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Bulk Bartending: Make-Ahead Manhattans

Bulk Bartending: Make-Ahead Manhattans

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When you’re ready to settle down with your favorite sipper, few things are better than knowing it’s already ready and waiting for you. Like our premixed Bottled Negronis featured in the June issue, the following bulk Manhattan recipe is as easy to mix up as it is to make a single cocktail. While it’s great to have an evening drink concocted and waiting for you to get home, bottling a batch of your go-to classics also makes for incredibly low-stress entertaining. Just remember to avoid bottling drinks with perishables like citrus juice and dairy—stick to strictly spirituous cocktails, and add fresh garnishes when ready to serve. —Jordan MackayBottled ManhattansPro-tip: A recycled wine or liquor bottle is the perfect vessel for storing cocktails; clean thoroughly with hot water or in the dishwasher, and let dry completely before refilling.

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2 cups rye whiskey1 cup sweet (Italian) vermouth2 teaspoons Angostura bitters12 orange twists12 maraschino cherries

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir gently.

2. Funnel mixture into a clean 750-milliliter bottle, leaving an inch of headroom at top of bottle; seal with a cork or cap. Store in refrigerator or in a cool, dark place for long aging.

3. To make 1 cocktail, pour 2 ounces whiskey mixture into a pint glass filled with ice. Stir rapidly for 20 to 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass or tumbler filled with ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry.

SERVES 12 (serving size: about 2 ounces)CALORIES 128; FAT 0g; PROTEIN 0g; CARB 5g; FIBER 0g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 2mg; CALC 4mg

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How to Make Simple Syrup

The beauty of simple syrup is that it really is simple, requiring only two ingredients: sugar and water.

A friend of mine recently called me from the grocery store as she was standing in the cocktail mixer section.

&ldquoIsn&rsquot this where I find the simple syrup?&rdquo she asked.

I was stumped for a moment. It never dawned on me that people bought simple syrup.

&ldquoYou don&rsquot need to buy simple syrup,&rdquo I told her. &ldquoJust grab a bag of sugar and make your own.&rdquo

&ldquoOh, I can&rsquot,&rdquo she quickly stated. &ldquoI need rosemary simple syrup for a cocktail recipe. I can&rsquot find it anywhere so I guess I&rsquom going to have to rush-order it!&rdquo

&ldquoWhat?! Just buy a bag of sugar and a sprig of rosemary and MAKE YOUR OWN,&rdquo I said with a chuckle. This friend of mine is always calling me from the grocery store.

The beauty of simple syrup (or sugar syrup, as some call it) is that it&rsquos simple, requiring only two ingredients in equal portions: sugar and water.

The mixture needs to be heated so the sugar dissolves into the water. Allow the syrup time to cool and you have classic simple syrup to use in cocktails and all sorts of sweet summer beverages.

You can also make your own flavored simple syrup, as I mentioned to my friend, by adding herbs, spices, or even citrus rind to the hot simple syrup. If you add the additional ingredient(s) the moment the sugar dissolves and leave it there until it cools, the add-in ingredients will steep in the hot liquid, infusing flavor.

We make all sorts of simple syrups throughout the year. Try fresh herbaceous syrups with garden basil, mint, and thyme for fruity cocktails with a little wow-factor, spicy simple syrups with cinnamon sticks or cloves for fall and winter cocktails, or vanilla bean simple syrup for an extra punch of flavor anytime of year!

You can keep basic simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks, or 1-2 weeks for flavored simple syrups.

Pour equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan. Remember, the sugar dissolves into the water, so 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water will not equal 2 cups of simple syrup. It&rsquos more like 1 ½ cups simple syrup once dissolved. Adjust your measurements as needed.

Heat the ingredients until dissolved. Stir the simple syrup and place the saucepan over medium heat. By the time the edges start to simmer, the liquid should be completely clear, not cloudy. Immediately remove from the heat source.

Add flavor. If you are making infused simple syrups, this is the time to add the extra ingredients. Stir them into the syrup right as it comes off the burner and cover to allow the simple syrup to steep.

You can make various flavored batches of simple syrup by pouring the liquid into jars with different ingredients. Cover the jars with the lids while steeping.

Once the simple syrup is cool, remove the additional ingredients. Leaving mint leaves or citrus rind in the simple syrup long-term will only shorten its shelf life. If you&rsquore creating a cocktail bar, you can always garnish the simple syrups later with another cinnamon stick or sprig of rosemary.

Keep it cold. Store the simple syrup in an airtight container, in the fridge, until ready to use. As mentioned above, basic simple syrup can stay fresh up to 4 weeks, however flavor simple syrups need to be used within a week or two.

Be creative! This is your chance to play mixologist. Make your favorite classic cocktails fresh and new by adding infused simple syrup variations.

Consider adding: vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, peppercorns, fresh or dried chiles, various citrus rinds like grapefruit or lime, fresh garden herbs, or even edible flowers like lavender or rose petals.

27 Autumnal Cocktails Perfect for the Crisp Days of Fall

Grab a sweater, sit on the porch, and sip on an autumnal treat.

There's just something about when the leaves start turning and there's a crisp breeze in the air that makes one want to throw on a nubby sweater and sit by the fire&mdashpreferably with a cocktail in hand. Whether you fancy a classic apple cider based beverage (nothing says "fall" quite like a sweet whiff of apples and cinnamon), or fancy a tequila tipple, we've pulled together incredible recipes for autumn cocktails that will have you covered for every weekend of the best season of the year.

From timeless options such as revamped Manhattans to updated, good ole' old fashioned, these recipes that will carry you through the autumn, well into winter. Grab a partner by the fire, it's sure to be cozy!


2 oz Alibi Gin
.25 oz lemon juice
Agave nectar, to taste
Sparkling apple cider
Garnished with thyme and apple


Pour gin in shaker, add lemon juice and agave nectar, shake, and then pour into a high ball glass and top with sparkling cider. Garnish with fresh thyme and an apple slice.


2 oz rye whiskey
.25 oz pure maple syrup (grade A Amber is recommended. For a richer version try grade B)
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Orange twist with scorched orange oil


Add all ingredients to an old fashioned glass with a large piece of ice. Stir thoroughly. Release the oils from the orange zest through a flaming wood pick over the surface of the drink and serve.

From Water Grill in Southern California


2 oz pear brandy
2 oz pear nectar or fresh pear juice
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
1 pear slice
1 egg white (optional)


Combine pear brandy, pear nectar, lemon juice and simple syrup into cocktail shaker with ice. (If including egg white, add with this step.) Shake and mix well. If egg white was added, be sure to shake vigorously. Strain into martini or coupe glass. Garnish with pear slice.

Christmas Margarita

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Holding nothing back, this Christmas margarita is sure to delight any tequila lover's fancy with its layers of flavor. It begins with the typical margarita base of tequila, lime, and orange liqueur. When you add coconut milk and white cranberry juice and go all out with seasonal garnishes (try homemade sugared cranberries), it really becomes a thing of wonder.


In my opinion, I think that freezing a spirit-driven cocktail might just work. You will need to wait a bit and add a dash or two of bitters to kick up the flavor (or maybe start with more bitters at the beginning?) I’d say it’s about a 9 out of 10.

The Daiquiri, on the other hand, is probably closer to a 7 or 8. It tasted fine, but it’s definitely not the best daiquiri I’ve ever had. I could see adding a bit of citrus juice or spritzing with lime oil to kick up the flavor a notch – but again, that defeats the purpose of making “freezer ready” cocktails to start with!


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