5 Ways to Make a 3-Ingredient Pitcher Cocktail

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

When it comes to summer get-togethers, a couple six-packs of beer or a few bottles of wine may seem like the fastest, easiest answer to your drinking dilemma. But here’s another solution that works for even the most last-minute barbecue or pool party: a pitcher cocktail. It may seem complicated (and as a result, it looks fancy and impressive), but you can actually pull off a pitcher cocktail in the same amount of time — or less!

These five drinks require just three ingredients, some of which you probably already have on hand, so you can quickly stir one up before the first guest is knocking at your door.

The Easiest Pitcher Cocktail Equation

Summer cocktails should be as easy and breezy as the season itself. These five recipes require no more than simple arithmetic. Take a base spirit and add two of the following: mixer, fresh fruit, and herbs. That’s it, seriously.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Use Ingredients with a Lot of Flavor

The key to keeping these pitcher cocktails at just three ingredients is to use ingredients that pack a punch. That way there isn’t a need for a whole slew of other things to make these drinks taste delicious. Ginger beer is spicy, sweet, and bubbly; simply add bourbon and raspberries and you’ve got a bourbon raspberry pitcher with all three qualities. Or, lean on mixers that are tart and sweet, like lemonade or pineapple juice, to lend balance to your pitcher cocktail in one easy pour.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Don’t Overcomplicate Things

You don’t need to be a mixologist to stir up these pitcher cocktails, which is exactly why we love them. Prosecco doesn’t need much to be a hit — just add cubed watermelon and fresh mint and you’ve got a cocktail. And the classic gin and tonic gets an extra-fun upgrade when you batch it up and add muddled cucumbers.

Ready? Grab some ice-filled glasses, sit back with your friends, and enjoy!