I learned something really useful from the book Batch Cocktails by Maggie Hoffman:
It’s easy to convert cocktail recipes from single drinks to batches of 8 in your head – just replace “ounce” with “cup”!
Most drinks are shaken or stirred with ice, but when making batches of 8 drinks in advance, you probably want to avoid the need to do this right before serving. You can instead add water to the batch, and place the drinks in the freezer for a few hours. How much depends on the drink and might require some experimentation; for drinks I shake like martinis1, I use ⅔ cup of water for a batch of 8. When experimenting, you might start with ½oz per drink / ½c per batch, taste, and adjust as needed.
For example, with a simple martini recipe like this:
- 2oz gin
- ½oz dry vermouth
Adapt to a batch of 8 like so:
- 2c gin
- ½c dry vermouth
- ⅔c water
The book suggests using 750ml/25oz swingline bottles. These are a great fit for most cocktails when made in batches of 8 like this. You can mix the ingredients in the bottle (you’ll need a kitchen funnel), and place directly in the freezer. I also suggest a few other containers (shown in the photo above), depending on your needs:
Small 8.5oz swingline bottles, which can hold two drinks each. If your party has a signature drink, these make excellent party favors.
The beautiful 750ml bottles of Desert Door Sotol, which are swingline bottles that do great in the freezer, and make for really lovely host gifts. Even when I’m bringing a drink that doesn’t use Sotol, I try to bring it in one of these bottles if I can, they’re just so pretty.
Beer growlers, which are easy to find in a pinch – at least around my house. Batches that fit into 750ml swingline bottles as prescribed by the book will fit into small 32oz growlers with room to spare (750ml is 26oz). If you are going to a party with more than 8 people, you might double the recipe to get batches of 16, which will fit handily into a medium size 64oz growler.
Many people believe stirring is preferrable to shaking when making martinis because shaking is supposed to “bruise” the spirit and the small ice chips it leaves in the drink are said to make the drink worse. These people are wrong on both counts. Source: many years of personal experience. ↩︎