New Year’s Eve is nearly here. And on that night, perhaps more than any other, drinkers turn out by the masses with high expectations and immense thirst. Even at bars that deal with crowds on a regular basis, the pressure of serving cocktails on New Year’s Eve can be daunting (not to mention exhausting). Experts suggest that the key to success is batching. By preparing a drink in bulk ahead of time, bartenders can save invaluable time and energy and keep cocktails in the hands of guests who’d rather be celebrating than waiting. We’ve rounded up five cocktails that are perfect for this festive holiday.
Farmer and His Mule
Want to serve an earthy, slightly unusual cocktail in bulk this year? The Farmer & His Mule is just that. Jason Huffman of Coin-Op in San Francisco says of his creation, “The rye based vodka has a fuller body to hold the sweet spices. Balancing the spiciness of fresh ginger with my house falernum allows the sweet potato liqueur to pop on the mid palate, providing a bright finish of fresh ginger and lime.”
- 370.5 ounces Gruven Vodka
- 185.25 ounces Corbin Cash Barrel Reserve Sweet Potato Liqueur
- 123.5 ounces House Falernum*
Pour all ingredients into a 20 liter bottling bucket. Fill empty unmarked bottles with batched ingredients. COIN-OP SF uses 86 Co. bottles and color bands to stream line production. The color band used for the bottle is also wrapped around the pour spout of the 20 liter bucket. Both are labeled in English as well. Color coded bottles allow a team member who might not speak English to more effectively follow systems. Labels wear and fall off after washing and can lead to improper batches being used for cocktails. Now measure your batched spirits, ginger, lime and demerara into a shaker and put on a show. You’ve saved two steps in production and two bottle spaces for your well. This system works well for very small bars without a lot of storage space for bottles.
To make falernum:
- 500 milliliters Blackwell Black Gold Jamaican Rum
- 250 milliliters maple syrup
- 250 milliliters demerara syrup 2:1
- 10 drops lemon oil
- 10 drops sweet Valencia oil
- 20 grams Nielson Massey vanilla paste
- 2 whole green cardamom pods (broken open)
- 5 grams cassia c/s
- 10 grams clove
- 10 whole allspice
- 3 whole star anise
- 20 grams dried rose buds
- 100 grams fresh chopped ginger
- 5 grams black Nigel caraway seed
- 10 grams three spice blend (white pepper, dried chile, Szechaun)
Combine all ingredients except maple and demerara syrups into a cambro. Let all ingredients macerate for 24 hours. Pass the maceration through a chinois. Add maple and demerara syrups (stir until all syrups have been incorporated). Do a final pass through the chinois. Pour ingredients into deli containers, name and date. For large batches, multiply all ingredients by number of batched desired.
A few words on how we do the math for batching this cocktail:
Ordering ingredients needed to properly batch your spirits together for large volume. Buying in bulk generally means better pricing on the bottle and lower cost percentage for the cocktail. Proper storage containers to hold batched ingredients: At COIN-OP SF we use 20 liter bottling bucket. A 20 liter bucket contains 679 ounces. A 20 liter bucket can hold 247 cocktails pre-batched (679 divided by 2.75 = 247). Add the sum of all the spirits used per cocktail. The sum of the Farmer and His Mule is 2.75 ounces. Separate the measurements by each individual spirit used in the cocktail. Gruven Vodka = 1.50 ounces per cocktail. Multiply 247 and 1.50 ounces = 370.5 ounces. Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur = 0.75 ounces per cocktail. Multiply 247 and 0.75 ounces = 185.25 ounces. House Falernum = 0.50 ounces. Multiply 247 and 0.50 ounces = 123.50 ounces. The sum of all multiplications should equal total ounces for 247 cocktails/679 ounces.
New Year’s Kiss doesn’t just make life easier for bartenders, it’s a crowd pleaser. (Photo: Eric ET Tecocky)
New Year’s Kiss
Eric “ET” Tecosky of Jones Hollywood makes this drink as a punch for two reasons, “… It takes two seconds to get someone a drink, which helps the flow at the bar. And two, by the end of the year we have at least one bottle of something we over ordered or got as a sample and a punch is a great way to ‘move’ slower moving items,” he says. The New Year’s Kiss, a boozy combination of whiskey, Aperol, sloe gin, pineapple and ginger is sure to delight guests by the masses.
- 750 milliters Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
- 750 milliters Aperol
- 750 milliters Plymouth Sloe Gin
- 750 milliters cold pineapple juice
- 750 milliters cold ginger beer or spicy ginger soda
- 10 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- 5 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl right before service. Add a few ice cubes and stir. Serve neat or over ice with a pineapple garnish or pineapple flower if available. If pre-batching, leave out beer and ice until minutes before service.
Give guests the kick of caffeine everyone could use on New Year’s Eve with Three Flannel Sheets to the wind. (Photo: Colin Baugh)
Three Flannel Sheets to the Wind
There’s nothing like a coffee cocktail to help bar guests make it to midnight (and long after). This batchable cocktail by Chris Sinclair of Red Rabbit Bar in Sacramento, California is the secret to a second wind.
- 2 parts cold brew coffee
- 1.5 parts Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur
- 1/2 part Corbin Cash Gin
- 1/2 part demerara syrup
Combine all ingredients prior to the beginning of a shift. Once batched, serve in 3 ounce pours over crushed ice and top with whipped cream, a few drops of sesame oil and flower petals.
Guests will feel appropriately fabulous for the festive occasion when drinking the Hollywood Holiday Punch.
Hollywood Holiday Punch
Paul Sanguinetti’s Hollywood Holiday Punch, served at The Edmon in Hollywood, captures the essence of glamorous imbibing. With luxe ingredients and effervescence, it’s perfect for the glitz of New Year’s Eve.“Punches are a fun and easy way to welcome guests for a holiday celebration,” Sanguinetti says. “It can set the tone for the night, and get people in a festive mood. The Pommeau du Normandie evokes fall and holiday flavors with its Normandy apple goodness, boosted by the fruity stone fruit notes of the Cognac Park VS. Cognac is also fun and festive, yet classy. The perfect ingredient for a New Years punch. And of course it wouldn’t be New Years without the bubbles. I recommend springing a little extra for champagne. I mean, because you can only ring in 2017 once right?”
- 1 bottle Cognac Park VS
- 37.5 ounces port wine
- 12.5 ounces Drouhin Pommeau du Normandie
- 25 ounces lemon ginger oleo saccharum
- 8 ounces Jamaican rum
- 16 ounces sparkling wine
- 8-10 dashes angostura bitters
- pinch sea salt
- fresh grated cinnamon and nutmeg
- lemon wheels, lemon verbena to garnish
Build in a punch bowl and add a nice block of ice 30 minutes before serving, stirring occasionally. Grate fresh spices on top and add lemon wheels and fresh verbena leafs for color and added flavor. Serve into nice teacups or old fashioned glasses.
To make lemon ginger oleo saccharum:
Steep the peels of 3 lemons with 225 grams of sugar for 45 minutes. Add 12.5 ounces fresh lemon juice and 8 ounces fresh pressed ginger juice, stirring or blending until sugar is fully dissolved.
Spirit of 76 Punch
Spirit of 76 Punch, created by Christy Pope of Midnight Rambler in Dallas, Texas is balanced, delicately spiced and delightfully drinkable.
- 25 ounces (750 milliliters — 1 bottle) Laird’s Applejack
- 25 ounces (750 milliliters — 1 bottle) Jamaican rum
- 12.5 ounces (370 milliliters ) fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 12.5 ounces (370 milliliters) demerara syrup
- 75 ounces (2218 milliliters) chilled chai tea (*we suggest Kashmiri Chai)
Measure ingredients into a punch bowl. Stir to incorporate. Add large format ice. Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg in the bowl and over individual punch glasses.
To make chilled chai tea:
Add 7 tablespoons of loose leaf tea to 1 gallon of boiling water. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain, seal and refrigerate until use. Any tea will work, but we prefer using “Kashmiri Chai,” available online.