Cocktail of the Week: Best Summer Pitchers

Are you ready to throw a swanky soiree, a rooftop bash, or a pool party to celebrate summer and relax with friends? While this may seem like a fantastic idea to start any weekend, planning a fiesta can not only be time consuming, but also costly. One thing that tends to take up anyone’s budget the most is alcohol because frankly, a glass of water or lukewarm juice does not equal party. While you could stock up on cerveza, we’re thinking of something more elegant, inviting, and cost efficient. The answer? Summer pitchers! After all, nothing says summer more than a giant glass filled with an ice cold beverage, while giving just the right amount of liquid courage to help you get up on your feet and dance.
To discover the most delicious iced teas, sangrias, and fresh brews for your next BBQ or Saturday afternoon picnic, we teamed up with A-list bartender Naren Young, famous for crafting some of the world’s most delectable drinks at Manhattan’s celebrity hot-spot Bobo in the West Village. Using Leblon Cachaça as his base, Young designed six sensational summer pitchers that incorporate champagne, juicy guava, and even edible flowers. Of course, you’re free to use any specific brand of cachaça, a distilled liquor from Brazil that’s savored in major festivities, including Carnaval. All of these summer pitchers are easy to make and can be quickly prepared for a last-minute event.

Best Summer Pitcher: Sangria Blanco
You’re probably wondering why this sangria pitcher is crystal clear when the traditional Spanish drink got its namesake for being blood-red. However, summer is all about icy, refreshing cocktails and white sangria is perfect for enticing guests after a steamy hot day at the office. Unlike typical crimson sangrias, this punch is refreshing, without being sickly sweet. With the help of white wine, elderflower liqueur to serve as a natural sweetener and white cranberry juice for a tangy finish, this crisp evening starter won’t have you caring what color it is. Bottom line: it’s too delicious to pass!

Ingredients:
3 oz. Leblon Cachaça
3 oz. Pisco
3 oz. Elderflower liqueur
6 oz. White cranberry juice
6 oz. Semisweet white wine
1 oz. Lime juice
3 oz. Soda water
Limes, apples, cucumbers, kiwi, green grapes, star fruit, and apples

Preparation:
Fill half of the pitcher with ice. Add ingredients and stir well. Garnish with limes, apples, cucumbers, kiwi, star fruit, and green grapes cut into slices.

Best Summer Pitcher: Tangerine Passion

Citrus fruits can always brighten up a soiree, especially for those breezy summer evenings when all you’re craving for is something light and delicate. Not only are tangerines small enough to store anywhere, but they’re easy to peel and are bursting with juice, which ranges from liquid honey to lip-smacking tart.  The Tangerine Passion highlights this little fruit, along with Triple Sec for a touch of candied oranges, and zesty Aperol to maintain its freshly squeezed taste, along with champagne for some much-needed bubbly.

Ingredients:
3 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 oz. Aperol
2 oz. Triple sec
6 oz. Tangerine juice
2 oz. Passion fruit juice
6 oz. Champagne

Preparation:
Fill half of the pitcher with ice. Add all the ingredients over the ice and stir.

Best Summer Pitcher: Sunset
Just when the day is coming to an end, we sometimes want a little extra something to help us combat the harsh humidity. The Sunset is an ideal punch for the evenings because it’s soothing and stimulating enough to brighten us up without dozing down another cup of café. While the Sunset’s dreamy orange hues are impressive enough, its fusions of fresh guava nectar, raspberry liqueur, fizzy champagne, and vanilla (a natural aphrodisiac) are all meant to help anyone get some…relaxation.

Ingredients:
4 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 oz. Raspberry liqueur
2 oz. Campari
6 oz. Guava nectar
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tbsp. White sugar
6 oz. Champagne
Peaches (cut into slices)

Preparation:
Fill half the pitcher with ice and add the ingredients. Stir well. Garnish with peaches cut into slices. You can also add other fruits of choice.

Best Summer Pitcher: Pessego

Remember those days when a juicy peach could easily quench your thirst? Now, this rich, decadent dessert is appearing at your local bar, thanks to its golden goodness. In Italy, they’re revolutionizing the world of cocktails with an old tradition of putting peach slices in their glasses of wine. The delicate, fragrant flesh soaks up the wine, creating a sophisticated treat. Latinos are adding their own spin by including Brazilian cachaca for an added kick, champagne for a silky body, as well as peach liqueur and nectar to enhance the fruit’s mouthwatering flavor. The Pessego is tasty, refreshing, and incredibly easy to make when setting up a last-minute event. There’s just no fuzz about it!

Ingredients:
3 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 oz. Lillet
2 oz. Peach liqueur
4 oz. Peach nectar
1 oz. Lemon juice
6 oz. Champagne
Peaches (cut into slices)

Preparation:
Fill half the pitcher with ice and add ingredients. Stir well. Garnish with peaches cut into slices. You can also use other fruits of choice.

Best Summer Pitcher: Sangria Tradicional
This ruby, fruit-filled drink is immensely popular and they come in so many varieties that it’s hard to mess it up. However, we always prefer the Sangria Tradicional, which includes its original ingredients of brandy, a dash of sugar, and plenty of fresh fruit juice to create a velvety, scrumptious drink for either yourself or guests. If you’re feeling brave enough to run with the bulls, you may also want to try the absinthe-inspired Brazilian Sangria. Either way, we’re hooked on this Spanish favorite.  

Ingredients:
4 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 oz. Brandy
2 oz. Orange liqueur
3 oz. Pineapple juice
2 oz. Lemon juice
8 oz. Red wine
3 tbsp. White sugar
3 oz. Soda water
Lemons, oranges, and pineapples (cut into slices)

Preparation:
In a pitcher, add the fruit, sugar, and juices. Stir well. Fill half the pitcher with ice and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well again.

Best Summer Pitcher: Flores Iced Tea

Flowers in your drink? Yes, it’s true! This is one of biggest trends in the world of cocktails, as edible flowers give any concoction a feminine touch, while looking effortlessly chic. Fresh flowers can also give a certain oomph to any beverage, thanks to its light fragrance. Floral pitchers are not only ideal conversation starters, but they’ll keep guests in awe and ready to take a sip. Plus, the pitcher will look as if you hired a top gourmet mixologist to design your party drink, when in reality this number is easier to make than squeezing lemons!

Ingredients:
4 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 oz. Apple schnapps
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 tbsp. White sugar
12 oz. Strong freshly brewed black tea
Lemon Wheels
Edible Flowers

Preparation:
Fill half of the pitcher with ice. Add all the ingredients over the ice and stir. Garnish with lemon wheels and edible flowers.

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