As we move from summer picnics and casual beach gatherings to fall events and holiday parties, it’s time to think about seasonal cocktails for a crowd. Drinks made ahead of time in a batch can help save time and stress when entertaining.
Punches are one example of a batched beverage. Many craft cocktail bars seeking post-pandemic efficiencies now batch and freeze spirit-forward stirred drinks such as Martinis and Negronis. When guests arrive, all you have to do is pull the bottle from the freezer, pour into a glass and garnish.
Making a large version of a single cocktail starts with simple math. In most cases, you can scale up the drink depending on how many servings you’re making. So for a cocktail that calls for 2 oz. of vodka, and you want to make 10 of them, you’ll need 20 oz. of vodka.
You can tackle most of the work ahead of time with many cocktails by creating a batch, says mixologist Charles Joly, a Chicago native, global cocktail competition champion and cofounder of Crafthouse Cocktails. But there are a few thinks to keep in mind when batching cocktails.
You’ll have to decide if you want to shake or stir to order from a larger batch or pour straight over ice, Joly says. If it’s the latter, add a bit of dilution to the batch so the cocktail isn’t too rich when served; about 20% to 25% water should do the trick.
And if you’re fresh citrus juice, don’t add it until it’s almost time to serve the drinks. Joly recommends squeezing fresh juices up to a day ahead of time at most, and straining away the pulp and you’re good to go.
Always measure your ingredients and keep a little recipe book, Joly says. As you follow recipes, you can always adjust to taste. Keep note of your preferences and changes to make it easier to recreate in the future.
Here are a few ideas for batched cocktails.
1 liter bottle of Tequila Cazadores Reposado
25 oz. Orange juice
10 oz. Fresh lime juice
25 oz. Grapefruit juice
1 tsp. Salt
12 oz. Grapefruit soda
Combine tequila, orange juice, lime juice, grapefruit juice, grapefruit soda and salt. Pour over ice. Garnish with orange, grapefruit and tamarind candy.
The mixologists at Cazadores created this recipe.
15 oz. The Botanist Islay dry gin
3 oz. Dry vermouth
6 oz. Filtered water
12 fresh Cranberries
2 sprigs of Rosemary
Combine all ingredients in a spouted glass measuring cup or glass pitcher. Cover and let sit for 6-8 hours at room temperature to infuse flavors, gently agitating a few times to mix flavors. Once infused, strain out cranberries and rosemary. Pour liquid into an empty 750-ml. bottle (using a funnel if needed) and place in the freezer. Freeze for a minimum of two hours before serving. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and pour into chilled cocktail glasses. Garnish each cocktail with a cranberry and a sprig of rosemary
The mixologists at The Botanist created this recipe.
1 bottle TX Whiskey
1 can (15 oz.) Coco Lopez coconut cream
24 oz. Orange juice
12 oz. Pineapple juice
Pinch of Nutmeg
Combine whiskey, coconut cream, orange juice and pineapple juice. Serve and garnish with nutmeg.
TX Whiskey mixologist Jason Shelly created this recipe.
Frozen Gin & Tonic
1 750-ml. bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin
80 oz. Fever Tree tonic water
34 oz. Filtered water
17 oz. Lime cordial
6 oz. Grapefruit juice
6 oz. Lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a blender with ice and mix up. Garnish with a grapefruit and lime slice.
The mixologists at Bombay created this recipe.