It happens more often than you'd think: a dozen or more customers approach the bar at the same time, all ordering cocktails, and your bartender is suddenly wishing they had eight arms to mix up things quickly. But there’s a simple fix: the batch cocktail recipe.
Whether it’s wedding guests that want a quick top-up before bouncing back to the dance floor, a birthday crowd needing a fresh drink before they make a toast, or resort attendees eager to get back to the limbo, batch cocktails come in handy in plenty of scenarios. And just because you’re mixing up a larger batch by volume it doesn’t mean your cocktails can’t have finesse and flavor.
We’ve asked bartenders and scoured the recipe books to put together this list of great batch cocktail recipes for any crowded occasion.
Gather Your Supplies
Even though you’re about to mix, shake and stir up these recipes in bulk, you’ll still need to follow the quantity guidelines and maintain some precision to get the taste right. So having accurate measuring spoons and liquid measuring cups will make sure you’re on track.
If you’re going to be mixing large batches of craft cocktails, you’ll need some large containers to hold the liquid gold. Bowls, jugs, mason jars, wooden barrels in a pinch, all preferably in the 2L+ size. If possible, make sure it has a lid—the benefit of using something with a seal means you can give it a quick shake (if needed) before pouring out to serve, but really anything works.
Of course you’ll also need a pitcher (or two or three, to help serve faster), or better yet get a drink dispenser to really expedite things. Rapid fire serving with a drink dispenser means fewer spills and faster turnaround for the carousel of thirsty customers.
Lastly, make sure you have plenty of ice on hand. No one likes a warm drink.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s jump into the batch cocktail recipes!
Batch Cocktail Recipes to Please Any Crowd
Note: For these recipes, we’ve listed out measurements in parts to accommodate whatever size container you happen to use. If you’re mixing for a dinner party of 6, you might want to use cups to measure the booze, but if it’s for 100 guests you might go with the big guns and measure by the gallon.
Let’s start with an easy classic. The Negroni is the perfect batch cocktail to get guests loosened up for conversation before dinner, or to settle down as an event comes to a close.
2 parts gin
1 ½ parts sweet vermouth
1 ½ parts Campari
1 part water
Orange peels for garnish
Mix all ingredients in your container and keep chilled until you’re ready to pour
Fill rocks glasses with ice and shave off an orange peel to garnish each cocktail
The Kitchen Sink
Crafted by Sean Hoard, the cofounder of The Commissary in Portland, OR, The Kitchen Sink is the perfect template for a large batch cocktail. Made specifically from whatever ingredients you have lying around the bar, the kitchen sink can accommodate plenty of different tastes. Below is a starter, but feel free to mix up the booze varieties and beer mixer.
1 ½ parts apple brandy
1 ½ parts reposado tequila
1 part water
1 part simple syrup
1 part fresh lemon juice
Cold lager beer of choice
Ground nutmeg with orange and lemon peels for garnish
Combine the brandy, tequila, water, syrup and lemon juice into your large container and stir
Add ice to chill and add beer to taste
Garnish with nutmeg, orange and lemon peels
Pour into rocks glasses over ice and add beer to taste (optional)
Add a dose of 007 to your cocktail party with this famous spirit-only cocktail created by none other than James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming. The suave nature of this cocktail is only surpassed by its simplicity and ease for mixing up in a batch variety.
3 parts gin
1 part vodka
½ part Lillet blanc aperitif
Lemon peel for garnish
Combine the gin, vodka and Lillet, stirring into your large container
Serve into chilled cocktail glasses
Garnish with a lemon twist
Will the real slim cocktail please stand up? If you want a batch cocktail whose name is as simple as its composition then the M&M is a sure bet. Two simple ingredients is all that’s needed, but of course you can jazz it up a bit if you want.
1 part Amaro Montenegro
1 part mezcal
Optional variety: 3 drops of bitters of your choice
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass
Is there a better blended drink? This versatile cocktail is good for garden party summer days and hot tub winter nights. It’s our only batch cocktail recipe that requires a blender but the extra effort is worth it.
6 parts white rum of choice
6 parts pineapple juice
3 parts cream of coconut or coconut milk
2 parts lime juice
2 parts simple syrup
2 ½ parts crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Strain mixture into glasses garnished with pineapple wedges
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