From biblical to Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman times through to today, a timeless, classic vessel used to carry or pour liquid is – the pitcher. Its form, similar to an amphora (a two handled vessel), is one of the most functional designs in the decorative arts and design. This single handled container has been used throughout time to pour wine, olive oil and water – and today, it’s a popular favorite for summer entertaining. From mixing margaritas or infused waters, pitchers can also be a seasonal container to hold fresh flowers when entertaining by the pool. Pitchers can be long and slim or shorter and more bulbous – it just depends on your style preference, space limitations, or entertaining needs.
Silhouette Forms (above)
Top Row: Amphoras
Bottom Row: Pitchers
Top Pitcher Picks + Recipes at DesignSponge:
Although ancient pitchers were made of clay or even metals such as hammered bronze or copper, today pitchers can be stainless or porcelain, hobnailed or colored glass, molded or opaque plastic, or simply clear or tinted acrylic. Here are 5 refreshing classic summertime beverages you can use your pitchers for:
1. S O U T H E R N S W E E T T E A
2. L E M O N A D E
3. M A R G A R I T A
4. S A N G R I A
5. M O J I T O S
A refreshing beverage trend growing in popularity are infused waters – a fantastic alternative to alcohol beverages when summer entertaining. The Top 5 infused waters are: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Berries, Cucumbers. But don’t be afraid to try and mix it up: Try infused water, one pitcher infused with mixed citrus (lemon, lime, orange) and another pitcher infused with mixed berries and even watermelon. You can get some terrific recipes for these at a site called fruitinfusedwaters.com
Infused pitcher of water.
Infused frozen fruit cubes can flavor water plus keep it chilled in the pitcher.
TOP PICK for Summer’s best Pitcher: The Flavor-It Infusion Pitcher, available at Fab.com. The center chamber can be used to hold fruit for infused water or ice cubes to chill.
Besides pitchers being a functional and pretty form, they create the added benefit of a hostess preparing beverages ahead of time. Pitcher beverages are budget friendly, plus pitcher beverages give guests alternative summertime drinks to cool off with – which can also be labeled: Alcohol (such as Sangria) or Non-Alcohol (such as the infused water). And for added convenience of larger summer gatherings, pitchers that lose their handle and gain a spout can become beverage dispensers – some flat, some on a rack, some with and some without an ice chamber – which is excellent for keeping summer beverages cool without them getting watered down. Group them all together in a shaded area, and you’ve got yourself a Refreshment Bar…
Additional beverage dispensers also available at Classic Hostess.
Looking for ways to keep your pretty pitchers and dashing dispensers chilled while outdoor entertaining? Try these Three Chiller Picks – along with this simple tip as a chiller alternative: Use a Ziploc baggie of ice inside your pitcher beverage.
1. Freeze fruit into cubes, like these strawberry cubes.
2. Freeze Citrus Slices
3. For a fresh squeezed orange juice pitcher at brunch, try these champagne cubes!
As you can see, from centuries ago, the pitcher has come a long way to serving up beverages, maintaining most of its timeless design and form, but the pitcher has also been adapted to function for large gatherings as dispensers and for smaller gatherings as carafes.
Along with these pitcher ideas and recipes, you may also enjoy reading this previous outdoor living post from Hadley Court
Do you have any other Summer Entertaining ideas, cocktail recipes or pitcher chilling tips to share? We’d love to hear about them! Please share your thoughts in the comments and, as always thank you for reading and subscribing to Leslie’s blog, Hadley Court.
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Decorator – Chancellor Interiors
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions.