When Pre-Batching Your Cocktails, Don't Forget About Temperature

If you enjoy cocktails, then one of life's pleasures likely includes enjoying a hand-crafted cocktail with friends, during date night, or while relaxing alone. Pre-batched cocktails can be incredibly convenient, especially for events like parties or weddings. They can also be great if you want to ensure you have consistently high-quality drinks waiting when you want to unwind or even if you decided to host an impromptu get-together. Though some craft cocktail enthusiasts may prefer freshly mixed cocktails, pre-batched cocktails do have their fans. Some claim a well-made pre-batched and frozen cocktail can deliver a better final result than the same drink might when freshly stirred or shaken.

Crafting the perfect cocktail is both a creative expression and a mini science experiment. Understanding the science of crafting a cocktail also makes it easier to pre-batch correctly without compromising drink quality. Some ingredients could degrade if mixed in advance and frozen, while others are not harmed by pre-batching. For example, stirred drinks with a high alcohol content tend to taste better from the freezer than drinks made with mixers that can break down or turn into a texture that's more like a Slurpee. Another factor you want to carefully consider is how temperature affects your pre-batched cocktails and mixed drinks.

Set freezer temperatures to 0 degrees Fahrenheit

Temperature alters flavor, which you may have noticed if you've ever enjoyed an ice-cold sugary beverage only to find it unpleasantly sweet after the drink warms up. The ideal temperature for most freezers is zero degrees Fahrenheit when you are storing food like pre-prepared meals. Water and many foods freeze at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but a colder freezer temperature ensures the food freezes evenly. When freezing pre-batched spirits and mixers, you don't necessarily want them to thoroughly freeze. Some freezers allow you to adjust to a specific temperature, and others let you dial in warmer or colder temperatures. In this case, using a thermometer that is calibrated to read temperatures around and below zero degrees Fahrenheit can help.

If your freezer allows you to adjust the temperature, consider setting it somewhere between 10 and 14 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the perfect temperature for pre-batched cocktails. Bartender Iain McPherson told Punch that this temperature enables you to "pre-dilute and still have a super cold Martini without it turning to slush or freezing solid." That said, dilution isn't always negative depending on the type of drink you're making and how strong you want it to taste. For drinks like a classic Negroni, freezing your pre-batched drinks and stirring in ice cubes made from quality water afterward can chill the drink even further, resulting in a refreshing cold temperature, flavor balance, and a more pleasant mouthfeel that's less booze-forward.