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Drink Home Bar Hacks: The Best Pre-Batched Drinks To Make For Keeping In Your Fridge

Home Bar Hacks: The Best Pre-Batched Drinks To Make For Keeping In Your Fridge

Home Bar Hacks: The Best Pre-Batched Drinks To Make For Keeping In Your Fridge
Cocktails on demand—doesn't that sound grand? (Photo: Victoria Chow)
By Victoria Chow
April 16, 2020
A cocktail mixed a la minute is nice and all, but don’t turn your nose up at bottles of pre-batched libations that are handy in a pinch

The path of least resistance towards your end-of-day drink is typically a cork screw or a bottle cap opener but, with a little bit of planning, you can have ready-to-pour cocktails in your fridge as well—right next to your eggs and milk! They also make for great picnic additions, hostess gifts, and sneaky flask drinks the next time you travel.

See also: How To Create Your Own Home Bar

A few tips to keep in mind for pre-batched drinks

1. Cocktails that keep best are spirit-forward, without the use of citrus juice or other fresh fruit juices directly that would spoil or change flavour over time. There will be ways to incorporate these flavours in a few techniques mentioned below.

2. Test your proportions beforehand to find your perfect ratio of ingredients before batching in large quantities. The recipes listed below are just a suggestion and your preferences may vary.

3. Reuse old glass wine or spirit bottles. The container should be non-reactive and have a relatively tight seal to minimise oxidation. Leave a little room in the bottle to allow for a quick shake to mix the ingredients within.

4. Storing cocktails in the freezer rather than the fridge gives the drink a creamier, fuller texture, but some may not like that mouthfeel or may feel it dulls the original flavours. Experiment with both to see which you prefer, though cocktails with less spirit may risk being a little slushy right out of the freezer.

5. Mark the date that you batched the cocktail on the bottle. If you only use spirits, there is no definite expiry date. For cocktails containing vermouth or other fortified wines, they are best consumed in under 5 months. If incorporating infusions such as fruits and herbs, try your best (as hard as it may seem!) to finish the batch in under a week.

6. Always add filtered water to the bottle in order to replicate the dilution from stirring on ice.

7. Store a glass or two in your fridge or freezer if you have the space. This will give you a chilled vessel perfect for an ice cold cocktail anytime.

See also: The Best Bottled Cocktails You Can Buy Right Now From Top Hong Kong Bars

The pre-batched recipe ideas below (all tested by me!) will create enough to fill 750ml bottles—i.e. 6-8 servings. 

Pour straight into a glass and enjoy (Photo: Victoria Chow)
Pour straight into a glass and enjoy (Photo: Victoria Chow)

Manhattan

The perfect nightcap cocktail.

- 360ml whiskey
- 240ml Rosso Vermouth
- 120ml filtered water
- 8 dashes Angostura Bitters

Serve up in a frozen coupe glass with a cherry or orange peel.

Twist it up:

- Try infusing the whiskey with spices or combinations of spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, star anise.
- Marinate your own cocktail cherries for garnish.  

Negroni

A classic cocktail that is the perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and boozy. It is normally mixed with ingredients in all equal parts, but this is my preferred recipe for more punch and less bitterness.

- 270ml gin
- 180ml Rosso Vermouth
- 150ml Campari
- 120ml filtered water
- Peel from ½ orange (remove white pith before using. Discard peels after soaking for 12 hours)

Serve on the rocks with a fresh orange peel.

Twist it up:

- Try switching up the gin with mezcal, tequila, or whiskey.
- Infuse fresh fruits and herbs such as blackberries and rosemary quickly by using the microwave in a method first made popular by Ryan Chetiyawardana of London’s Dandelyan bar. Add infusion ingredients along with the spirits into a microwavable container and nuke for 3 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain with a fine sieve before using.

 

Martini

Be ready for a James Bond moment, any time (Photo: Victoria Chow)
Be ready for a James Bond moment, any time (Photo: Victoria Chow)

Everyone takes their martini differently, and finding your favourite is a like a journey of self-discovery, Bond-style. Take your time testing before batching and bottling. This is my personal take on the Vesper.

- 400ml gin
- 80ml dry vermouth
- 80ml bianco vermouth
- 40ml Lillet
- 120ml filtered water
- Peel from ½ lemon (remove white pith before using. Discard peels after soaking for 12 hours)

Serve up in a frozen coupe glass with a fresh lemon peel.

Twist it up:

- Make it a Dirty Martini or Gibson by adding olives or cocktail onions and their brine respectively.
- Try making your own homemade assorted pickles with leftover vegetables and fruits for a Dirty Martini that is distinctly yours.

 

Store your bottles in the fridge for a chilled cocktail at any time of day (Photo: Victoria Chow)
Store your bottles in the fridge for a chilled cocktail at any time of day (Photo: Victoria Chow)

(Simplified) Clarified Milk Punch

If you are ready to do a little bit more leg work (for a pretty great reward), give the following recipe a go! Milk is used to clarify the cocktail mixture and give the resulting drink a great round texture. You will need a funnel, coffee filters, and a cheesecloth. This recipe yields about two 750ml bottles worth of punch.

- 460ml brandy
- 460ml dark rum (not spiced)
- Peels from 4 lemons (remove white pith before using)
- 2 whole nutmegs
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 2 ¼ cup sugar
- 460ml water
- 130ml fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons worth)
- 130ml fresh pineapple juice (just over a quarter of a pineapple)
- 130ml milk

1. Combine brandy and dark rum. 

2. Infuse lemon peels, nutmeg, cinnamon, and star anise (break the spices into small pieces) in the combined spirits overnight.

3. Strain out the solids. 

4. Add sugar, water, freshly juiced lemons and pineapple to the infused spirit.

5. Stir to dissolve sugar.

6. Slowly pour the mixture into milk in a non-reactive bowl or jug. The solution will curdle due to dairy mixing with acid from the citrus!

7. Rest in fridge for up to 24 hours.

8. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth with the help of funnel, if needed.

9. Strain a second time through coffee filter in a funnel

10. Admire the little magic trick you just performed by clarifying a milky cocktail!

Serve on the rocks with a lemon peel.

See also: Home Bar Hacks: Two-Ingredient Cocktails To Make In An Instant

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Drink At Home cocktails home bar hacks mixology how to victoria chow bartending

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