit—the vibrant color, the vivid cherry flavor—but they can be awfully sweet. This grown-up version is far more balanced, keeping the grenadine but swapping club soda in for gingerale or lemon-lime soda and adding a good measure of bright, flavored vodka. Don’t skip the lemon wheels in the pitcher, or the lemon wedge squeezed into each drink; the little burst of acid is a perfect counter to the sweeter elements of the vodka and grenadine.

“Adult” Shirley Temple Pitcher Cocktail

“Adult” Shirley Temple Pitcher Cocktail

Food52 Food52
Serves 6
  • 6 ounces Smirnoff Red, White, & Berry vodka
  • 4.5 ounces grenadine
  • 24 ounces club soda
  • Lemon wheels and lemon slices, for garnish
Go to Recipe

Do you have any favorite crowd-friendly cocktail recipes? Share them in the comments!

Looking to shake up your cocktail routine? Smirnoff Red, White, & Berry is a new vodka that combines the flavors of tart citrus with sweet blueberries and cherries. Please drink responsibly. Smirnoff Red, White & Berry. Vodka infused with natural flavors. 30% Alc/Vol. The Sminoff Co., Norwalk, CT.

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Tags: Cocktail, Vodka, Cocktail Party, Outdoor Entertaining