We’re living in somewhat of a golden era of cocktails. The supply of spirits for these drinks are plentiful, even absurdly so (what’s that you say? You’ve got a new gin?); a rookie bartender’s cocktail knowledge often equals that of a bartender 10 years their senior from back in the day; and punters, more than ever, are putting down their squalid, sweetened alcohol delivery systems of years past and are ordering proper drinks in ever-growing proportions.
So, with all these customers demanding all these drinks from all these bottles of booze on the back bar, smart bartenders are simplifying their service — and batching their booze.
“The main reasons,” says The Gresham’s Ryan Lane, “being speed of service and consistency.”
“Those pesky five to 10 ingredient drinks take up a lot of time if you’re picking up every bottle and pouring, and never mind the fact that the bar’s five deep and you’re a bit flustered and over-pour here and there. Across four to six bartenders night after night, consistency will be right out of whack,” he says.
Merivale’s Petr Dvoracek — who has kindly lent his skills to us here for the There Dots & A Dash recipe — agrees with Lane: “speed and consistency are the reasons we do it,” he says.
Across the country, bars are pumping out cocktails of the highest standard thanks to batching, but one of the arguments against it has come from some bartenders who think of it as the less-romantic, easy way out. The thinking goes that, what do you need the bartender for if not to compound the cocktail before the customer?
The Garden State Hotel’s Kevin Peters initially shared this concern.
“I remember the first bar I used batching at was Bathtub Gin NYC,” he says.
“I remember walking into the bar and seeing that we batched all of our ingredients — spirits, juices, syrups, bitters and all and I thought they were crazy!”
In the end, however, Peters was won over by the simplified service in a super busy bar.
“By the end of my first shift I jokingly kissed the batch bottles because I never would have been able to keep up with making the drinks from scratch as we were that busy!” he says.
Three Dots & A Dash recipe
- 30ml rhum agricole
- 30ml Guyana rum
- 15ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao.
- 15ml MONIN Falernum
- 15ml MONIN Lemon, Ginger & Honey Syrup
- 7.5ml pimento dram
- 10ml lime juice
- 3 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain over crushed ice in a tall glass.
This recipe is for a single serve, but we’ve batched the rums, pimento dram, and bitters together for speed. The syrups haven’t been batched; that way, when you add the juices, you can still adjust the sweetness for balance.
Notes on Ingredients
- If you’re thinking tiki, you’ll need Monin’s Falernum. It’s a mix of spices, lime and almond, and is a staple ingredient in many tiki drinks. It’s also featured in fine classic cocktails like The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the Corn & Oil.
- Lemon, ginger and honey has long been a remedy for when cold weather hits and you feel a little worse for wear. We’ve used it here as a substitute for honey syrup — it gives a hint of zesty lemon and spicy ginger ot the drink.
- All Monin syrups are made using pure cane sugar — none of that high-fructose corn syrup here — and offer a concentrated dose of flavour to add an extra dimension to drinks.