10 Pitcher-Perfect Drinks for Memorial Day Weekend

You won't run the risk of your party drying out with these big-batch cocktail recipes from Food Network.

By: Emily Lee

This weekend, whether you’re heading to the beach with your picnic basket or hunkering down with friends and family in your own backyard, you’ll want to ensure your food and drink supplies won’t run low. (But mostly, the drink supplies.)

We suggest you leave the elaborate craft cocktails to the mixologists and focus instead on making big, refreshing, fruit-filled pitchers that won’t run dry after two or three pours. From sweet sangria to a tart, booze-free lemonade, here are our best big-batch drinks for your Memorial Day celebration.

Round out a summer meal by serving this light spritzer alongside smoky grilled meats. Instead of the dry red wine typically found in sangria, try rose wine — a lighter option that emphasizes the sweetness of the fruit.

WATERMELON-­STRAWBERRY SANGRIA, Bobby Flay, Barbecue Addiction: Bobbyâ sBasics/Bobbyâ s Basics: Simply Skewers, Food Network, Watermelon, Strawberries, RoseWine, Vodka, Orange Juice, Orange Liqueur, Orange, Lime,WATERMELON-­STRAWBERRY SANGRIA, Bobby Flay, Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’sBasics/Bobby’s Basics: Simply Skewers, Food Network, Watermelon, Strawberries, RoseWine, Vodka, Orange Juice, Orange Liqueur, Orange, Lime

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Watermelon and strawberries are two of summer’s defining fruits, so why not enjoy them in beverage form? Bobby Flay’s refreshing sangria will add an elegant touch to any summer party.

Mojito Limeade: Bobby Flay

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

This party-sized mojito pitcher gets a triple dose of lime: It’s muddled in at the beginning with mint leaves, added to the lime-mint syrup, then poured in with rum and club soda at the end.

Caipirinha Punch

Caipirinha Punch

Dave Lieberman's Caipirinha Punch

Photo by: Dave Lieberman ©2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Dave Lieberman, 2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Traditionally, this Brazilian cocktail requires just three ingredients: sugar, lime and cachaca, or distilled sugarcane juice. Give it an extra-summery twist by adding chunks of fresh orange, lemon and mint.

Pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine come together with a pinch of nutmeg in this citrusy rum punch, striking a perfect tangy balance.



Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Rachael Ray’s sangria takes five to 10 minutes to assemble in a large pitcher. Take the time to prepare it in the morning so the sangria has several hours to develop its fruity flavor. Pull it out when dinner is ready to serve that evening.



Ree Drummond pairs from-scratch lemonade with frozen raspberries to create this sweet-tart beverage with a pretty pink tint. If you keep the pitcher booze-free for your underage guests, that doesn’t mean you can’t doctor up your own glass.

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Giada De Laurentiis combines peach nectar and fresh summer peaches with light beer for a simple cocktail that’s ready to serve a crowd.

This potent tequila cocktail packs a punch of heat thanks to chipotle puree in the mix and chipotle powder rimming the glasses.



Food Styling: Anne Disrude Props: Marina Malchin.

Whether you serve it with sugar or straight up, with ice or without, chilled black tea is a staple at Memorial Day picnics and cookouts. Food Network Kitchen’s adults-only version gets a spicy kick, thanks to the addition of ginger and cardamom. Spike it up with gin, vermouth and orange bitters. Make a double batch the night before, then refrigerate it overnight to let the flavor develop.

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