Techniques

How to Bottle a Cocktail, in Photos

Bottled cocktails on a bar.
The bottled cocktail is exactly what it sounds like — the novelty beverage entails pouring, bottling and capping a cocktail of your choice, be it a mojito, mai tai or old fashioned, so you can reach for it at a later date. We show you the step-by-step process to creating bottled cocktails for your own future enjoyment. Photos by Wendy Rose Gould.

Though we'd never advocate forsaking the traditional cocktail — and whatever open vessel it comes housed in — we have noticed an uptick in a drink trend that has caught our attention.

We're talking about the bottled cocktail, which is exactly what it sounds like. This novelty beverage entails pouring, bottling and capping a cocktail of your choice, be it a mojito, mai tai or Old Fashioned, so you can reach for it at a later date. Consider the bottled cocktail the make-and-freeze version of your weekly lunches and dinners. Only they involve alcohol, which is way more fun.

In terms of a bar setting, bottled cocktails come in handy for several reasons. Take Liberty Market in Gilbert, Ariz., for example. They're not a full-fledged bar and prefer to place a greater emphasis on their food. However, they wanted to introduce bottled cocktails to their menu to give patrons more drink options. Their bottled cocktails — made bulk in advance — are ready to pour and garnish. In other words: no measuring-on-the-spot, no muddling, and no bartender required. That saves time, ensures all the drinks always taste the same, and helps their bartenders keep better control over their inventory.

We caught up with Patrick Hagerman, Liberty Market's bar manager, to get the rundown on how to make a bottled cocktail. This recipe is for one Moscow Mule. If you want to make more than one at a time, simply multiply the recipe.

A bottle with a funnel in it on a scale. Set your bottle on a scale and zero it out. Next, pour 2 oz. of your choice vodka into the bottle. A funnel will make this process a million times easier on you. Also, if you don't have a scale, you can use shot glasses.

Simple syrup being poured into a bottle. Next, add 1.5 ounces of ginger-infused simple syrup. A traditional Moscow Mule would entail muddling the ginger into the simple syrup, but Liberty Market makes their own infused syrups for bottled cocktails. Ginger syrup recipe: .25lb of ginger (peeled and sliced), 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water. Boil, simmer for 20 minutes and drain ginger.

Lime juice being poured into a bottle.Add .5 oz. of lime juice. Fresh is always better.

Club soda being poured into a bottled cocktail. To complete the cocktail, add 2 oz. of club soda. Hagerman recommends adding carbonated ingredients at the very end to minimize your loss of carbonation.

Using a cap machine to put caps onto bottles. Finally, cap your bottle and use a bottle capper to seal the contents. Light caps work best since they’re easier to label.

The cap on a bottle with "mule" written on it. Label and date your cap and consume within one to two weeks. Naturally, non-carbonated beverages last longer than carbonated drinks.

For a bottled mojito:

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz mint syrup
  • .5 oz water
  • 1 oz. lime juice

Mint syrup recipe: 1 cup fresh mint, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes, then strain the mint out.

For a bottled margarita:

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz gran gala or triple sec
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz lime juice
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