Here's How To Store Your Leftover Batch Cocktails

If you enjoy sharing a cocktail with friends, you've surely whipped up a few batched cocktail recipes. Having a container of pre-made cocktails is the way to make hosting easier and more enjoyable for everyone. How to handle any leftovers is always a party quandary, and that includes what to do with excess batched drinks. If you've made a mixture that's spirits-only, for example, a bottle of Negroni or Boulevardier, you have choices. Keeping the drink refrigerated in a sealed jar works just fine — you might even enjoy the way the drink mellows with bottle aging. You could also pop the bottle in the freezer if you've got the space. But for any batched drink with a perishable component, such as citrus or other fruit juice, or herbal ingredients, freezing is your best bet to keep the flavors fresh. 

Freezing a batched cocktail helps prevent the aromatic flavors from oxidizing, which can result in off tastes. Citrus juice at room temperature will eventually go rancid as its essential oils break apart, but the chill of the freezer and an air-tight bottle will keep your drink tasting like it was just made. For drinks without juices, the freezer creates a pleasingly cold pourable result. Cocktails with juice can get a bit icy — they benefit from a quick defrost when you're ready to sip.

How to store cocktails in your freezer and how long they'll last

Having a cocktail waiting in the freezer is a great gift to future you — 20 or 30 minutes of defrosting on the counter and a fresh garnish is all it takes to say cheers — or enjoy a bracingly icy sip if you prefer. The key is making sure your bottle or jar is well-sealed to keep out oxygen, which is what impacts the flavors. For that reason, it's best to put the leftover cocktail in the smallest container that will hold it to exclude extra air. A pint-sized mason jar works nicely for individual servings and can also be your drinking glass if you choose. 

The guideline for how long a frozen batched cocktail should be stored depends on the drink recipe. If there's no juice, a cocktail can be frozen for years. The botanical flavors of alcohols like gin and vermouth change and mellow over time, which is the basis for barrel aging and bottle conditioning of various spirits and mixes. Leftover drinks like margaritas or a fruity whiskey smash can be frozen for about a month before they lose their zing. The best way to revive those drinks is to give them a good shake after defrosting, and if they seem dull, add a new squeeze of citrus juice or a twist of peel to wake up the flavors. It might be worth making a larger batch of your next party drink to explore the future taste possibilities. You just might find your new favorite tipple!