Batching Cocktails at Home

Batching Cocktails for Your Guests (and you)

Batching Cocktails for Your Guests (and you)

Since the very early days of, nearly a decade ago, our Cocktail of the Week feature is one of the most viewed pages of any given week. Naturally, this page is the inspiration of a good deal of the emails that I receive from our readers.

It’s clear that many of you are experimenting with cocktails at home. This is a great development. I have always worked to deliver cocktail recipes that can be executed by the home bartender. While there are hundreds if not thousands of professional bartenders that get our weekly newsletter it is the home bartender that I am trying to reach. I don’t want spectators, I want to inspire hands-on cocktail pleasure.

Among the many questions I have received over the years there is one that outpaces all others, “How do I make cocktails when hosting a party without giving up my ability to mingle?”

The answer is to do what the pros do – batch your cocktail.

Batching is just another word for math and most everyone who has cooked for a group has batched. If the recipe states that it will make four servings and you have eight for dinner you simply double the recipe – that’s batching.

Batching cocktails is a little trickier as you want to determine how many cocktails that you want to provide for each guest. Some guests will want just one while others will have as many as you offer while they would be better off with one! Remember that cocktails can be more potent than a serving of wine or a beer. I typically look at offering two cocktails per person if we are moving on to dinner where more alcohol drinks will be on offer.

Batching Cocktails Example

The guest and host list includes eight. You want to offer two cocktails per person making it a total of 16 cocktails. Simply multiply the ingredients in the cocktail by 16 and you have your batch recipe. A simpler way to do the math is to look at the cocktails ratios. A classic margarita is made with 1.5 ounces of Tequila, 3/4 ounce of lime juice, and 3/4 ounce of orange Liqueur. That’s an easy 2/1/1 ratio and it’s easy to bump this up by 50% more or to double it or even triple the recipe.

Batching Cocktails – Determine Your Work Load

Punches are the Ultimate Batched Cocktail

Punches are the Ultimate Batched Cocktail

Now that you have determined to make life simpler by batching your cocktails it’s wise to determine your desired work load at party time. Sometimes it’s nice to have all of the measuring and juicing done before the guests arrive but you still want to offer a bit of individual attention. Shaking or stirring the individual cocktails or doing them two at a time is a great way to flash some bartending skills at your gathering without taking you out of the scene. Cocktails like: the sidecar, margarita, or a manhattan will require a shake or a stir before serving but can otherwise be batched.

If you desire less work you can opt for a cocktail that can simply be served over ice with a quick stir in the glass. The negroni is a great example of a easy to batch cocktail that can be ready to serve in seconds.

If you would like even less work than pouring and stirring opt for the ultimate party cocktails such as punches (see our rosé punch) and sangrias (see our festive sangria) as these can be fully built and your guests can serve themselves.

Whichever route you choose I hope that the concept of batching your cocktails has added the cocktail to your list of possibilities for your next gathering.

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