It’s summer and you’re throwing a party for friends and family. Entertaining guests can be a stressful undertaking any time of the year but it’s hardest in hot weather. Good tippling options make all the difference in a summer party. Offering guests a self-serve kitchen counter or backyard picnic table-top open bar of liquor and room-temperature mixers might not be the vibe you’re going for. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck playing bartender for hours and missing out on summer fun.
Batching your cocktails is the way to go. It saves time and effort while making you look like an expert host, even if you have no real clue what you’re doing.
There are some tricks to the subtle art of batch cocktails. Your middle school math skills are going to come into play as you consider the ratios of ingredients. Quantities of 34 ounces and 750 millimeters might seem confusing, but breaking down the mix to a 3:1.5:1 relationship or something similarly simple makes batching a snap.
Punches, particularly ones made with rum or tequila, are ideal for batching. When mixing, start with the highest quantity ingredients first to lay the base of the drink. If the cocktail calls for a champagne or prosecco float, keep the bubbly separate and add it to each drink to maintain the desired effervescence. And keep its simple. Fizzes with egg whites are popular, but they require vigorous shaking to incorporate the viscous ingredient fully into the drink and will likely separate if left to sit.
Stick to the guidelines above and make one—or both—of these professional bartender-approved batched cocktail recipes the next time you host your own summer soirée.
Caribbean Punch (Serves 24)
From Lamarr Hawkins, Taproom Manager of Brooklyn Cider House.
1 750 ml-bottle dark rum
1 15 oz-can coconut cream
10 oz lime juice
1 46 oz-can pineapple juice
2 34 oz-containers passion fruit juice
1.5 oz peach bitters
24 oz grenadine
Combine all ingredients except the grenadine in a large container. When serving, add 1 oz of grenadine to each glass, top with ice and add 6 oz of the punch.
From Upright in New York City’s West Village.
1.5 cups of freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
.75 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice
.5 cups of agave syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part hot water)
2 pinches sea salt
3 cups of ginger beer works
Combine all ingredients (except ginger beer) in a pitcher or punch bowl. Stir and chill for 2-3 hours in order to allow the flavors to combine. Just prior to serving, add ginger beer and ice (the larger the ice cubes the better). Garnish with lime wheels, long grapefruit twists, or citrus of choice.