{news} Sin Tax Serves – Batch Cocktails Makes Cents

March 12, 2024

With the recent budget announcements of sin tax increases on alcohol (R5.53 on each bottle of spirits for starters) serving cocktails at parties, braais or sundowners with friends just got more expensive. But there’s no need to give up on your Negronis and Old Fashioneds. Batch cocktails are an easy way of entertaining that can save you money, time and stress when done right. One dash of good news is that ANGOSTURA® bitters doesn’t fall under the alcohol tax band, so that essential ingredient of so many classic cocktails is budget-proof.

A big money-saving advantage of serving batch cocktails is that there is less wastage. Measuring precisely in pre-party calm, you can dole out the exact quantities you need, stir up your cocktail and chill ready to pour later. No spillage, no need for random mixology mid-party (when remembering the right ratios somehow gets harder… and someone has relocated the gin bottle to the garden), and perfectly consistent serves.

Choosing one or two batch cocktails as the drinks theme for the evening also means you can focus your booze budget on just one or two good quality bottles, without the need to bolster your home bar with a multitude of different liqueurs, spirits and mixers to cater for every whim. Choosing the right cocktail to batch is key. Simplicity rules. Avoid intricate cocktails that demand small amounts of several different niche liqueurs (those bottles will be haunting you for years to come).

Here are a few batch-friendly suggestions to cover every cocktail-worthy occasion.

Sophisticated sundowners

A good Old Fashioned is one of the easiest cocktails to batch and make ahead and is a sophisticated spirit-forward sipper that the cocktail cognoscenti love. The straightforward combination of bourbon (or rye) whiskey, ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, simple syrup and water keeps well once mixed for a week or more (affordability tip: simple syrup is easy to make yourself). You can use the same method for a Negroni too (equal parts Campari, gin and vermouth).

The standard advice for batching is to multiply the individual cocktail recipe by 8 and add a half cup of water to make up the optimum dilution it would normally get from being stirred with melting ice. Using a funnel to avoid spills, mix it into a big glass bottle with a flip lid. Taste and add more of an ingredient if needed.

Once bottled it’s easily portable too, ideal if you’re heading to a scenic viewpoint to watch the sun go down. Take along plenty of ice to pour it over, orange slices for garnish and you’re all set.

Late summer garden parties and braais

When it comes to affordability and easy-drinking freshness, wine cocktails are having a moment. Syrup- or fruit-embellished spritzers, white wine mojitos and Sangria… yup, Sangria can be way more than the cliche stickily sweet alcoholic fruit salad that gave it a bad name (along with bad hangovers) in the ‘80s, and it works well as a make-ahead batch cocktail.

The secret is in the wine you use (a fruity merlot is ideal), the addition of an orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Triple Sec (use fresh orange juice or soda water to dilute if you want a lower-ABV version) and, for depth of flavour and layered interest, the judicious addition of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters.  Slice in some oranges and chill the jug or punch bowl in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Chic pre-dinner drinks

Not so much a batch cocktail as one that’s easy to prep ahead of time and pour as guests arrive is the classic champagne cocktail. It’s got all the glitz and elegance of bubbles, the sophisticated spice of ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, and you can make it with your favourite sparkling wine or prosecco for affordability. Simply line up your champagne glasses, place a sugar cube (or a teaspoon of sugar) in each and shake 3-5 dashes of ANGOSTURA®   bitters onto each sugar cube. Add an orange twist as garnish.  Do this prep in advance, then pour chilled sparkling wine into the glass as each guest arrives.

Cheers to celebrating with friends without breaking the bank, whatever the occasion!

For more information on the ANGOSTURA® range and delicious food and cocktail recipes please visit www.angosturabitters.com.

Follow Angostura South Africa on Facebook Angostura South Africa and Instagram @AngosturaZA for fun facts, recipes and brand updates.

Content and images supplied.


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