There’s plenty to think about when you’re hosting a party, from curating the perfect guest list (and playlist) to ensuring that you have enough food and drinks for your attendees. Of course, you want ample time for mingling with your guests, a goal that can be derailed if you’re playing bartender all night. That’s where batched cocktails come in; rather than getting stuck behind a bar stirring cocktail after individual cocktail, you can make a batch ahead of time and let guests serve themselves.
One such large-format drink comes from bartender Sean Hoard, the co-owner of The Commissary in Portland, Oregon, a wholesale shop for high-quality bar mixes and juices. Perfect for a game day libation, the Kitchen Sink combines apple brandy, tequila and lager for a bright, crisp punch. However, its appeal is also due to its flexibility, as you can include whichever ingredients you prefer. “The Kitchen Sink is a template,” says Hoard. “Feel free to substitute ingredients based on what you have lying around the house. If tequila isn’t your thing, try rye in its place. If you don’t have honey, make a two-to-one with maple syrup. Can’t have beer? Cider would taste great. If it sounds like it’ll taste good, chances are it will.”
If you do stick with the given recipe, you’ve still got options—there are numerous apple brandies out there, from West Coast distilleries like St. George Spirits and Clear Creek Distillery to Calvados from Normandy, France. It’s also up to you what tequila to use; since the drink includes brandy, beer, honey and lemon, it’s pretty forgiving when it comes to the tequila so long as you don’t use something too close to the bottom of the shelf.
The other benefit to the Kitchen Sink is that once you’ve batched it and served it in a punch bowl, your party guests can serve themselves and choose how much beer (or cider) they want to top their glass with. Some might go for something boozier, while others can enjoy something more like a strong Shandy. Either way, you’re free to join the party rather than get stuck behind the bar.
- 12 ounces apple brandy
- 12 ounces reposado tequila
- 9 ounce honey syrup*
- 9 ounces lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 6-pack of lager, chilled
- Garnish: orange peel
- Garnish: orange wheel
- Garnish: lemon peel
- Garnish: grated nutmeg
Add the apple brandy, reposado tequila, honey syrup, lemon juice and 9 ounces water into a large container and stir. Taste for balance.
Pour into a large bowl with ice.
Top with beer to taste.
Garnish with orange peels, orange wheels, lemon wheels and grated nutmeg.
To serve, pour into a rocks glass over ice, and top with more beer.
*Honey syrup: Add 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until blended. Strain into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator.