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One of the latest consumer trends in mixology is pre-batched cocktails. It is the fastest way to serve a perfect drink to the customer. Pre-batched cocktails are here to stay because drinkers want perfection rather than improvisation. Baristas and bar tenders can vary but these drinks will always be reliably the same. The consistent quality with promote repeat business. The customers will keep on coming back for more. And with this speed of service the turnover will be great too. It is also easier for staff, especially on busy nights. Making a good cocktail is an art, but pre batched recipes need not spoil this. They can be used to add a little drama to the bar and a little extra excitement.
Pre-batching has come about because of an increasing need for fast service. Sophisticated drinks demand a perfect serving temperature and precise measurements. It is not just a short-cut but a necessity. Customers often complain their Martinis aren´t cold enough. Pre-mixing and freezing entirely solves that problem. They can be stored at a precise temperature. It is close to impossible to get that same effect by stirring.
HOW TO MAKE PRE-BATCHED COCKTAILS
One important factor is the ABV of the cocktail. ABV stands for alcohol by volume and is a standard measure in the industry. ABV affects the shelf life and also the storage conditions required. Some cocktails have a high ABV which helps. An Old Fashioned or a Manhattan is about 38 % and this means they store well, The flavour can even improve after six months!
Ingredients are another factor. Acidic ones like citrus fruit may not store perfectly. They can cloud the liquid or make it separate when stored. But there is a good alternative. With powdered citrus or malic acid you can keep the same clear appearance. Another alternative is to batch all the ingredients except the citrus ones. You can add fresh lemon, lime or juice as a final touch at the end.
You must also decide whether to dilute or not. It is up to you. You can keep the batch at the right strength for serving then pour it straight into a pre-chilled glass. This is the fastest method. Alternatively, you can add water or ice. A three-ounce stirred drink such as a Manhattan will probably need anything from 17 to 25 per cent water when served in a Martini glass, around half to three quarters of an ounce of water in other words. Some other cocktails might be served in a pitcher with ice or on the glass. In these cases, you do not dilute as much, say 10 to 15 % or a quarter to half an ounce in each three-ounce drink. It is a good idea to test these and find out which works for you and your customers. Or, you can pre-mix your ingredients then shake or stir the cocktail before serving it to your guests or customers.
Barrel-aged cocktails are another great possibility. They have been around for years. The cocktail changes its flavour as it matures. This adds interest and gives it a unique flavour. You don´t need specialised equipment. Lots of companies sell small barrels online. You need a new charred barrel as these are the ones that add most flavour. You can start off with a 2 or 3 litre one. You will need to prepare it to stop leaks. Fill it up with hot distilled water and leave it in a sink for a couple of days or so. This will allow the wood to expand. Check if there are any leaks, if so, wait another one or two days for the wood to swell a little more. This seals it naturally. Pour out the water then and this will also get rid of any charring agent left inside.
Then, choose the right cocktail to age. Those that are highly sugary are best avoided as they can get syrupy or even develop mould. Also avoid recipes with fresh ingredients such as fruit or citrus juice. Cocktails made of spirits alone are your best bet for maturing in a barrel. Start with less expensive spirits in case you are not keen on the aged result. Find out what works for you. Expensive aged spirits can change dramatically so may not be so suitable for this.
Keep the barrel out of sunlight. Too much heat can make alcohol evaporate. Try to resist tasting too often. Leave it alone. Make the first test after a week and weekly thereafter. The taste will change in a fascinating way. It normally takes three or four weeks for your first cocktail to mature. If you are not too keen on a woody flavour it should be right at that stage. If you like it richer take another week. Unless you are very keen on oaky flavours more than six weeks will be too long. When it is ready, pour it into a large decanter. You can add to a shaker or mixing glass with ice or water to taste.
You can reuse the barrel and pour another set of cocktail ingredients into it. If you use different ingredients you will have some notes of the original one in there as well, The barrel loses its char flavour gradually and cocktails will take a little longer to age. Some people only use barrels twice, but others may get four or five uses out of one. It all depends on your personal taste.
PRE-BATCHED RUE LET
Ingredients for 1 liter to prebatch
Tools: one large non-reactive pitchers or containers, funnel and a clean glass bottle
- 200cl MONIN Earl grey liquor
- 150cl Paragon Rue berry
- 450cl Mezcal
- 180cl still water or 20% of the drink
- In a non-reactive container, add all the ingredient and stir it well. Taste it and if is enough water pour it in the glass bottle.
Remember that before serving you need to taste it again.
- Put in a freezer on 0 or -5 degree.
- Serve it in a small coupe glass
- Garnish with Lemon peel
BARREL AGED COCOA KINGSTON
Ingredients for one drink
Tools: Oak barrel 3 liter and funnel
- 700ml Pot still Jamaican rum
- 700ml Campari
- 300ml Red vermouth
- 250ml MONIN White cocoa liquor
- 50ml MONIN Tonka bean syrup
- Pour all the ingredient in the barrel
- Shake it a little bit to be sure that all the ingredient are mix together
- Control your cocktail every week, after the third week you can start to serve it
- Pour 9 cl of your barrel aged cocktail in a mixing glass and stir well
- Garnish with Orange peel and nuts