It might not sound very glam but trust us, batching drinks is what all the cool kids will be doing this summer. It makes perfect sense. Why would you want to spend time squeezing lemons, making up sugar syrup and measuring out spirits in front of your guests when with a little time and planning you can do all the hard work ahead?

Barbecues, weekend brunches, Come Dine With Me-style dinner parties – it’s not about the occasion but more to do with numbers and convenience. Anytime you’re entertaining, bottling up a few cocktails is the way to go. You’ll need to get your maths head on though as careful measuring is key.

First, decide on your recipe – we recently did a batch of party-time Aviations which went down very well – but most classic recipes l work. Worth noting: as long as you’re not using fresh ingredients like fruit or veg, the general rule seems to be that you can prepare your drink several hours – even a few days ahead. In his ultimate bar guide The Joy of Mixology (well worth adding to your collection by the way), all-round cocktail guru Gary Regan devotes a section to bottled cocktails, giving invaluable tips on how to get the ratios just right.

Our way is simple. Multiply your quantities by the number of drinks you want to make (12 guests, two Martinis each at a 3:1 ratio = 1800ml of gin – just over two bottles; 600ml dry vermouth, 24 dashes of orange bitters), then measure the ingredients into a large bottle, ready to chill in the fridge until your guests arrive.

When they do, you can be the host/hostess with the mostest, keeping their glasses topped up without all the faff of making individual cocktails. Just ensure the glasses are good and cold and you chill and dilute the pre-mix by either stirring or shaking over ice to wake it up. Of course you can use shop bought pre-mixes but where’s the fun or creativity in that? You know this way makes sense.

Aviation for 12:

600ml  gin
150ml  fresh lemon juice
100 ml Maraschino liqueur
50ml Crème de Violette
Luxardo Maraschino cherries to garnish

Stir all the ingredients in a jug and decant into a clean, screw-top bottle. Leave in the fridge until ready to use. To make two cocktails add 150ml of the pre-mix to a shaker with some ice, shake well and pour into two chilled martini glasses. Add a maraschino cherry to each glass to garnish. Repeat with fresh ice to make further drinks.

Written for The Independent Dish of the Day blog 25/4/2013

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