BYOB


There is a little Cuban restaurant near my house and I can't help but notice they are packed on a nightly basis.  The food is good and affordable, and the outdoor patio and indoor atmosphere are charming but, I suspect an important factor in their success is that they are a BYOB (bring your own booze) restaurant.  Apart from being economical, I find BYOB establishments always allow for a more adventurous dining experience...you may opt for that extra appetizer since, you don't have to figure in a budget for alcohol.  So, in keeping with adventure, instead of choosing between the classic red and white, or the usual 6 pack, why not shake things up a bit and bring a DIY bottled cocktail.  By using an old wine bottle and scraping off the label in hot soapy water, or purchasing a hermetic glass bottle or flask from somewhere like the container store, you have the perfect bottle to prebatch a cocktail of your choosing.  Think Margaritas for Mexican, Daiquiris for Cuban, Vodka Cobblers for birthday parties, Sidecars for romantic, Manhattans for sophisticated...It is a good idea to call the restaurant ahead of time to check on their BYOB etiquette.

The secret to bottled cocktails is water. According to Gary Regan, water should make for approximately 1/3 of your drink.  This is to make up for the water from the ice that would melt into your drink during the process of shaking or stirring.  The average bottle of wine is 750 ML and holds approximately 5 drinks.  To batch your favorite cocktail, multiply the original recipe by 5.  Now, sum up the total ounces in your batched drink, divide by 3 and this is the amount of water you will want to add for your finished bottled cocktail.  The bottled drink can be made 3 days ahead of time, if you are using fresh juices.  Once the water is added the bottled cocktail should be refrigerated to keep fruit juices fresh. 

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