5 Ways to Batch Cocktails for a High-Volume Crowd

Jul. 19, 2018

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Imagine you are a bartender facing a crowd in the hundreds, or thousands, and they each want a killer, made-from-scratch margarita.

You’re gonna need a bigger bar staff.

Or, you’re gonna batch some cocktails in advance of the rush so you can pour a cocktail just as fast as the customer orders it.

Batching cocktails has been around forever, and there are many new—and old—ways of batching that will not only help your bar program execute high-volume events but ensure that the drinks you’re serving at a high rate are all high quality.

Here are Breakthru IL Beverage Development Specialist Michael Page’s five go-to batching techniques:

1) Cocktails on Tap

Michael Page: This requires a batch system—a free-standing keg-type containment unit like a Cornelius keg. There is good longevity in these kegs where the cocktail maintains its flavor—sometimes even an entire week.

2) Frozen Cocktails

This requires an investment in a frozen machine, and there are many good products out there. I recommend a Frosty Factory-style machine. You can adapt most recipes to frozen, from creamy mudslides to margaritas to frozen Negronis. The variety available is amazing. It takes a little bit of extra work to achieve the similar flavor, so you have got to play around with the water levels, but the machine does all the work. From a production standpoint, this is the fastest of all batched options.

3) Dual Batching

Batch most of the ingredients before an event, but add certain ingredients later during the order, like citrus, as it has a short shelf life. This method works for complex cocktails with many ingredients.

4) Bottled Cocktails

Glass bottles, like a 187 ml bottle or a 22 oz bomber bottle, are really popular for events at clubs or patios. There are machines that can help with the bottling process. I’ve seen people build the drink into the draft and then pour them into the bottles. This will require the most up-front labor.

5) Bucket

Finally, the old-fashioned method. Toss everything into a bucket and serve. This is great for festivals or other events where you must make things on the fly. It’s an old-timey method that will never go out of style.

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