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Club Confidential Cocktails

 
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Cocktails for the Crowd

By Amy Virginia Buchanan

 
 

At our Sam Cooke-themed Club Confidential, our number one priority was getting our guests in the front door and out on the dance floor. But considering that our speakeasy-style events are also known for their quality cocktail programs, we had to consider how to make getting a great drink something that could happen quickly, efficiently, and enjoyably. This is usually the case for any event that has more than ten guests though. The bar line will inevitably be long, and so making a cocktail that is easily batched and served all at once is the antidote to that seemingly never-ending line.

 

Herein, we’re sharing three batched cocktail recipes that cover the spectrum of taste, from boozy to creamy to bright and citrusy. They’re easy to prepare and even easier to pour, which means the next time you host a shindig, you’ll actually be able to mingle with your guests instead of being stuck behind the bar the whole night.  

 

Note: each of these batched cocktails comfortably serves 50 people throughout one evening. Adjust accordingly (or make all three and invite everyone you know).

 

 
The Low Lit and Smokey

Smoke-Infused Whiskey, Ginger Syrup, Angostura Bitters

 

Tools

  • Metal spoon with a very long handle
  • 2 22-quart cambro buckets with lids
  • Immersion blender
  • Handheld smoking gun
  • Cheese cloth
  • Fine mesh strainer

 

Ingredients

20 bottles of Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey
4 canisters cherry wood chips
18 oz. minced ginger
5 lb. raw sugar
1 bottle Angostura bitters
Candied ginger for garnish

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For smoked whiskey

In one cambro, pour 20 bottles of whiskey. Smoke cherry wood chips into the cambro, filling it with smoke. Once one batch of chips are burnt through, pour them into the whiskey. Do this another 9-10 times. In this process, we are smoking and in the moment charred-barrel aging our spirit. Place the lid on the cambro and let sit for two hours.
 

Pro tip: Twirl the bottle of liquor as you upend them to pour into the cambro. This will create a little tornado inside the bottle and the liquid will come out twice as fast.

 

For ginger syrup

In the second cambro, pour 5 lb. raw sugar, 18 oz. minced ginger, and then fill with boiling water to the 4 quart line. Stir until sugar is entirely dissolved. Cover with a lid and let sit for at least one hour.

For cocktail

Use your cheese cloth to line the fine mesh strainer, and then pour the smoked whiskey through the strainer into the ginger syrup. This will remove any wood chips or ash from the alcohol.
 

Rinse empty cambro to prepare to have the cocktail poured back into it. Using your immersion blender, blend the whiskey with the ginger syrup, to further pulverized the ginger. Line mesh strainer with another cheesecloth and pour the entire mixture through and back into the newly clean cambro. Shake 150 dashes of angostura bitters into the cocktail and give it a stir with your big spoon, et voila!

 

To serve

Pour in a large coupe glass over ice and balance a skewered piece of candied ginger on the edge of the glass.

 
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The CocoRita

Tequila, Lime, Coconut Syrup

 

Tools

  • Metal spoon with a very long handle
  • 2 22-quart cambro buckets with lids (2 per cocktail)
  • Immersion blender
  • Can opener
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Ingredients

20 bottles of Familia Camarena Silver Tequila
18 32 oz. bottles of fresh lime juice
20 15 oz. cans of Coco Lopez coconut cream
20 13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk

 

For coconut syrup

Pour coconut cream and coconut milk into a cambro. Use the immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth and creamy syrup.

Pro tip: Shake each can before you pour in order to loosen the creamy parts from the side of the can.

For cocktail

Divide the coconut syrup in half between the two cambros. Put 9 bottles of lime juice and 10 bottles of tequila into each cambro, making two identical batches of cocktail. Use your immersion blender to blend once more, this time fusing the syrup, citrus, and spirit, simulating shaking and binding the ingredients together.

 

To serve

Pour over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

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A Little Light Music

Lemon Basil-infused Vodka, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Sparkling Water

 

Tools

  • Metal spoon with a very long handle
  • 2 22-quart cambro buckets with lids (2 per cocktail)
  • Immersion blender
  • Fine mesh strainer

 

Ingredients

5 bunches of lemon basil
20 bottles of Grey Goose
15 32 oz. cans fresh lemon juice
5 lb. refined sugar
10 10-liter bottles Perrier
Basil leaves to garnish

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For lemon basil-infused vodka

Muddle five bunches of lemon basil into the bottom of a cambro. Pour 20 bottles of vodka over the muddled leaves. Let sit for two hours.

 

For lemon simple syrup

Pour 5lb of sugar into a cambro. Fill to 4 quart line with boiling water. Stir until sugar is entirely dissolved and allow to cool. Once cool, pour all of the fresh lemon juice into the syrup. Blend with an immersion blender until mixture is slightly frothy.

For cocktail

Pour the lemon basil vodka through a fine mesh strainer into the lemon simple syrup, catching all of the finer particles of the muddled leaves. Once combined, blend once more to bind the ingredients together.

 

To serve

Fill a Collins glass entirely with ice. Pour cocktail to fill ¾’s of the glass and then top off with sparkling water. Use a bar spoon to give it a whirl and then garnish with a fresh basil leaf.  

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PHOTOS BY: SAM ORTIZ