You’ve decided to ring in the New Year with your favorite people by hosting this NYE and you need to sort drinks out. Maybe you’re going to a friend’s house and you need something to bring along with you. Perhaps you’re all gathering at someone’s house to get ready before heading out into the wild, but you want to do it in style.
Whatever your plans, you need something both delicious and interesting to drink, that also allows you the time and freedom to have fun yourself. It will be no good playing bartender all night, if you actually have to work as hard as a bartender on New Year’s Eve…So what do you do!? You batch!
Thankfully we have a bunch of recipes that are perfect for any of these occasions. Not only will you be treating your friends and family to delicious cocktails, they’re also fast and easy to serve, and every glassfull is perfectly made, every time.
Are Batched Recipes Any Good?
Simple answer, YES!
Batched recipes are not only delicious, but some have real advantages over the more typical cocktail processes. For example, time resting in a bottle for spirit forward cocktails like Manhattans, Dry Martinis, Negronis and the like, allows them to become more rounded and smoother as the molecules interact with each other. Think of the joys of slow cooked food, some foods just taste better the next day. Same with some bottled cocktails.
Of course, quality still comes down to using decent ingredients and taking care with your measurements and processing. If you do that, our recipes will have you set up to be a New Years Eve legend!
Before we get into the recipes, here’s a couple of our top tips for successful batching.
Plan ahead. Drinks that are served without ice ‘up’ straight from the bottle will need enough time to chill before serving. Spirit only cocktails can be prepared far in advance as there’s nothing to go bad.
Ratios, Ratios, Ratios! That’s all that matters. In the cocktail world we call them ‘parts’, but essentially a recipe is a formula for the ratio of different ingredients. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a thimble or a bucket to measure your ingredients, the ratio doesn’t change. All that matters is that the unit of measurement you use is the same for each ingredient. So, if you’re using a bucket, you have to use it for every ingredient.
This is why all our recipes are described in ml’s, oz’s AND ‘parts’ too. We also have a very handy calculator on each recipe page that will help you scale up the ingredients you need for multiple serves to save you from having to do the calculations.
Cold isn’t frozen solid. The freezer is great for getting your cocktails very cold, but beware, ready to serve cocktails will freeze due to water content. Therefore it’s best to store them in the fridge and move to the freezer just an hour or so before serving. An ice bucket filled with water and lots of ice is a great option as it keeps the drinks really cold but never frozen.
Strain fresh ingredients really thoroughly. Bits floating in your bottled cocktail never looks sexy. Also, if the cocktail is carbonated or has carbonated ingredients in it, solids will cause bubbles to form resulting in excessive foaming when you open the bottle. This can mean both mess and flat drinks!
Spin to chill. If you’re short on time getting your bottled cocktails chilled, give the bottle a spin every few minutes to circulate warmer liquids at the center of the bottle to the outside, cooling the whole lot more quickly.
Test! Be aware that if you use a high strength spirit, you will likely need to add more water to get the recipe into balance. So, as with any cocktail, once you’ve made your batch, make sure to taste test and adjust as needed. The idea here is that you only have to test the balance once for multiple serves to be perfect. If you dont text though, it could also mean that all your drinks are terrible. So make sure you taste!
For even more tips, check out our technique pages and other articles on batching.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
Finnigan’s White Paw Hard Soda
Planning a long celebration? This low abv / alt-cocktail is a great option for you. Light, dry and refreshing – it’s also lower in strength, approximately the same as premium lager, depending on the ingredients you use.
The process reads quite long but it’s not complicated, it just talks you through cold brewing tea with sparkling water in a way that avoids you having bubbles go everywhere. After you’ve brewed the sparkling tea, it’s just a case of carefully adding simple off the shelf ingredients.
This one’s also perfect for those who bring in the new year on the beach in the warmth!
Bottle rested for additional smoothness, this is our subtle and delicious twist on the classic Sweet Manhattan recipe. We include a splash of Maraschino, the classic dry Italian liqueur distilled from cherries, not an uncommon inclusion in Manhattan recipes.
The water you’d traditionally get from stirring the ingredients with ice is included in the mix. Therefore, once the ingredients are measured, combined and chilled, it’s ready to pour from the bottle into your glass. Although we’d recommend letting it rest for a few days somewhere cool and dark first, if you’re able to plan ahead.
A couple of top tips. Be careful if using a high strength whiskey, you’ll need to add more water. We’ve said it before, but make sure to taste test!
We’d recommend leaving bitters out of the mix, add them straight to the glass when serving instead. If you absolutely have to include them in the mix, add to taste, bitters do NOT scale up at the same ratio as other ingredients. Less is most definitely more here.
Fords Gin Bottled Classics
This year we partnered with the excellent Fords Gin to show you how to use their iconic bottle to create classic batched recipes, with no more equipment than an empty Fords Gin bottle.
The Fords Gin bottle was designed to be as user friendly as possible for professional bartenders. It also has graduated measuring marks up its spine to allow for easier stock taking.
Rather than stock taking, we used these marks to show where different ingredients should be filled up to, to create a perfect bottle batched cocktail every time.
Some recipes are made in the bottle, chilled then simply poured straight into a glass for serving, while others are given a shake in the bottle to “wake ’em up” before serving. All are delicious gin classics and elegantly simple to reproduce.
If you need more cocktails than fit into the 750ml bottle, you can always use the bottle as a measuring device, and then empty the cocktail into additional or larger containers. Easier still, start saving those Fords Gin bottles!
Irish American Old Fashioned
Not your typical Old Fashioned, this is a recipe inspired by the deep links between North America and Ireland.
Smooth Irish Whiskey is combined with a little Canadian maple syrup in place of the typical sugar. American whiskey adds another dimension, whether that’s a spicy Rye, or a sweeter, softer Bourbon the choice is yours. Water is added to the mix to make this recipe ready to pour when chilled, although some time resting in the bottle will do it good.
Add a dash or two of Mexican Chocolate Bitters to the glass when you serve. As mentioned previously, we recommend keeping the bitters separate.
With all these delicious and delicate flavours to enjoy, we recommend serving over a block of ice without a garnish, but you can make that choice for yourself.
Something a little different for you here. Maybe you’re a little more booze nerdy or just love extra credit. Maybe your idea of a great New Years Eve is actually stirring down cocktails for your friends all night…we get that.
Therefore, this is a great halfway house. You get to make something a little extra complicated, but you get to keep the process of making the drink nice and simple.
The batch you’re making here is not technically the finished recipe (that being said, this mixture most certainly can be enjoyed as it is. Simply serve chilled in a small wine glass or in a rocks glass over a block of ice with a twist of lemon or orange). This is a delicious blend of fortified wines and a little citrus and vanilla liqueur, to create a homemade sweet vermouth blend that in turn makes a rather fantastic Manhattan.
A dry, nutty sherry. Two very different sweet vermouths. And a sweet, citrus and vanilla liqueur from Spain. These four ingredients are brought together and bottled. As we’ve mentioned with most of the recipes here, try to plan ahead to give the mixture time in the bottle to rest and become more harmonized.
From here, you simply stir together equal measurements of our Sweet Vermouth blend you’ve just made, along with your favorite American whiskey and a dash or two of orange bitters.
A complex sounding Manhattan becomes very quick and easy to make. Again, making you sound like a hero, ensuring your drinks taste amazing, but ultimately making your life very easy.
Try this vermouth blend in other recipes that call for a sweet vermouth for a fun twist on numerous cocktails.
We wrote a book! You probably knew that already, we’ve not exactly been shy about it.
If you want the ratios to batch this iconic bittersweet classic recipe, pick up a copy of our bright yellow cocktail companion, ‘How to Make Better Cocktails’ today! All will be revealed within its pages, plus around 70 other recipes as well as all the essential cocktail knowledge you need. There’s even a recipe for a Strawberry Negroni.
Indian Summer Punch
Since the dawn of in-home heating, refreshing cocktails are still welcome even in winter! It’s also nice to have another recipe to suit our friends in the Southern hemisphere, and those in warmer climes.
This is a tasty cocktail mixer that combines summer vibes with winter warming spice. Fresh ginger juice, citrus, a little sugar and sparkling water are combined and bottled to create a delicious and simple mixer that can work with a wide selection of base spirits, especially clear or lighter style spirits. Use an Agave spirit to create a sexy twist on a Paloma.
Carefully measure and combine ingredients into a bottle that can be sealed to keep the bubbles in. Make sure to thoroughly strain all solids from the mixture to avoid excess foaming when adding the sparkling water. Add the sparkling water as gently as possible too. All this will help retain carbonation in the drink.
Keep sealed and in the fridge until ready to serve. Mix with your favorite spirit on the rocks, or refresh yourself and enjoy it without any booze at all. Indeed, this is a great option for you to have on hand for those who aren’t drinking alcohol to make them feel as special as everyone else.
Bloody Mary Mix
Most likely, this is for the recovery brunch on New Year’s Day…or maybe you’re getting an early start on New Year’s Eve. Either way, a good Bloody Mary Mix is an essential recipe to know for any cocktail lover, any day of the year.
This flavorsome batch omits the alcohol, which means your friends can mix it with their preferred spirit base, whether that’s vodka, gin, tequila or something else. It also means they can mix it to their preferred strength, or even enjoy it without alcohol altogether.
One final tip. We’d recommend going light on the spice in your batch too. This means everyone can enjoy it, even if they have a lower tolerance of spice. Just supply a little selection of hot sauces for those who enjoy an extra kick to add it straight to their glass.