Simple Small-Scale Batching
When most people talk about batching cocktails, they refer to batching at scale, making large-scale batches of cocktails that can be dispensed quickly to improve consistency and increase speed and efficiency.
There’s merit to this line of thought as whilst batching at scale may diminish some of the theatre of service, if you’re serving to table orders rather than to guests seated at the bar (and a lot of us currently are) this becomes a moot point. Alternatively, batching can also allow you extra time to garnish your cocktail in more creative ways and can add back a different element of theatre.
Batching discussions rarely involve conversation around batching at a small scale. The process of batching individual cocktail serves, or small-scale sharing cocktails can not only serve the same benefits of batching at a larger scale (consistency and speed & efficiency will still be improved), but can also serve to replace some of that lost theatre and add value through careful presentation table side.
Let’s look at some examples…
Flying Grasshopper milk bottle serve
Creamy cocktails are challenging to batch on a large scale unless you know exactly how many you’re expecting to serve. In addition, the limited shelf stability of fresh dairy products means you may increase waste when batching these drinks on a large scale and end up with left over cocktails you have to dispose of at the end of a shift.
Quick to prepare small scale batches are possible though, and if the serve is chosen carefully the batch of serves can be replenished during the shift if needed or converted to a ‘made to order serve’ when the batched examples run out.
Flying Grasshopper (single serve)
- 200ml Miniature Glass Milk Bottle
- Frozen coupe or martini glass
- Small serving slate or tray
- 25ml Ketel One Vodka
- 25ml White Crème de Cacao
- 25ml Green Crème de Menthe
- 75ml Single Cream
- Chocolate mint thins
- Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker full with ice, shake to mix
- Chill and dilute, strain into a mini 200ml milk bottle and serve on a small slate with a frozen coupe glass for the guest to pour for themselves at the table
- Add a selection of mint chocolate thins to the slate for garnish.
- 2 UK Units (16grams) Alcohol
Flying Grasshopper (10 pre-batched single serves)
- 10 x 200ml Miniature Glass Milk Bottle with screw top lid
- 250ml Ketel One Vodka
- 250ml White Crème de Cacao
- 250ml Green Crème de Menthe
- 750ml Single Cream
- 250ml Water
- Chocolate mint thins to accompany each serve to order
- Add all the ingredients to a 2.5 Litre jug and stir vigorously to mix, strain the mix equally into ten individual mini 200ml milk bottles using a funnel to avoid spillage and seal each bottle with a screw cap.
- Add all the bottles to the refrigerator and leave until well chilled.
- To serve take a bottle from the refrigerator, shake briefly to mix the ingredients and serve on a small slate with a frozen coupe or martini glass and a selection of mint chocolate thins.
- 3 UK Units (24grams) Alcohol
The process of delivering a pre-prepared batched serve is very quick when compared to preparing an individual serve to order but when the pre-batched serves run out you can revert to making to order if needed to avoid wastage and maintain availability.
Pear & Maple Old-Fashioned
As this sharing serve for two is prepared directly in the serving bottle you can make up as many or as few bottles as you like in advance of service and simply remove from the refrigerator and garnish the serving glasses to order. When the pre-batched serves run out the serve can be prepared in a mixing glass to order by stirring over ice to chill and dilute and then straining into the bottle to serve. If you prepare it to order in this way the 50ml of water should be omitted as the melting ice during stirring will provide that portion of the serve.
Pear & Maple Old-Fashioned (sharing serve for two)
- 250ml Glass Bottle
- 2 x Old-Fashioned Glasses
- 100ml Ron Zacapa
- 50ml Pear Juice
- 25ml Maple syrup
- 4 dashes aromatic bitters
- 50ml Water
- A pear fan for each glass
- Add all the ingredients to a 250ml glass bottle, seal with a stopper or cork and place in the refrigerator.
- When ordered, remove from the refrigerator, shake the bottle to mix and serve alongside two iced old-fashioned glasses each garnished with a pear fan.
- 2.1 UK Units – 16.8 grams (per individual serve)
- 4.2 UK Units – 33.6 grams (per bottled sharing serve)
Jam Jar Whisky Sour
Another simple solution for pre-batching individual serves is to use Jam Jars. The cocktail ingredients can be added to the jam jar in advance and stored in the refrigerator. When the cocktail is ordered, you simply add ice, shake to mix, garnish and serve. Alternatively, you can label the jars accordingly (shake before opening), add ice, re-seal and instruct the guest to shake the cocktail themselves at the table adding a fun interactive element to the serve.
Jam Jar Whisky Sour
- Jam Jar (with resealable lid)
- 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label 12-Year-Old
- 25ml Fresh lemon juice
- 15ml Sugar syrup
- 25ml Egg white or aquafaba or alternatively 2 dashes of foamer
- Lemon wedge
- Add all the ingredients to a jam jar, label appropriately (for example, add ice and shake before serving) and refrigerate.
- To serve, remove from the refrigerator, add ice and either a) reseal and serve for the guest to shake at the table or shake to mix, garnish with a wedge of lemon and serve.
- 2 UK Units
When you think batching in future, don’t just consider large batching at scale, consider the opportunity for small scale batches and the opportunity to not just increase speed and efficiency but to replace some of the theatre lost when guests have to order to table.
- Batching cocktails at small scale can help with consistency, speed & efficiency
- Using batched cocktails can help to create a theatrical moment for your guests when serving at tables
- Try to only batch the volume of each serve you expect to sell during one shift to avoid wastage
- Pre-batching in vessels such as jam jars and bottles will allow for easy storage in the fridge
- Be sure to account for dilution in your batched cocktails if you plan on serving straight-up