Game, Set, Batch

Best fall batch cocktails Best fall batch cocktails

Game,
Set,
Batch

Batching cocktails lets you mix a large quantity at once to serve it stress-free later

I enjoy preparing a cocktail almost as much as I do sipping it, but I've spent far too many get-togethers pouring, shaking, stirring and straining while missing out on great conversation and time with company. I knew there had to be a better way, and there was—enter the batched cocktail.

Batching is really pretty simple—choose your cocktail, decide how many you'd like to make, dust off your multiplication table, and find a vessel large enough to store the final product. The Negroni is a succinct example, and it's also 100% something you'll find bottled in my freezer at any given moment. If I'd like to make eight Negronis, I'll typically use a Ball jar with markings and measure out 8 ounces of gin, 8 ounces of sweet vermouth and 8 ounces of Campari, pouring each through a funnel into a 750 ml bottle (roughly 25 ounces). Recycled bottles work great, but Crew Supply Co. makes a really well-designed product that is beautiful and functional. Why the freezer? The short answer is because Negronis from the freezer are glorious, but the more helpful answer is that they're chilled to the max, slightly syrupy, and high enough proof that they won't freeze.

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Whiskey decanted cocktail

An important factor to consider when batching cocktails is dilution. A cocktail is shaken or stirred with ice in part to chill it, but also to dilute it. When batching, you can dilute before or after:

  • If diluting before, add around 15-20% of the cocktail's volume in filtered water to the batch. For the aforementioned 24 ounce Negroni, I would add about 4 ounces of water to the batch. This is the most convenient option, and it's probably best for cocktails that will be served up, like Manhattans and Martinis.
  • Diluting after requires you to simply measure out how many cocktails you're preparing for that round and then shake or stir, and strain. This is a bit less convenient, but still a time saver over having to pour and measure all the ingredients for each cocktail. (For my straight-from-the-freezer Negronis, I typically add a large cube to a rocks glass and pour to about 2/3 full, then I stir for about 15-20 seconds and drop in my orange slice.)
  • A third option is to use “shitty ice.” Shitty ice is a term coined by the legendary Death & Company, and refers to something like ice dispensed from a refrigerator or from those 10 pound bags you would usually add to a cooler. Shitty ice is small and melts quickly, providing quick dilution and a ton of convenience. I keep it in the bag (so it stays clean) in a cooler (so it stays cold), and for me, this is the win-win for larger get-togethers.

Now that we've covered the basics of batching, let's get to planning for some fall gatherings. Tailgating with friends at a college football game? I got you. Relaxing by a fire pit with family? I have just the thing. Hanging out at home with a good book or a movie? Bookmark this page.

3 Batch Cocktails
for 3 Fall Gatherings

Bee's Knees cocktail recipe
Bee's Knees cocktail recipe

For Tailgating

I know that gin doesn't exactly scream “fall,” but this cocktail is totally refreshing and broadly appealing, making it perfect for a larger get-together. The Bee's Knees uses honey syrup as opposed to simple syrup, which adds a touch of warmth to this all-season people pleaser.

The Bee’s Knees

Makes 8 cocktails

  • 16 oz. London Dry gin
  • 6 oz. honey syrup
  • 6 oz. lemon juice
  • 8 cherries, for garnish

If you're tailgating, convenience is king, so I would recommend serving this cocktail in small acrylic or plastic cups filled to the top with shitty ice. Store it in an insulated cooler or bottle and give it a quick shake before serving (you'll see that citrus separates). Then pour over the ice and drop in the cherry.

Call an Audible: I'm confident that the Bee's Knees will win over skeptics of gin, but if you'd rather steer clear of it all together, swap it out for bourbon and up the honey syrup to 8 ounces and you'll have a Gold Rush, another excellent choice for this occasion.

The Bee’s Knees

Makes 8 cocktails

  • 16 oz. London Dry gin
  • 6 oz. honey syrup
  • 6 oz. lemon juice
  • 8 cherries, for garnish

If you're tailgating, convenience is king, so I would recommend serving this cocktail in small acrylic or plastic cups filled to the top with shitty ice. Store it in an insulated cooler or bottle and give it a quick shake before serving (you'll see that citrus separates). Then pour over the ice and drop in the cherry.

Conference cocktail recipe
Conference cocktail recipe

For the Fire Pit

This Old Fashioned riff is exquisite, and would be the perfect sip for sitting around a fire with friends and family. Another great reason to batch this cocktail is that it requires a small quantity of a handful of separate ingredients, so mixing them up one-by-one can be quite time consuming; batching them gets the work out of the way.

The Conference

Makes 12 cocktails

This cocktail should be stirred down, so add a few ounces of filtered water to your bottle in advance, then pour over ice. Express the twists overtop the drink and drop them in.

The Conference

Makes 12 cocktails

This cocktail should be stirred down, so add a few ounces of filtered water to your bottle in advance, then pour over ice. Express the twists overtop the drink and drop them in.

Les Paul cocktail recipe
Les Paul cocktail recipe

For an Evening In

A quick hack to Fall-ify your cocktails is to include maple syrup for sweetness, which the Les Paul does in splendid fashion. Speaking of fashion, this drink is a bit of an Old Fashioned and Boulevardier hybrid that works wonderfully anytime, but is an especially good fit for a cozy evening in. Mix it up, and leave it in a decanter on your bar cart or stash it in your freezer.

The Les Paul

Makes 6 cocktails

Since you'll be enjoying this at home, simply pour the pre-mixed cocktail from your decanter over ice and give it a stir in the glass. Express your orange peel over the top and drop it in.

The Les Paul

Makes 6 cocktails

Since you'll be enjoying this at home, simply pour the pre-mixed cocktail from your decanter over ice and give it a stir in the glass. Express your orange peel over the top and drop it in.

Negroni
Week

It’s currently Negroni week, so if you’re not enjoying one, you’re missing out. For this one week in September, bar and restaurants will mix classic Negronis and Negroni variations for a great cause. Find a participating venue.

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