Party in a bottle

Batch the cocktails for your next gathering, and you can be part of the fun, too

Bottling cocktails for your next social event makes for impressive presentation—and it’s much easier than you might think. Dan Toulgoet photo

Let’s face it: Making cocktails for a crowd is quite easy, but executing multiple different drinks over and over can be a tedious chore, especially when you want to enjoy the fun, too. The solution? Bottle these crowd pleasers in advance of your next party or backyard barbecue.

Your guests will be blown away with your attention to detail and this fun way of serving iconic cocktails.

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Big-Batch Negroni

Justin Taylor’s big-batch Negroni. Dan Toulgoet photo

Free up your party time by bottling up these Negronis in advance of your next party. Once bottled and properly sealed, these will keep for about one month. 

• 2 cups gin
• 2 cups Campari
• 2 cups sweet vermouth
• 2 cups water

Combine ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir, pour into small bottles, seal, label and refrigerate or stash in ice.

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There are 74 places to celebrate Negroni Week in Vancouver

Negroni. Istock photo

Every year during the first full week of June, bars and restaurants around the world pay tribute to the classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni, during a popular annual event known, fittingly, as Negroni Week.

The elegant aperitif is traditionally made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, and is garnished with orange peel.

However, for Negroni Week, participating venues offer up their own renditions, available to customers with proceeds going to a charity of choice.

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Blood Orange Negroni

The Blood Orange Negroni by Justin Taylor. Talia Kleinplatz photo.

1 oz London dry gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
3 oz freshly squeezed blood orange
2 cups of cubed ice

Add all ingredients to a blender, leaving the cubed ice until last. Put the lid on and blend on the lowest setting. Slowly increase the speed until the desired texture is reached. Pour into double Old Fashioned glasses. Garnish with a fresh rosemary and a straw, or maybe even a spoon. Serves 2.

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Return to blender

The cacophony of spinning blades is usually the sign of an inferior cocktail — but bartenders are now seeing the gadget’s potential

Talia Kleinplatz photo

Once a derided device of the past, the blender is slowly finding its way back into cocktail bars around the globe.

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Watermelon Negroni

Josh Pape’s Watermelon Negroni. Contributed photo

This refreshing summertime recipe from Josh Pape at Wildebeest balances the bitterness of Campari with a splash of simple syrup, which keeps the texture consistent. It’s designed for one portion; if you’re serving more, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings. But remember, you’ll also need about 1 cup (250 mL) ice per serving, so make sure everything fits into your blender.

• 0.75 oz (20 mL) Beefeater gin
• 0.75 oz (20 mL) Campari
• 0.75 oz (20 mL) Cinzano Rosso
• 0.5 oz (15 mL) simple syrup (see note)
• 3 x 1.5-inch (3 cm) cubes of watermelon

Place ½ cup (125 mL) cracked ice into the blender with the watermelon and simple syrup. Blend until smooth.

Add the other ingredients and another ½ cup (125 mL) of ice. Blend for 45 seconds and pour into a fancy glass (or a plastic cup).

Garnish with a slice of watermelon. Serves 1.

—By Josh Pape

Slush fun with frozen cocktails

The Wildebeest Slurpee. Contributed photo

Who hasn’t wasted a hot summer afternoon knocking back frozen margaritas on a sunny patio somewhere? It’s almost a rite of passage. But it isn’t, generally speaking, a quality drinking experience.

Or at least it didn’t used to be.

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Bittersweet symphony

The latest twist in the tale of the Negroni

Classic, White or Boulevardier­—a Negroni is a sexy, sophisticated drink. Alexa Mazzarello photo

For a drink so simple, the Negroni is one impressively complicated cocktail.

It contains only three ingredients—equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari—but those three ingredients comprise a world of flavours and aromas: bitter, sweet, citrus, floral, herbal, spicy, medicinal. It has a sexy backstory, except that it isn’t true.

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