Food and Drink

7 Tips for Making Big Batch Cocktails for a Crowd

Liv friis-larsen / shutterstock
Liv friis-larsen / shutterstock
Liv friis-larsen / shutterstock

Large format punches and pitcher drinks somehow seem easier to make than standard cocktails-maybe because we think there’s more room to hide mistakes in all that liquid. But big batch drinks are just as difficult to get right (if not more so) than classic drinks served in lowballs and coupes. Whether you’re making punch from a recipe, pre-batching a cocktail for a crowd, or improvising with whatever spirits and mixers you have laying around, these tips for big batch drinks will help you make a big, beautiful, balanced punch.

Follow a Formula, Even if You’re Improvising

When making a big drink, it can be tempting to throw ratios to the wind and dump bottles in a bowl until the liquid is just passable enough to glug down. But even large punches need balance. If you’re not working from a specific recipe, no matter what flavor you’re going for, follow this age old rhyme to create something that’s actually drinkable: one of sour (citrus), two of sweet (syrup or liqueur), three of strong (liquor), four of weak (dry liqueur, wine, juice, tea or soda).

Use Bigger Ice

Ice affects a cocktail no matter the size of the drink. That big cube of ice anchoring an Old Fashioned melts slower than several smaller cubes because it has more surface area. Same goes for a big block of ice in a punch bowl. To create these extra large blocks, fill Tupperware or another large container with water, and freeze as you normally would.

Fill It Out With Bubbly

It’s a universal truth that everything is better with sparkling wine. Because you’ll likely need to fill out your large batch drink with a low-ABV ingredient or a mixer anyway, you might as well add some fizzy joy, like a quality budget Prosecco. If you’d like an exceptionally effervescent sipper in every glass, consider topping each poured drink with bubbly to order.

Add Water to Premade Cocktails

If you plan to serve your drink over ice, then you should follow whatever recipe you please and simply store it in the fridge until ready to serve. But if you plan to pre-chill a large batch cocktail (like Martinis for a crowd, for instance) and serve it neat, you’ll need to add water. Normally, when you make an individual drink, you stir or shake the ingredients to not only chill it, but also to dilute the mixture. No mixing means no dilution, which means an overly potent cocktail if you don’t water it down to compensate. You’ll need about three parts cocktail to one part water.

Don’t Add Citrus Too Early

We know you’re a master at meal prep and prefer to batch out your food and beverages for an entire month in advance. But if you’re mixing up a big batch of booze that involves citrus, wait until the day you intend to drink it. Citrus juice lasts about a day in the fridge, so you could prep the night before a party if you prefer. But squeezing your juice just before mixing will create a brighter final product.

Prep Garnishes Ahead of Time

If you intend to garnish individual glasses as you serve drinks, feel free to prep the garnishes ahead of time. To keep citrus peels moist, layer them in a container with slightly dampened paper towels, and be sure to wake up any herbs by giving them a quick slap before adding them to a glass.

Go Beyond a Bowl

Every boring punch ever came from a boring punch bowl. But no boring punch ever came out of a watermelon or a pumpkin. Not only do they add some pizzazz to your presentation, but they also subtly infuse the drink as it sits.

Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.

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