Today I am Starting a new series on freezer door cocktails
We’re at getting to the time of year when gatherings are starting to be plentiful. And while hosting friends and family is a lot of fun, trying to manage a thoughtful food and drink menu for a crowd can be a bit overwhelming. Sure, pre-made items are great, but sometimes you really want to wow your guests. Instead of serving typical wine or canned beverages this year, consider the freezer door cocktail. If the term is new to you, it’s all-in-one pre-mixed drink right in the liquor bottle that can be made ahead and left in the freezer until ready to serve (or to just have a delicious cocktail on hand at all times).
Personally I discover this concept a number of years ago reading Stuart Woods Stone Barrington series of book. The main character is Stone Barrington. Stone is a NYPD Detective, retired and turned attorney. His drink of choice is always Knob Creek Bourbon but he always has one or 2 ready made cocktail in his freezer door for companions that don’t drink bourbon.
Researching this topic I stumbled across an article on BHG.com and an interview with J.M. Hirsch. Mr Hirsch is editorial director of Christopher Kimball’s “Milk Street”.
What Is a Freezer Door Cocktail?
Freezer door cocktails are batch cocktails that you build in the bottle. “It’s a fun and easy way to have cocktails ready whenever you need them,” Hirsch says. The concept is easy. According to Hirsch, you take a full bottle of liquor —whichever is the primary liquor of the cocktail you are making—and pour off just enough to add the other ingredients needed to make a full bottle of the drink. The bottle is then stored on the freezer door, keeping it chilled and ready to drink.
“What I love about freezer door cocktails is that it allows people to enjoy better quality pre-made cocktails,” he says. “Most canned cocktails aren’t particularly good. But when you batch it yourself you get to select the ingredients and adjust the flavors to suit you.”
Where Did the Freezer Door Cocktail Come From?
Freezer door cocktails aren’t a new concept, but only recently caught on. “Until a few years ago, most people didn’t give much thought to pre-made cocktails,” Hirsch says. “But there has been tremendous growth in canned and other so-called ready-to-drink cocktails. That has made people more familiar with the idea and kind of primed them for the idea of freezer door cocktails.”
How to Make a Freezer Door Cocktail
Just like baking requires science, putting mixed drinks in the freezer to stay chilled but not frozen also takes strategy. “You have to balance the freezing point of the various liquors against the other ingredients you add,” Hirsch says. “Most liquors freeze at around -16°F. But adding sweeteners or watery ingredients, such as juice, raises the temperature at which it will freeze, bringing it closer to the 0°F most home freezers are set to. The closer you get to that, the more likely your cocktail will freeze or turn slushy.”
With this in mind, Hirsch had to get a bit creative when crafting cocktails for the freezer. For example, he made an espresso martini for the freezer, but went with instant espresso powder rather than brewed espresso in the traditional recipe.
Crafting the Freezer Door Cocktail
Another thing to consider when making a batch cocktail in the freezer is dilution. When making cocktails, they’re usually shaken or stirred with ice. This chills the drink, but dilutes it as well, which is a part of the finished flavor.
Interested in learning more freezer door cocktail recipes? You can check out the videos on TikTok (3.9 million views and counting!) and stay tuned for Hirsch’s book dedicated to freezer door cocktails coming in Spring 2024. “I’ll be spending the next few months sorting out what and how to freeze all our favorite cocktails,” he says. “My goal is that people can enjoy making and drinking them without having to worry about the freezer door math!”
Don’t worry about taking notes as I am giving out the ingredients and instructions. They are always posted on our site.
Stone Barrington Freezer Door Gimlet
1 750 ml Vodka (I suggest Wheatly Vodca)
1 Bottle of Rose's Sweetned Lime Juice
Pour six ounces from a 750 ml. bottle of vodka (you'll think of something to do with it), and replace with Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice, and a tiny bit of water.
Shake, and put in the freezer overnight.
The water will create ice shards. Pour into a martini glass, and enjoy.
As always I am open to hear your take and your input.
Until next week As Mark Twain said...
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Whiskey is barely enough”