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As COVID-19 Shifts Bars and Restaurants to Pickup and Delivery Mode, Here’s How You Can Implement a Pre-Bottled Cocktail Program for At-Home Consumption

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Mar. 30, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation has bars and restaurants adjusting their business model to comply with social distancing orders, bar managers are finding creative solutions to be able to continue to serve their customers the signature cocktails patrons expect from them.

The solution, in this case, is batching cocktails for at-home consumption. It’s a topic we’ve covered before, but of course, not under these types of circumstances.

At-home consumption is the only option during the coronavirus crisis, and bar programs are doing incredible work on the fly to adapt to this ever-changing environment, so they can deliver a familiar source of comfort during an otherwise unprecedented reality.

If your business is currently in this position and would like some tips on the basics of batching and bottling a to-go cocktail program, our own Beverage Development Manager Mike Henderson has some helpful best practices.


The Vessel

Source a serving vessel, preferably glass, that is sealable and can be used for one to four servings.

  • 6-8 oz. vessel is generally suitable for one serving
  • 24 oz. or 750ml bottle is suitable for up to four servings


Batching Measurements

Select a cocktail recipe and decide how many servings to produce in each batch, and then multiply each ingredient times the number of desired servings. Also, add one ounce of water per serving for pre-dilution.

For ease of batching, consider rounding amounts up or down to fit package sizes. For instance, if you’re using one-liter bottles, 200 oz. of spirit equals 5.91 liters, so just round up to six liters.


Batching Process

Once you have all your measurements ready, combine all ingredients, including water, into a Cambro or other food safe container and stir with a whisk. Then, fine strain the batch to remove any solids or pulp, then funnel final batch into sourced serving vessels and seal.


Batching Labels, Done Right

Once your vessels are ready for your customers, complete the cocktail with a name, list the ingredients, and include a “best consumed by” date:
• Cocktails made with fresh citrus juice will be good for up to 48 hours
• Cocktails made with pasteurized citrus juice will be good for up to one week
• Cocktails made with all spirituous ingredients will be good for up to 30 days


Two Classic Batching Recipes


Margarita (100 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 200 oz. or 6L of reposado tequila
  • 75 oz. or three 750ml bottles orange liqueur
  • 100 oz. lime juice
  • 25 oz. Agave syrup
  • 100 oz. water for pre-dilution

Preparation

  • Combine all ingredients into a 22-quart Cambro or food safe container
  • Use a large whisk to combine ingredients
  • Fine strain to remove any solids or pulp
  • Funnel into serving vessels and seal
  • Label bottles with cocktail name, ingredients, and best-by date


Old Fashioned (50 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 125 oz. or five 750ml bottles of bourbon, preferably 100 proof
  • 25 oz. simple syrup
  • 150 dashes or 3 oz. of aromatic bitters
  • 50 oz. water for pre-dilution

Preparation

  • Combine all ingredients into a 22-quart Cambro or food safe container
  • Use a large whisk to combine ingredients
  • Fine strain to remove any solids or pulp
  • Funnel into serving vessels and seal
  • Label bottles with cocktail name, ingredients, and best-by date





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