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Golzee

Premixed Cocktails

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Golzee

Sorry if their is another thread, but, do any of you premix cocktails for later use.  The last issue of Men's Journal  had a short article on premixed drinks.  They advocated the use of water in recipes to mellow them out and mimic melting ice I think.  For example, this is their "Improved Bourbon Cocktail":  12oz bourbon, 3oz maraschino liqueur, 1oz simple syrup, 6oz water, 14 dashes of bitters.  They also had a Manhattan recipe and a gin martini recipe.  I am all for making drinks as they are needed, but, It would be nice to have a bottle premixed in the freezer just in case.  Anybody do this or have a good recipe?

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GrPeMi

In order to minimize the number of bottles traveling to the rental house for new years, I pre mixed some Manhattans according to my usual recipe. I often mix them in the glass & just drop in a cube, instead of stirring over ice anyway, so no added water.

You can always serve them over ice or shake/stir as needed. I don't see the point in pre-diluting them.

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tanstaafl2

I would agree, I don't think I would dilute beforehand. Shaking or stirring with ice does add some water to the drink and that is generally a good thing for most drinks and something that drink creators should generally take into consideration. But I would shake or stir the premixed cocktail at the time of serving rather than dilute with water at the time of mixing.

Magazines like Men's Journal (or most magazines in general!) aren't really my first choice for taking tips on cocktail prep. I would much rather ask an experienced cocktail bartender (not just any old bartender mind you) in person about what is best and that is what I did to decide how I would approach drinks to be premixed on those rare occasions when I do it.

Not sure I would keep them in the freezer either but no basis for saying that other than it just doesn't seem like a good idea to me. But then I would not likely premix more than a few days in advance and the refrigerator is adequate.

Heck, the ritual of mixing from scratch is part of the fun! I would only premix if I am likely to be serving a large volume of a particular cocktail.

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tanstaafl2

Oh, and never premix the juice component of any cocktail that includes juice whether it be lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit or whatever. Not a good thing!

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Golzee

Thanks for the input guys, and I agree that mixing drinks is part of the fun.  I was just thinking have a bottle of premixed Manhattans or something similar wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Harry in WashDC

What tanstaafl2 says above re: water, freezer, juice.  We've been pre-making cocktail components for years to serve at Christmas holiday parties for family, friends, etc.  We both worked in a bar when we were in grad school to supplement incomes, buy books, etc., and kept in touch with that community when we moved on, so some of our techniques are from good but fuzzy sources.  For cocktails that require juice, I prepare the nonjuice/nonperishable parts a couple days ahead of time and do the perishables the morning of whatever we are doing; depending on the drink, I MAY NOT combine them at this time which allows me to (sort of) make the drinks to order.  It all goes in the fridge in sealed containers.  For cocktails without juice (like Manhattans), I'll still premix and refrigerate to reduce alcohol evaporation (yeah, it's obsessive, but it is something I do).  The aromatics, like bitters, I may add just before the crowds arrive so they don't dissipate.  I'm also careful with use of ice so the drinks don't get too diluted and fall apart prior to serving since they already are chilled.

Finally, an Army cook once told me that the larger batch of whatever you are making, the less you need in the way of what he called the "fringe" spices.  Trial and error has taught me that this is mostly true.  It is one reason I don't add bitters until the last moment.

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tanstaafl2

Sound advice indeed, especially with regard to the bitters!

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PaulO

A couple of years ago, I read a book called The Joy Of Mixology by Gary Reagan.  He has a whole chapter on this with recipes.  Myself, there are some cocktails I wouldn't mix ahead of time (like the classic dry martini).  On the other hand, I think squeezing fresh lemons and limes, making your own sour mix is a great idea.  

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