while self-distancing may have a lot of. us working from home, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be perks. By now you’ve probably worked out you can probably sleep in for an hour and work in you PJs, but no working from home experience is complete without a cocktail on your hand.
Making each cocktail you have individually is fine but it won’t take ypou long to realise that batching is better. Basically, batching cocktails can save you time and effort, while still ensuring that you gets a decent and consistant drink every time.
So if you want to spend more time binging (sorry, of course we meant working) and less time mixing, batching out cocktails ahead of time is a good option.
Now when batching there are a couple of things that you need to remember –
Working out proportions
If you are looking to adapt an existing recipe, it can sometimes feel as if you need to be a math major. let’s say ypu want a batch that. will make 12 cocktails and the recipe asks for 0.75oz (or 22.5mls), you not only have to multiply those amounts but then convert the total to a more large scale. and. managebale measuring amount like cups.
But don’t fret, as anyone who has batched a few times will tell you, there is an easier way. Instead of multiplying the measurements, it is often easier to simply work out the proportions.
Let’s say you have a recipe that calls for measurements of 1.5oz (45mls), 0.75oz (22.5mls) & 0.75oz (22.5mls), then that would break down into a ratio of 2-1-1. Once you figure that out you can easily apply the same proportions to ounces, cups, gallons, etc., making even on-the-fly mixing a cinch.
Now if you are not working from a recipe, the old proportional adage is 1 part sour, 2 parts sweet, 3 parts strong and 4 parts weak. So what’s that going to mean?
Well, the strong of course is spirits, the weak can be water (or ice, wine, or champagne – although leave these till last – see below). Sour is citrus; lemon works best with dark spirits and lime with clear, and sweet, of course, is syrups or sweet liqueurs. Mix it all up according to the size you think you. will need (always drink responsibly), then the day will be yours to enjoy.
Hydration is important
We are strong believers in diluting. After all, when you make a single-serve cocktail, you are either shaking it or stirring it with ice to add a little dilution to the mix. Why would you then create big batch cocktails without it?
In our earlier proportion recipe, it called for four parts weak (or water), although some people recommend you should look at a 20-30% dilution. If you are unsure and you’ve never made the drink before in a big batch and you want to be safe, then weighing things up might be the answer.
Basically, you can determine the amount of water to add by weighing a single serving of the cocktail you’re planning to pre-batch before and after you’ve stirred (or shaken) with ice—the difference in weight is the amount of water that makes it into the finished drink. From there you can multiply by servings you’re planning to batch and add accordingly.
Keep it cold
Now another reason that ice is added is to chill the drink. The easiest way to do this with a batch cocktail is to freeze the batch once you have made it.
Transfer the vessel to the freezer and monitor the temperature. Chilling time will depend on the size of the batch (the bigger the batch, the longer it will take).
Typically, a shaken cocktail will reach approximately -5°C, so if possible try to get your batch colder than this, as otherwise, it will warm before it reaches your guests.
So make sure everything is set up; your glassware is chilled, your garnishes are ready and then only remove the pre-batched cocktail just before you intend to serve it.
If it’s going to be sitting out for a while, then you might want to add a large block of ice. It will keep things cool, and while yes, it will dilute it further, it will do so very slowly. You can then either add some more ingredients to counter this or take it into account when you are preparing the batch (ie keep the dilution a little under normal).
A fun way to make a large block of ice is to find a bread or bundt pan the night before and fill it with filtered water. You can then add fruit rings, edible flowers, or herbs (rosemary and mint are especially nice), before putting it in the freezer. The next day, get a bowl of hot water and float the pan for a minute or two to detach the ice. Put that ice brick into your big batch cocktail, and you’re in business.
Avoid eggs and cream.
Unless you’re mixing up a big batch of egg nog, reserve eggs for single-serving drinks. The same can be said for cream. Both these ingredients require an armload of shaking to incorporate into a batch of drinks and might easily separate from the rest of the ingredients.
Save any bubbles for last.
Anything with bubbles in it – Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Tonic or Soda Water etc.) should be added individually to each drink when you are serving. If you put anything fizzy in the batch, it will simply go flat.
So chill your bubbles ahead of time and poured at the very last second, because sometimes bubbles can add a Spritz-y finish to a lot of batch cocktails.