Food and Drink

How to Properly Batch Cocktails For Your Next Party

This champagne-tequila cocktail is the perfect welcome drink.

Photos by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso
Photos by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso
Photos by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso

Hosting parties is stressful. We can’t be the only ones who immediately regret the idea as soon as we send out invitations, right? You’ve got to anxiously clean your house, buy and make a ton of food, and pretend you’re sophisticated for the evening by offering your guests more than just boxed wine and light beer.That’s where Death & Co‘s new cocktail book Welcome Home can really come in handy. This is the third book from the staff of the innovative cocktail bar, which opened in Manhattan’s East Village in 2006 and now has locations in Denver and Los Angeles. This installment focuses on home bartending, offering tips and tricks to take our at-home drinks to the next level.

“It’s almost like we wrote this in the middle of a pandemic,” laughs Alex Day, who co-wrote the book with Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan. “Technically speaking, the martini you make at home could be the same on paper, but you lose things that make a bar magical in so many ways. We peel back those layers and share some of the tricks and reasons why a drink at a bar might subconsciously feel next level.”The first three chapters of Welcome Home chronicle how exactly a bar like Death & Co came to be, from preparing a space to hiring talent to developing cocktail menus. Nice touches include stellar photography from Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso and thoughtful essays from regulars.

The fourth chapter gets more personal-with tips on how to build a home bar, recipes for hundreds of cocktails depending on your mood, and tutorials including how to properly batch cocktails for a crowd. Batching is basically a fancy term for making cocktails in advance in bulk.”Really it’s like mise en place in a kitchen. You can prep some of your ingredients beforehand so your assembly is quicker,” Day says. “Batching is fundamental at all our bars. Sometimes it’s batching small amounts together-like amaro, a fortified wine, and a spirit-all the way up to thousands of fully batched cocktails for a big event.”You might be wondering how hard it is to just increase a recipe tenfold for a larger crowd, but batching requires a bit more nuance. For certain ingredients that Day considers the “seasoning” of drinks-like bitters, absinthe, and acids-you don’t scale it exactly in line with everything else, you actually cut it in half from that scaled amount. They would be too intense in larger quantities. Also, ingredients that lose their luster or are even perishable, like bubbles and citrus, should only be added later and not prepared beforehand.A good example from the book is Lady Stardust, which was developed by New York bartender Tim Miner in 2019. The celebratory cocktail is an ideal welcome drink and can be partially batched beforehand. Two days prior, you combine and refrigerate tequila, amaro, and strawberry syrup; eight hours before guests arrive, you add lemon juice; and when you serve, you can shake, strain, and pour the cocktail before topping each with champagne.

“Nothing better than doing a live champagne top-off for people,” Day says. “The perception to guests is that-voila-you came up with this drink in a couple of minutes. You can tap into what people really love about cocktails, and that is the theater of the whole thing.”Day shares a few tips to consider during the process. In the book, the writers “get real nerdy with it” and use a centrifuge to make the strawberry syrup, but using a blender to combine the strawberries and sugar is just fine. He also advises to make sure you’re using enough ice (to the brim!) in your cocktail shaker and to keep your champagne equally as cold. “Bubbles don’t like warm temperatures,” he says. “Get it ripping cold so your drink is nice and frothy.”

Sure, these at-home drinks might not be an exact carbon copy of the cocktail bar experience we all miss-dim lighting, music at the perfect volume, the smooth bartop feel, and the randomly compelling conversation of a stranger. But Day hopes that these tips and recipes will be the next best thing.

“Anyone who’s cooked a really extravagant feast for the holidays and wasn’t prepared beforehand knows they went down in flames,” he says, adding that he already has spreadsheets going for his Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. “Planning ahead a bit affords us at-home hosts some luxuries. Because you’re supposed to have fun, too.”

Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso
Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso
Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso

Lady Stardust Cocktail Recipe

Advance prep (up to 2 days beforehand): Batching, syrup preparation
Last-minute prep (up to 8 hours beforehand): Citrus juicing, final batching

Ingredients:
• 1 ounce Siembra Valles Ancestral tequila➝6 ounces
• ½ ounce amaro Zucca➝3 ounces
• ¾ ounce strawberry syrup (1:1 hulled strawberries to unbleached cane sugar)➝4½ ounces (prep and refrigerate until ready)
• ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice➝4½ ounces (prep and refrigerate until ready)
• 2 ounces cold champagne➝12 ouncesDirections:
1. Make the batch up to 2 days in advance: combine the tequila, amaro, strawberry syrup, and lemon juice in a 1-liter bottle. Seal and shake briefly to mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. When ready to serve, add 9 ounces of batch to each shaker tin.
3. Before shaking, add 2 ounces of champagne to each flute.
4. Shake the batch with ice and double strain, distributing the drink evenly among the six flute glasses.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Jess Mayhugh is the editorial director of Food & Drink for Thrillist, and is grateful to have her holiday party cocktail already figured out. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Food and Drink

How Talking Terps Has Influenced Cannabis Hype Culture

The origins and optimism behind the cannabis brand that sells out drops within minutes. Canabis...

Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain

Many cannabis brands describe themselves as “lifestyle brands” and “cultural disruptors.” Few of them actually impact lifestyles or broader cultural trends. Only one of them has figurines up on Stock X right now.

“For OG Terp Crawford to be featured amongst Nike, Jordans, Supreme, BAPE, and PS5s is really sick,” says Hope Lord, co-founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Talking Terps. “Stock X is not taking everyone who makes a toy and putting it up there.”Between their psychedelic graphics, cannabis-adjacent accessories, and famous OG Terp Crawford figurine, Talking Terps has established a cult following amongst cannabis enthusiasts, hypebeasts, and beyond. On paper, it’s a lifestyle brand interested in both cannabis and psychedelics. In action, Talking Terps is an alternative universe that bridges the gaps between toy culture, cannabis culture, psychedelic culture, and American pop culture.

The brand was established as a concept in 2015 by Leor Feit aka Hope Lord, Flatbush Zombies member Antonio Lewis aka Zombie Juice, and Flatbush Zombies spiritual adviser Phil Annand aka PTA Haiti 3000. One year later, the phrase “talking terps” popped in a Flatbush Zombies song, referring to terpenes, a compound found in cannabis.

“We had a show at Red Rocks in Colorado,” Lord recalls. “I had a friend that was part of Blue River Terpenes who brought us the first sample of cannabis-derived terpenes. Then Juice and Erick made a song with it in the chorus.”

Talking Terps
Talking Terps
Talking Terps

Once Talking Terps emerged as a phrase, the graphics, accessories, apparel, events, and, of course, toys were soon to follow. By 2017, the phrase was spotted on one of Snoop Dogg’s t-shirts. In 2019, the concept of Terp Crawford was born, launching the brand towards the collectible toy game.

While the first Terp Crawford was technically a plush pillow, the first toy-named OG Terp Crawford-came in March 2020. The 6-inch tall vinyl sculpture of a humanized weed nug with a joint in his hand and a smile on his face is meant to embody everything Hope, Juice and PTA stand for.

“Our message is to love each other and be happy,” Lord says. “Tread lightly and disrupt nothing.”OG Terp Crawford drops sell out in actual seconds and resell on sites like Stock X for over double their retail price. More than a simple toy, he’s a figure that Talking Terps hopes will evolve into a full-on cartoon character.

“As time goes, the idea for Terp Crawford is for him to be a Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny type figure from our world that can cross over,” Lord says. “There should be no reason one day that Terp Crawford’s not throwing a football in some skit on Monday Night Football.”

That’s not just a high aspiration-the team is currently working with 3 Hearts Entertainment to develop a TV show around him. The goal is for Terp Crawford to go global and for Talking Terps to go meta. With their vast graphic library and club of TT enthusiasts, virtual collectibles like NFTs only make sense (though the team can’t let the terp out of the hat just yet).

“I can see Terp Crawford in Japan, speaking in Japanese on TV,” Lord muses. “Once we take him somewhere else, we could do big sculptures, like at KAWS level, maybe. I think we’ll get a TV show. I can’t speak too much on what we’re working on for the metaverse, but it’s got a lot of components. I can say that we’re building a whole new platform called the meta-forest.”

It’s safe to say there will be a sold-out waitlist to get into that forest.
Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat!

Danté Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture and education. Follow him on Instagram.

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