How to Make Martinis in a Batch for a Martini Party

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How to Make Martinis in a Batch for a Martini Party

I've had many of you ask me how you can make enough martinis for a large group or a party. Making multiple drinks at once is called batching and it's the best way to prepare for a cocktail party. Making my Designer Martinis is a little more than tossing some alcohol and mixer in a glass or pitcher but you can batch most martini recipes just like any other cocktail with a little bit of planning!

SO SET 'EM UP JOE, I got a little prep work I want you to know.

My Designer Martinis are a unique breed of cocktail - half the fun comes in the use of the shaker, martini or cocktail pick and, most importantly, the martini glass. Be prepared and have several martini shakers and martini picks on hand and enough martini glasses for your guests. Also have a good supply of ice cubes (not crushed ice!) Presentation and fun is as much a part of a martini as the ingredients. Without the proper glass, rimming, garnishes and flair of the shaker it's just another boring cocktail!

You can find really nice, reasonably priced cocktail shakers almost everywhere now so buy several, rinsing them out between each martini. Glass or stainless steel shakers are always preferable for martinis because plastic can absorb flavors from previous martinis over time, plastic doesn't conduct the cold as well either.

Use real glass glasses! Plastic martini glasses are more practical but they simply don't have the same class as glass. You'll also find that plastic martini glasses are more difficult to rim! A true Martini Master will provide a fresh glass and martini pick with each new cocktail so have 2 to 3 of each available per guest.

Martini picks - if the recipe calls for you to skewer your garnish - can be wooden or plastic and those come in packages of 20, 50 and 100.

If you don't have the cash or courage to use multiple shakers and martini glasses then go ahead and use plastic glasses and pour your drink out of a pitcher BUT call it a cocktail party - it's not a Martini party! Yes, you can still use my martini recipes, after all a martini is a cocktail too! Remember, Martinis are the Happy Hour symbol of style and elegance - take that away and it's not a Martini anymore!

It's not just a cocktail, darling. It's a MARTINI!

Many of my martini recipes call for special touches like a rimmed glass, unique garnishes and special ingredients which can also be "batched" - or prepped - ahead of time. If you have everything already sliced and diced, rimmed and ready, then you'll be the host or hostess with the mostest - organized, calm, cool and very much the martini master!

INGREDIENTS: Obviously you want to make sure you have enough of the ingredients on hand. Check the recipes and assume two drinks per guest then take the time to multiply the recipe ingredients for this amount. If my recipe states "parts" as opposed to ounces simply count each "part" as an ounce. It's always wise to have more of each ingredient on hand than you need, sometimes extra guests show up, sometimes spillage occurs and sometimes people just drink more than one or two cocktails. I also recommend that you have a non-alcoholic version of the martini recipe available.

GARNISHES: If your recipe calls for fruit, olives or veggie garnishes then prep (pre-slice, freeze, etc) enough for at least 2 to 3 cocktails per person, place these in a nice bowl or container and keep refrigerated. Other garnishes like candy, etcetera can be put in another container and covered but not refrigerated. You can then spear the garnish, attach it to the rim or drop it in at the time you serve the martini.

RIMMING: If the martini recipe you choose calls for rimming the glass then do this ahead of time if you want. Then either place all the glasses in your freezer (wow, you must have a big freezer!), or chill each glass at the "bar" as you serve them using the directions below. (Yes, you can rim a plastic glass but the plastic rims are often too thin or thicker than glass and you'll find they don't rim as well.)

CHILLING YOUR GLASSES: If your recipe calls for a rimmed glass it's always easier to rim the glass first but you can quickly chill all martini glasses by placing them in the freezer until it's time to pour the martini and serve. If you have a small freezer area, you can chill a few at a time in the freezer and rotate as you use them. If you can't do this you can use the bartender trick of chilling your glass with ice cubes. Keep in mind that at a party you will have already pre-mixed your main martini ingredients and prepped garnishes so this method doesn't effectively chill the glass unless you line up several glasses and fill them with ice a few minutes ahead of time, then set them aside until you need them.

If your glass has been rimmed ahead of time you have to be a bit more careful with this method so the ice won't wet or damage your rimmer. Have your fresh ice nearby in an ice bucket and, if you don't have a wet bar with a sink, have an empty container to toss the used ice into when you're ready to pour the martini. Please don't reuse this ice in your shaker - tacky, tacky, tacky!

One for My Baby and NOT One For The Road - Mixing the Martinis

NON DAIRY MARTINIS: For martinis that don't use cream, milk or half & half in their recipes you can simply multiply the single martini recipe by 2 to 2.5 times the number of guests you will be having. Pour this into large GLASS pitchers, cover and refrigerate. Then when you're ready to start making a martinis put your pitcher on your bar area in a bucket/bowl of ice to keep it chilled. When your guest comes up for a martini, pour about 1/2 - 2/3 cup (depending on the size of your martini glasses) into a chilled martini shaker with your nice, filtered ice cubes and shake until the shaker frosts over, then pour into your chilled martini glass, garnish and serve!

DAIRY MARTINIS: If your recipe does have cream or milk in it then you will have to measure this per drink. Sorry, but dairy products and alcohol just don't batch well. Be sure to keep your milk or cream chilled - place it in a glass pitcher and in a bucket/bowl of ice. You can mix up your other ingredients in a batch, calculate their portion of the martini to the cream then add the cream's portion to the shaker along with your batched mix and proceed to shake, garnish and serve.

"MUDDLED" MARTINIS: Some of my favorite martini recipes call for "muddling" certain ingredients in the shaker before adding the alcohol and mixers. Muddling is simply a process of smashing certain elements of your martini together - usually an herb leaf or fruit, sugar and or lemon or lime. You can batch this too! Again, you have to multiply the ingredients for your guest numbers. Then I suggest you figure out how much these elements constitute in proportion to one martini - it's usually in teaspoon to tablespoon ranges. You can then pre-muddle (is that a word?) these ingredients, keep them chilled (glass bowl in ice) and then measure this into the martini shaker before the ice, shake quickly, add your other martini elements then shake again until your martini is chilled.

So, Here's To Your Cheer, I Hope You Didn't Mind My Bendin' Your Ear

You're now organized and Martini-ized and ready to enjoy your own Designer Martini Party. You can choose two or three different of my martini recipes if you'd like. To make it fun you could decorate 2 or 3 separate areas of your bar to match each martini flavor! Toss some chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles on top of a chocolate brown scarf and set your shakers, glasses & ingredients around in matching containers. Lemon and yellow for Lemon Drop Martinis, grape tomatoes and red for tomato based martinis, etcetera. Print out my martini recipe card for each martini you serve and set it up in that area - heck, print up a pile of them and use them as invitations for the party! Have a little fun with it - that's what my Designer Martinis are all about!


Updated 8-2016

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