How to Batch Your Booze for Friendsgiving
By Jacqueline Strum
With flannel season in full swing we're getting ready to fill up our stomachs and our calendars with Friendsgivings. Whether you're hosting your own or attending five, you can become a happy holidays hero with some quick tips on batching your booze.
What exactly is batching? Is it dangerous?
Batching cocktails is a common trick of the mixologist trade when making drinks for large crowds. It's used to prep bars for the evening shift and by caterers for fast service during large events. In our opinion, it's a perfect skill for big dinner parties and entertaining. You're essentially prepping one amazing drink for a large group of people so you don't need to stand at the wet bar all evening sweating and shaking up drinks. And trust us, the flannel won't help with the sweating.
Got it, so like jungle juice in college.
No. Well actually yes, but also a big NO. The best way to batch is to use all fresh juices and premium spirits to take some of your favorite classic cocktails and scale them up.
Let's start with a simple favorite like a Negroni. This cocktail is made up of 3 parts each measuring 1 ounce - gin, vermouth and Campari. Now if we're making it for a group rather than multiplying the ounces let's look at the ratio its made up of, 1-1-1. You can use that ratio for any volume measurement to keep the same proportions be it a cup, a liter or even a gallon!
Another favorite could be a whiskey sour which is typically made up with 1.5 oz of whiskey, 3/4 oz of lemon juice and 3/4 oz of simple syrup. That's a ratio of 2-1-1. You can stir up 2 cups of whiskey with 1 cup each of lemon juice and simple syrup along with some ice and there you have a pitcher of Whiskey Sours for your entire dinner party!
It's a game of ratios and constant tasting to get the batch just right. Be sure to serve it alongside fresh ice for guests to pour over. Additional prepping of garnishes will garner you big Pinterest-points.
Where else is this useful?
While batching cocktails is ideal for entertaining at home it also makes a seriously thoughtful hostess gift. Imagine showing up with a full bottle of Manhattans! It's also a great hack for picnics or anything on the road where a fully completed set of drinks simply poured over ice is welcome.
Here are some of our favorite recipes:
French 75 Punch viaKara Newman
- 2 cups gin
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon orange bitters
- 4 cups of dry Champagne or Cava chilled
- 8 orange wheels for garnish
Directions: In a punch bowl, stir the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters. Just before serving, pour in the Champagne and stir gently. Add the ice and garnish with the orange wheels.
To serve, ladle into punch glasses. Serves 8.
Bottled Bobby Burns viaKara Newman
- 1.5 cups Scotch
- 1.5 cups sweet vermouth
- 2 oz Bénédictine
- 8 lemon twists for garnish
Directions: In a pitcher combine the Scotch, vermouth, Bénédictine and 5 ounces of water, and stir well. Using a funnel, decant into a 1-liter liquor bottle or two 750-ml liquor bottles. Cap tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.
To serve, set out a bowl or wine bucket filled with ice. Shake the bottle to ensure the cocktail is well mixed, then set it in the ice so it stays chilled. Pour into coupe or martini glasses and garnish each glass with a lemon peel. Serves 8.