How to batch cocktails with Angostura aromatic bitters

Pre-prep is key for easy entertaining, especially for impressive drinks - opt for jugs of ready-mixed cocktails to get the party started.

Effortless entertaining comes down to the pre-prep, especially for impressive beverages.

Jugs of ready-mixed cocktails are a wonderfully easy way to get the party started. Make the most of the last of the summer days and host friends with an easy kick of style, perfect for a braai, garden party, or just a movie or games night in, spritzed up with fabulous cocktails. So, get out a pretty glass jug, an old-fashioned punch bowl, or even an extra-large Consol jar, and start mixing your drinks!

How far ahead to prep?

Spirit-forward cocktails, such as Old Fashioned and Manhattans with a dash or two of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters, keep really well and can easily be mixed up, poured into clean bottles and kept in fridge or freezer a few days (or more) in advance. These also work brilliantly as gifts – a prettily labelled bottle with pouring and garnish suggestions – what’s not to love!

The minute you introduce fresh fruits and citrus into the mix the time-frame changes. Citrus fruits need to be fresh to have that zesty kick (they oxidize to dullness over time), so are best squeezed on the day. Fruity rum punches, daiquiris and margaritas can still be prepped ahead of guests arriving, just plan hours rather than days in advance.

Any cocktails involving bubblies or sodas as mixers need to wait for the final mix as the guests arrive. There’s nothing sadder than a flat negroni sbagliato, a G&T that’s lost its sparkle, or a mimosa without a hint of bubbles. If you want to serve sparkling jugs of a favourite bubbly cocktail, prep the spirit base ahead of time and just add the bubbles at the last minute. Or get practicing so that you know the exact amount of the base to pour into each glass and top up with bubbles (and stir) as each guest arrives.

Less is sometimes more

When it comes to ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters a little goes a long way. The herb and spice aromas are powerful and tend to increase in potency with time. So when multiplying quantities from your favourite single cocktail recipe, you’ll need to adjust the equation for the ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters.

A rule of thumb: if you are multiplying by 8 for the spirits, start off multiplying by 4 for the bitters. Stir and taste. You may still need to add another measure or two, but go easy as you dash, and taste with each addition until you hit that magical sweet spot. If you’re prepping a few days ahead, rather taste and adjust on the day you’ll be serving.

Ice, ice, baby

Individual cocktail servings reach their correct dilution with ice, whether crushed or cubed according to the recipe. Batch cocktails may need a little help to achieve the right dilution as the ice melts more slowly in larger quantities. Recipes for batch cocktails usually account for the right amount of water, but if you’re working the maths with a single cocktail recipe, you will need to taste and add a little water as needed before serving.

Old Fashioned batch cocktail

Here’s an example of an easy spirit-forward cocktail to make well ahead of time.


  • 500ml bourbon
  • 125ml brown sugar simple syrup
  • 12-16 dashes ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters
  • 80ml water


  1. Mix everything together and use a funnel to pour into a clean bottle.
  2. Store in the fridge until needed.
  3. Add garnishes of orange peel to the glass when serving.

For more information on the Angostura range visit


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