Pre-batching is a technique that industrious bartenders from around the world use to handle a busy night of service. Essentially, it is a way of maintaining consistent quality in a cocktail, without forfeiting speed.

There are a number of ways that bars pre-batch. Some bars throw their cocktails in keg systems and serve them on tap — a technique I personally love — while other bars serve large format cocktails in punch bowls, but most bars combine the base ingredients together then leave the syrups and citrus out of the batch until they are ready to be served. 

Regardless of the technique, pre-batching is a highly effective method of preserving consistency and speed, and it is one more valuable tool in the bartender tool kit. For the sake of making them at home, we’re just going to put everything in the bottle, including water. No stirring necessary, just pour and enjoy!

For ease, each recipe below is made to fill a 1-liter bottle and I recommend you store in it the freezer, rather than the fridge.

50/50 Martini/Gibson

If you haven’t tried the 50/50 Martini, I would highly encourage you to do so. It’s a great way to enjoy this venerated classic, while lowering the proof a bit. Also, there are so many great vermouths on the market, it’s only fair to let them shine. Depending on the gin, I like to use blanc vermouth in place of dry. Try it with the Nikka Coffey Gin or Monkey 47 if you want to really get weird. And by weird, I mean delicious.

Combine 13 ounces vodka or gin with 13 ounces dry or blanc vermouth and 7 ounces water. When serving, garnish with an olive, a lemon twist or a cocktail onion.

Negroni

Simple, straightforward and nearly perfect. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass, or over a large ice cube. Find another easy-to-pre-batch spin on the classic cocktail here.

Combine 9 ounces gin with 9 ounces Campari, 9 ounces sweet vermouth and 7 ounces water. When serving, garnish with a lemon or orange twist.

Toronto

This semi-obscure classic is one of my favorites. It got a healthy amount of attention about a decade ago but seems to have largely fallen by the wayside in recent years. First found in David A. Embury’s “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” printed back in 1948, the Toronto is one of those cocktails that everyone should include in their cocktail lexicon. 

Combine 20 ounces rye whiskey with 3 ounces Fernet Branca, 1½ ounces simple syrup, ½ ounce Angostura bitters and 7 ounces water. When serving, garnish with an orange peel.