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Which gin should I use for batching martinis?


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I am having my book club to the house this weekend and we have decided cocktails are the way to go. I am doing the drinks and they will bring food. I am going to batch mix the Manhattans and Martinis as the will probably be the most popular. I have my Manhattan down but am not sure on the martini. My friends are all confirmed gin lovers but most are only familiar with Hendricks or Bombay. I have the following and wondered which to go with. Hendricks, Monkey 47, Bulldog, St George Botinavore, and Haymans Old Tom. I think the old Tom will be too sweet. My plan is to do a batch that will total about 5 Martinis so will use about 10 ounces of gin.

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Pick the one you like the best, or at least the one you think they'll like the best.  There's no objective answer, though the homework for coming to a subjective answer sounds like fun.  What vermouth are you using and at what ratio?

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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The only dry vermouth I have in the house is Dolin. I'm a Manhattan drinker so I have a bunch of sweet but only the one dry. Would love suggestions for another dry to have on hand for next time.

Here is the recipe I'm using. I got my batch Manhattan recipe from this same blog and love it so will go with this one first time out.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/12/martinis-for-a-crowd-gin-cocktail.html

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Excuse my ignorance but by batching do you mean having it all pre-mixed and stirred up front or merely having the gin and vermouth mixed and then stirring individual cocktails?

 

Because it doesn't seem to me that the former is a good idea and that the latter would save much effort. I think this would be a good application for a martini pitcher and just mix up a round at a time. Then you could compare a several gins. In that case I'd do a Bombay and something they aren't familiar with.

 

ETA: Welcome to the forum!

Edited by haresfur (log)

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Pre mixed and in labeled bottles. I mix up a day or two in advance and chill. The flavors meld very well and the cocktails are nice and cold. All I will need is glasses, a pitcher of ice water for chilling the glasses and garnishes. I have done this before and it works wonderfully. I'm no bartender so have to measure and check my work which means I'm ignoring my guests. This way I can get the most popular drinks done and keep serving!

These articles give a good explanation-

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/12/cocktail-101-how-to-make-cocktails-for-a-crowd-big-batches-martinis-margaritas-manhattans.html

http://food52.com/blog/10592-how-to-make-big-batch-cocktails

Edited by Annette Marron Holbrook (log)
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Yes, diluted as I won't have to stir to chill. I have also done this another way where I premix a large batch without the water and then add to my mixing glass with ice and stir and serve. I do this when I don't have enough time to chill the batch ahead of time.

I was just thinking about when I started doing this and realized it was for my book club. We did a group trip to the beach for a long weekend. We wanted to take drinks to the beach but glass is not allowed. So I mixed up a big batch of our drink of the weekend and then hauled cups, ice and the pitcher to the beach. This drink had club soda in it so I left that out of the batch as I was concerned about it. So we would pour the drink over ice and top with an ounce or so of club soda.

Edited by Annette Marron Holbrook (log)
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KC, last time I got the bottles out of the fridge about an hour before the party and submerged them in an ice bath. This actually got the manhattans too cold so won't do that bottle but will do the Martinis. I also put my glasses in the freezer at that point as well.

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An ice bath can get the cocktail to no colder than 32*F. A cocktail with room-temp ingredients stirred on wet (32*F) ice for 40 seconds or so can get to about 8-10 degrees F below freezing. A drink shaken for about 20 seconds will end up a little colder. This assumed a well-chilled (frozen) glass.

 

Drinks can get quite a bit colder than this by starting with ingredients from the freezer, by using cold ice (e.g. -10*F from a good home freezer), and/or by having higher-than-normal alcohol content. And then there's the whole LN2 thing.

 

Your ice-bath Manhattans were probably a significantly warmer than a craft cocktail bar would serve. Maybe your guest prefer warmer-than-average cocktails?

 

In a bar setting, there is a tradeoff between temperature and dilution. Given the constants of preparation (ice temp, ice wetness, shake vs stir, shake/stir time, chilled glassware), you can have one or the other. Often a drink will have a long stir not so much for temperature, but for a little more dilution.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Well all was a success. I took a few pics so will try to post later. Off to teach my usual Saturday morning obedience class.

Oh, and we did a gin tasting for fun. The Haymans Old Tom and the Monkey 47 were the favorites. The St George was interesting as everyone liked it as first taste but then quite a few changed their vote after a second taste. The Bulldog was everyone's least favorite as we all said it really had no discernible flavor. I ended up making quite a few Aviations as well, which was really fun.

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