When it comes to the bar, batch cocktails are one of the best ways to combine style and oh-so-delicious substance. Preparing a few batch drinks doesn’t just save money—it creates an iconic signature drink for any special occasion. Of course, if you want to do it right, crafting an impeccable batch cocktail is a little more complex than spiking the Christmas party eggnog—a sophisticated drink is all about the right recipe and a tasteful presentation. (Yeah, my punning went there.)
Crafting a Batch Cocktail
While batch drinks are the ideal solution for saving time and money around the bar, you should still give your guests an option—people have ingredient allergies, or just don’t enjoy certain flavor combinations. I recommend two distinctly different options, ideally made with different base alcohols and varying levels of sweetness. Want to offer a sticky-sweet vodka-and-strawberry lemonade? Complement it with a zippier tequila and tangerine combo, or a rich and savory red-wine sangria. The goal here is variety, and once you establish your recipes, it’s time to get prepping.
Big Batch Mixology
Before you break out your juicer, remember: There is definitely such a thing as preparing too early. Fruit juice is a fickle thing, and if it spoils, it will ruin your drink. While you can prepare and mix other ingredients, hold off on fresh juices until 24-48 hours before your event—this gives it enough time for the mixture to take hold without the fresh ingredients going bad. Chill your drinks until it’s party time, and when you put them out, leave the ice on the side—this prevents it from diluting the flavor.
Table Linens and Other Presentation Concerns
So you perfected your recipe and whipped up a great big batch of something amazing—don’t you think you owe it to yourself to nail the presentation?
First of all, table linens. You need them, period. Batch cocktails are perfect for those times when guests are serving themselves, and I don’t want to name names here, but some of us aren’t as handy with a ladle as others. There will be spills. There will be stains. Unless you want your rum punch splashing all over the bar, you need table linens, and probably a few backups.
Tablecloth rentals are a handy solution, because you can just switch them out if someone’s cup runneth over. Otherwise, choose table linens that match the hue of your drink, so spills are inconspicuous.
Tablecloth rentals aren’t the only way you can spruce up the presentation, either. Offer a few decorative touches with your drinks, like optional garnishes—mint sprigs and citrus wedges are always a hit. Even the vessels you serve them in make a statement, so save the plastic cups for your next tailgate party and give your guests something worthy of your creation!