By Sydney Mondry
Jun 25, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

A summer soirée is the perfect occasion to flex your mixologist muscle—but playing bartender at your own party is fun for about a minute, until you realize you’ll be stuck doling out refills all evening. Sure, you could limit guests to canned beverages, or you could whip up a large format cocktail served in a pitcher, DIY-style. Mix a batch (or three!) before the event, and be sure to have plenty of ice on hand. We love the look of a simple translucent pitcher ($25;, which you can pair with a rustic wooden spoon ($48; 

For three easy and delicious recipes, we tapped GG’s, a newly opened N.Y.C. eatery from Nicholas Morgenstern (of El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette and Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream) and chef Bobby Hellen (formerly of Resto). Beverage director Gabe Richter’s creations ensure that you’ll have something for everyone, whether they prefer vodka, tequila, or bourbon. Check out the recipes below.

Cucumber Margarita



10 oz silver tequila (use 100% agave, like El Jimador)

5 oz cucumber purée or cucumber juice

3 3/4 oz simple syrup

3 3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Cucumber and lime slices, for garnish


Combine all ingredients and pour into a pitcher over ice.

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Grapefruit Gimlet



10 oz vodka

5 oz fresh grapefruit juice

3 oz fresh lime juice

3 3/4 oz grapefruit syrup (recipe follows)

Grapefruit slices, for garnish

For the Grapefruit Syrup

2 whole grapefruits

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water


To make the syrup, peel the skin of 2 grapefruits using a vegetable peeler. Muddle the peels in 1 cup of granulated sugar. Add to 1 cup of water simmering in a pot and stir to dissolve. Strain out peels and refrigerate. Can be made ahead of time up to 1 week. To assemble the cocktail, combine all ingredients and pour into a pitcher over ice.

RELATED: This Melon Salad Recipe with a Twist Is Perfect for Your Next Summer Soirée

Bourbon Lemonade



10 oz bourbon

4 oz fresh lemon juice

4 oz honey syrup (recipe follows)

Club soda (about 8 oz)

Lemon slices, for garnish

For the Honey Syrup

1 cup organic honey

1/2 cup water

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To make the syrup, combine 1 cup organic honey and 1/2 cup of hot water. Stir to dissolve. Keep refrigerated. To assemble the cocktail, combine all ingredients and pour into a pitcher over ice.