Party Cocktail Question
I wanted to pre-make a cocktail for a party and serve it in a large beverage dispenser. I found this cosmo recipe and wondered if anyone had a thought whether it needed the step of shaking it with ice or I could skip it and just serve ice with it? http://www.food.com/recipe/cosmo-de-s...
Also: I'm a bit wary of any recipe that calls for the juice of "one lime wedge." Depending on the variety of limes, how fresh they are, how the wedges are cut, and how you squeeze them, that leaves a HUGE amount of variability. Make a few test drinks and dial in exact volume ratios before you make your large batch.
... and in my humble opinion you should keep the juice fresh, not prefab.
Bonnie, I think you could do better than that recipe. First, guava and cranberry are not available fresh. Even with fresh lime juice, this is going to taste like spiked fruit juice -- kind of a "hey girls, let's get smashed" kind of drink. If this is actually what you want, stop reading now. ;)
A classic Daiquiri (rum, lime, sugar syrup) is sublime. Or a Pegu Club (gin, orange liqueur (usually Cointreau), lime, bitters). Both have a more interesting base spirit, will be less sweet, and will be appreciated by experienced and inexperienced drinkers alike.
If your beverage dispenser isn't refrigerated, then don't add ice. Put ice in the each glass and stir each one. If the dispenser is refrigerated, you should probably add a little water or ice so that the drink won't be too strong when it's served over ice.
Alternatively, you could go with a punch recipe. Punches are generally lower in alcohol and served with a large piece of piece in the bowl (or dispenser in your case). I'm not a huge punch fan, but if you're interested.lots of people here can give you quality recipes that aren't full of soda pop and canned juices. Some punch recipes are a bit involved, though.
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I did a huge (5-gallon) batch of mojitos years ago for a party (similar and different all at the same time) and put it in a very large beverage dispenser, just like you are planning.
It turned out great and was a huge hit. People still talk about it years later. I didn't shake it, just made it "full strength" and served it over ice.
I also think for a large party it is well worth the convenience of having a pre-made cocktail - go for it!
I would probably pass on mojitos for a pre made drink, they need mint to be muddled in each drink, preferably with coarse sugar to extract more of the mint, and they need club soda on top of the drink each time a guest pours one - they are probably more labor intensive than you are looking for
Dan's suggestions are very good and both of those drinks are great - the daquri with Banks 5 Island Rum would be very good
I will leave it for someone more knowledgable than me about gin's for a suggestion of gin type for Pegu Club
Personally I prefer to make a quick fresh mint syrup for my mojitos; no on-the-spot muddling and no little green flecks floating around in the drink. I muddle a bunch of mint with orgeat and then strain it. Totally not traditional, especially given the orgeat, but it works nicely, in my opinion, and can easily be batched.
The syrup can be mixed with the rum and strained lime juice. That mixture can easily survive sitting out over the course of a party. At full strength a few ounces of the mix, plus ice and maybe four ounces of club soda, makes a pretty decent drink.
Each drink can be garnished with a mint sprig and maybe a wedge of lime to keep the "fresh" look and feel...
By the way, 5 gallons of mojito!!! Wow. That must have been a good party. Maybe not such a great morning after.
For a Pegu and most other classic cocktail mixing my first choice London Dry gin is usually Bombay (white label / red cap). It's a straightforward, quality gin, just assertive enough to keep its character in the drink, and quite affordable.
There was a big discussion here...
...on pre-making mojitos. I tend to think it's OK. Your solution may be not to invite the 5% of cocktail nerds who can tell the difference from sense memory (kidding! hmm, but maybe not...).
I think my method is in that thread. I've done something similar for gin gin mules also.