A Batch-able Rye Last Word That’s Perfect for Parties

The Closing Argument Cocktail. Credit: Kelly Puleio.
The Closing Argument Cocktail. Credit: Kelly Puleio.
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Even the most dedicated home cocktail enthusiast knows that making drinks one at a time can be tedious. And that if you’re going to buy a bottle of liqueur or amaro, you don’t want to use half an ounce and then have that bottle gather dust for the next year of its life.

Particularly when entertaining, it’s key to have a cocktail you can make ahead for a crowd. That’s the brilliance of the recipes in Maggie Hoffman’s new book Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion, which releases on March 19. Every cocktail in the book is batched for a crowd, with clear instructions for prepping in advance and then serving when you’re ready. With sophisticated recipes from mixologists across the country, these aren’t dumbed-down, fruity punches; rather, cocktail bar-worthy drinks that happen to be in large proportion.

Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion. By Maggie Hoffman. Available March 19th. Photography copyright: Kelly Puleio © 2019

Case in point: the Closing Argument, created by Justin Siemer of Portland, Oregon: a lively Last Word riff making use of rye whiskey. The classic drink includes equal parts of gin, lemon, green Chartreuse, and maraschino; the Closing Argument keeps the proportions while playing around with the ingredients.

“I could drink only Last Word riffs until I die and be happy,” says Hoffman. “This one in particular just hits all the right notes, balancing rye’s spicy character with luscious yellow Chartreuse, brightened up with lemon, and that bitter bite from the Gran Classico.”

“It layers such complexity of flavor, which makes it all the more delightful to serve with zero effort, as if by magic: just pull the sealed bottle from the freezer, shake to get a little froth going, then pop and pour!”

Closing Argument

“Since this cocktail is served without ice, I like to chill it way down in the freezer,” Hoffman notes. Makes about eight servings.

3/4 cup rye (such as James E. Pepper)
3/4 cup Gran Classico
3/4 cup yellow Chartreuse
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water

About 2 hours before serving, make the batch. Use a small funnel to pour rye, Gran Classico, yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice, and water into a 1-liter swing-top bottle. Seal, turn gently end over end to mix, and chill in freezer. (If you’d prefer to batch further in advance, refrigerate filled bottle without lemon juice for up to 1 week, then prepare and add lemon juice and place in freezer an hour or two before serving.)

To serve, shake bottle to give it a bit of froth. Pour into chilled coupe glasses.

Reprinted with permission from Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Carey Jones is a San Francisco-based food, spirits, and travel writer. She is the co-author, with her husband John D. McCarthy, of Be Your Own Bartender, to be released in November 2018. She frequently contributes to Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Saveur, and many others, and formerly served as managing editor at the James Beard Award-winning food site Serious Eats.