Sure, you can grab a six-pack of beer and hit your patio to soak up some sunshine, but the start of the spring patio season warrants a “pitcher” perfect cocktail that celebrates al fresco camaraderie when we bring the gatherings outdoors, and bond with friends long after the sun goes down?

Raise a glass to these eight cheer-worthy spring beverages that celebrate the long-awaited arrival of patio season…

1. Strawberry Gin Smash

If you love muddling, mixing, and of course, sipping your cocktails leisurely on the patio then smashes should be your spring recipes of choice! Ready in a little under 10-minutes, the classic smash typically features fresh herbs, a sugar lump, seasonal fruit, club soda, and spirits. This gin smash showcases juicy, red strawberries; earthy gin; scored basil, lemon balm, and mint; plus a dash of fresh lemon or lime juice (or bitters) to muddle with your sugar lumps.

Gin Smash

Source: theKitchn.com

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2. Mango Bellini

Hailing from Italy, but making a designated stop on your patio just in time for spring—the Bellini is a typical blend of sparkling wine and white peach purée. However, this recipe takes the sweetness up a notch with mango nectar (rather than peach purée) chilled champagne and ripe raspberries. Start the al fresco season with style by sipping from tall champagne flutes.

the-mango-bellini1

Source: Inspired2Cook.com

3. White Riesling Sangria

Sangria is one of the first drink recipes that springs to mind as soon as the sun kisses my backyard deck. This crisp, clean, and downright refreshing sangria is made with a white Riesling wine base blending with fruity cranberry-peach juice blend. It calls for sliced granny smith apples, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, and lemons. But be careful you don’t overdo the citrus as it can alter the flavor. Oh, and be sure to freeze a bunch of seedless green grapes to use as ice cubes.

sangria

Source: The Savvy Kitchen

4. Gin Rosewater

There’s something about the taste and aroma of gin that says, “Grab a lawn chair and chill out, baby,” which is why this gin rosewater cocktail is perfect for an afternoon on a patio. Muddle fresh chunks of watermelon and sliced cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add fresh lemon, lime, and Meyer lemon juices citrus juice, agave nectar, water, and of course, gin. Shake well and pour into a cocktail glass garnished with a slice of watermelon and cucumber.

gin rosewater

Source: WhitsAmuseBouche.com

5. Bichon Frisé

Don’t let the name fool you, this cute and cuddly lap dog has some serious bite! Yet you’d never guess it at first look—with the elegant French appearance of St. Germain (or elderflower liqueur) mixed with chilled vodka and ruby red grapefruit juice poured over ice. One sip of this subtle sweet cocktail and you’ll call it a day and put your legs up in the sunshine.

bichon frise

Source: Chow.com

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6. Limeade Margarita

A simple glass of springtime refreshment never tasted so good! Grab a large pitcher and prepare it for patio time. Fill to the brim with limeade, tequila, triple sec, fresh mint sprigs, and ice. Serve in tall cocktail glasses, but make sure to provide additional lime wedges and fresh mint.

limeade-margaritas-ictcrop_300

Source: RealSimple.com

7. Ginger Shandies

Traditionally, a shandie is a half-and-half blend of beer mixed with ginger ale, ginger beer, or carbonated juice or lemonade. First enjoyed in Europe, you can savor the sweet, light taste of a shandie in your own outdoor oasis. This recipe calls for Hoegaarden (or your favorite Belgium wheat beer) combined with ginger beer, lemon slices, and ice. Serve in rocks glasses filled with ice and garnish each drink with a mint sprig.

ginger-shandie

Source: FoodandWine.com

8. Cucumber White Sangria

If you like a little springtime garden bounty in your beverage then this cucumber white sangria will be right up your…patch! Blend-ahead in a tall pitcher and let the flavors of English cucumber, green grapes, fresh mint sprigs, and lime soak up a refreshing, bubby marinade of chilled Sauvingnon blanc wine, white grape juice, and seltzer.

Cucumber-White-Sangria1

Source: FoxesLoveLemons.com

Anna

Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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