Against my advice, my wife insisted on having a 40th birthday party. Thankfully it’s mostly a wine/beer crowd, but I am still going to pre-batch some cocktails “on tap”. I already did the Cucubmertini and the Watermelontini (easy enough), but the other is the Espressotini - can I pre-batch that or should I brew the coffee the day of and add that last? I plan to do that with the Mai Tai & Blue Hawaiian, I am going to add everything EXCEPT the citrus juices, I will add that last the day of. Any thoughts?
So I decided to pre-batch all the ingredients EXCEPT the lime/citrus. If I include all the syrups and secondary liqueurs like Blue Curaço, flavored spirits, coffee, etc. I am curious if adding the rum will “cook” it in any way even if in the fridge? Forgive me if it’s a dumb question, I just dont want to make a gallon of everything only to toss it if I make it more than 24 hours in advance, thanks!
You should be more than safe pre-batching everything except the fresh juice. The extra time the ingredients spend together may result in a “marrying” effect (the way leftovers sometimes taste better the next day), but this effect will be quite subtle with spirits, and probably perfectly agreeable.
The one non-citrus ingredient you menti0n that I would be most nervous about is the coffee. I just don’t know enough about what’s volatile there, particularly with the aromatics—something might get lost along the way?
Thank you! I was thinking the same thing with coffee too. I know coffee that has been sitting out for more than 2 hours declines in taste, and gets cloudy, especially in fridge. You can use cold brew coffee for an espresso martini, but that is easy enough to add in at the last minute once it cools.
I decided I will prebatch everything today with the rums, syrups, etc, EXCEPT the lime juice, I will do that in the morning for the party on Saturday, it starts at 3pm but of course I will probably start juicing around 11am and/or put it in there then. so everything is ready to roll by 2pm.
My last/only concern was the dilution. I bought one of these 3-tier fountains really cheap, and they each hold a gallon. It is not electric, but does have a cooling tube for ice in the center. Of course the liquids are already refrigerated, and I made one 750ml bottle each of the cocktails I don’t think will be as popular (Sangria, Pina Colada, Blue Hawaiian to match the colors of the flag, Red, White, Blue). I know there will be some dilution (about 1/2 ounce ice water per cocktail?), so I will fill the rest of the compartment of each with about a cup of pellet ice, then serve that over fresh ice in the tiki mugs or glasses. I am going to bring the spindle blender, but in case I dont have time, this will be easy enough for people to self-serve.
I have a fair bit of experience here, and your instincts are spot on. For the citrus drinks, pouring them out of a fountain will result in a “flatness” to the taste, as the lack of shaking (or simply the resting if you pre shake) will remove much of the textural experience of a freshly shaken cocktail. This isn’t to say that the drinks won’t be good–they will simply be missing that element.
The same cannot be said for the espresso martini. The oils from the espresso emulsifying and frothing during shaking are essential to the drink. Without the airiness the espresso martini becomes heavy and sickly sweet. To prevent yourself having to make every cocktail fresh, you can pre batch (with dilution) and set up a protein shaker with the batch. Pour in the cocktail, give it a couple shakes with the little spring ball in, and pour. I’ve used this trick at plenty of large events and it works very well as long as the batches are well chilled.
As to prebatching the coffee itself, using cold brew in place of espresso is the best quick fix solution I’ve found. A rich coldbrew will have a wonderful light froth and can last several days with no loss of flavor. Though I would advise testing a couple concentrations to prevent over caffeination.
If you have some extra time, I would recommend making Dan Fellow’s “coffee saccharum” (he has a YouTube channel dedicated to coffee cocktails. I am loathe to link to YouTube, but searching his name and “coffee saccharum” works). It can be made days ahead of time and makes great espresso martinis.
Good luck, and happy birthday to your wife!
Thank you, I appreciate the reply and well wishes. As it turns out, the Sangria was fine, the Pina coladas were gone in no time, but everyone avoided the Blue Hawaiian due to a spigot issue (but most of them were gone). I was trying to keep with the Red, White & Blue theme there. I did shake the cucumbertinis by hand with ice AFTER they were pre-batched and in the bottle of espressotinis was left behind. I will look up that YouTube channel and make notes of my own on my blog so others can benefit from it as well. I think next time I won’t be as ambitious as to serve 7 different cocktails, but no one went home thirsty!