If you’ve ever thrown a proper cocktail party only to find yourself spending more time measuring and mixing than mingling with guests, you know the perils of the age of mixology. Enter the prebatched cocktail, a no-brainer that catering bartenders and margarita masters know well but not enough other people do: Simply multiply the ingredients in your favorite cocktail by six, funnel them into a bottle and then shake or stir portions as requested. Be sure to serve a drink novel and delicious enough to improve your reputation as a tasteful host (martinis and margaritas are a little obvious). Here’s a summery rum-based spin on the old fashioned to get you started.
RUM OLD FASHIONED
(makes one 750-milliliter bottle/six -servings) You’ll need a funnel, a measuring cup and 750-milliliter bottles to batch these up. Old wine or liquor bottles with the labels removed do the trick (soak bottles in hot, soapy water to make it easier). Mix up one bottle for every three guests so everyone can have seconds.
12 oz. aged rum such as El Dorado 12 year, Mount Gay Black Barrel or Flor de Caña 12 year
3 oz. simple syrup
9 oz. water
6 dashes Angostura bitters
Make simple syrup (enough for three batches): Heat nine ounces water in a pot. Stir in nine ounces sugar and stir to dissolve. Let cool. Store extra syrup in refrigerator for up to one week. Combine everything but the peel in a large bowl or pitcher. Pour through a funnel into a 750-milliliter bottle. To serve, pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with orange peel, misting oils over the drink. This cocktail is shelf stable and will last indefinitely.
Don’t have time to mix yourself? Check out one of our favorite premade cocktails [insert link to gallery that you are going to build]
Charles Joly is the acclaimed beverage director at the Chicago cocktail bar Aviary. Follow him on Twitter @Charles_Joly.