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This time of year, we seek out pitcher drinks. [Photograph: Wes Rowe]

If you're planning on drinking outside this weekend, we recommend that you get your pitcher ready. Here are a few options for easy summer mixing, whether you're hosting a big crowd or just soaking up the sun with a friend or two.

Fresh Cantaloupe Margaritas

cantaloupe margarita

[Photo: Robyn Lee]

Sometimes it feels like berry season overshadows melon seasons, but cantaloupes are tasting incredible right about now. If you've eaten your share of prosciutto-wrapped slices, the next step is a pitcher of fresh cantaloupe margaritas, made tart with lime and spiked with blanco tequila and Cointreau.

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Pineapple Rum Punch

pineapple rum punch

[Photo: Robyn Lee]

This tropical punch gets its flavor and fragrance from ripe, fresh pineapple, which infuses a simple syrup for a few hours (or overnight.) We like the body added by rich aged rum, such as Flor de CaƱa or Appleton Estate. You'll need to juice a fair number of lemons here: enlist a friend or use an electric juicer.

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Long Faced Dove

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[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

If you're tired of lemonade and limeade but you still want something tart and refreshing, this pitcher drink will be right up your alley. Made with sweet-tart pink grapefruit and bitter Campari, it's much more complex in flavor than it's happy-go-lucky pink color might suggest.

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Southside

Southside cocktail

[Photograph: Wes Rowe]

This summer, the gin-and-citrus based Southside has become one of our go-to classic cocktails. This version, from Tradition in San Francisco, is easy-drinking and easy to make, especially if you're growing mint in your backyard. Some versions use just lemon juice, but we love the balancing act of lemon and lime.

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DIY Tonic

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[Photo: Liam Boylan]

Got time this weekend for a little project? How about mixing up your own tonic for the ultimate homemade G&T? You can tailor your personal tonic to your taste, upping the spice with allspice berries, peppercorn, and juniper, or going more floral with lavender and cardamom. Our recipe will give you a starting point, but don't be afraid to experiment!

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Looking for more drink inspiration? We have a slew of seasonal cocktail recipes right this way »

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