A few weeks ago I got an Instagram message from an old regular of ours, who had some questions about making my famous Gallon of Margaritas recipe for Memorial Day. At one point in the conversation she said to me, and I quote: “Can I make a half batch of these because last year we had leftovers and I felt bad about dumping them in the sink“
I was, to put it simply, ashamed that I’d never shared with the world one of the simplest drink hacks I have always used at home: I store leftover batched cocktails in the freezer. Sometimes for years.
When you have a batched cocktail like a gallon of margaritas, or leftover punch, you’re only dealing with a pretty small amount of perishable product. Think about it, that margarita recipe? Only a third of it is made up of fresh juice. And pretty much most of the remainder is alcohol – a natural preservative.
Now, this does come with one small caveat, and it’s more of a lifehack than a warning, but you’ve got to crank your freezer down to its coldest setting. The great news is that this is going to improve your life in all areas: your frozen food will last longer, your ice cubes are going to be colder and therefore able to chill a drink more efficiently, and now you’re never going to dump a perfectly delicious cocktail down the drain ever again. Cold freezers are the best freezers, believe me.
And let me give you one other selling point: When you defrost your frozen cocktail either in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour, when it is ready to serve again you’re never going to be able to tell the difference. It simply has no discernible impact on the flavor of the drink, and anyone who tells you otherwise has never tried a fresh and a frozen drink side-by-side, or they’re completely full of shit.
In fact, when I’m batching cocktails I’ll often make a little extra and store them in two-person portions in my freezer. Just the other night I opened up a batch of mezcal margaritas from last summer and they were absolutely delicious.
So stop dumping drinks down the drain!