Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pre-Batching Drinks – Thirst Trends

Speeding up service times & Elevating drink consistency

Pre-batching coffee beverages

What stands out on the menu to you?

Let’s talk about dining out the offerings that grab your eye from a menu. Besides the specific dishes, personally, I’m attracted to words and phrases like: local, “house made,” and “house batched.” It just catches my eye, am I alone?
Obviously not everything can be made in house or local, because of sourcing, resources and costs. But I’ve noticed more businesses are batching ingredients on site. Of course places like bakeries already do this with their pastries, and the realization of the benefits are catching on within the beverage world as well.
When a business has a seasonal special promotion or LTO beverage it will hopefully sell a lot per day. Pre-batching this drink may have a lot of benefits, I’m not suggesting that all offerings should be pre-batched, but some of the big sellers can be, let’s look at why and how.

Benefits of batching drinks

Consistent flavor delivery, a huge benefit, in my opinion more important than service times. A big urn of the daily special can be pre-batched, taste-tested, then everyone knows for sure that it will delight customers.

Faster service times, when everything is prepared you can pull or pour the item quickly.

Less dishes to wash, may seem like a small benefit, but think how many times items like spoons or measuring pitchers need to get washed between drinks.

Batch during slower times, such as being part of the nightly closing routine, or slower afternoon.

Considerations of batching drinks

Need a big urn or pitcher, which could mean increased storage needs. Also its another item to buy, and if its not pretty to look at then where should it be stored?

Keeping it cool can be of concern, there are great machines that are designed to circulate and keep cool, or storing in a refrigerator works.

Guests may not feel its made special for them, its possible to lose that theatre of preparation in front of a guest.

Ingredients that don’t batch or hold wellBatching ingredients for beverage mixes

Carbonation doesn’t last forever. When I batch drinks, like mojitos, I will measure all ingredients besides the ice, soda water, and garnishes. There is still a huge time saving factor by having 4 of the 6 ingredients prepared for me, I just add the last details and pieces.

Pay attention to expiration dates. Remember that the beverage you scale up will expire when the first ingredient goes bad. Batching is great for daily operations, the idea is to batch enough for one day only.
Garnishes always enhance a beverage, but you can’t batch orange slices and expect them to come out when needed. Batch all your liquids and place the finishing touches as you normally would.


Ice presents some interesting factors. If making a cocktail ice serves as a chiller and as a diluting agent. Ask yourself if the drink needs a little water in the recipe to replicate ice melt.

Other things to think about

I made a punch that needed a little water in it to replicate ice melt. I batched it up perfectly, then to keep it cold I had put the empty urn into a freezer the night before, and separately froze five pint glasses with the punch in it. Day of the event I filled the ice cold urn with punch, then added the pint-cubes, which kept it chilled and also melted without diluting further.

What about hot beverages you ask? If the hot drink has texture, like a latte, it will not work the same in a vacuum system like an airpot or pump pot. Heated spinners are an option. Sometimes just preparing a batch, having it chilled, then heating on demand is still a big time saver. The longest I’ve let a hot pre-batched drink with dairy sit out for sampling was four hours, I don’t know at what point the milk spoils, so I was tasting hourly, then decided to dump it all and start a fresh batch.

Using a granita machine or bubbler is really like making a big batch of beverages. But I wanted to warn you about too much agitation in a machine. I have heard of someone batching a high fat drink into a machine that turned the whole drink into butter. Wouldn’t that be a surprise?


Pre-batching drinks has saved me lots of time, it is very efficient to use when setting up and preparing for a party, event, or just a popular drink that is made frequently. I wish you the best, and as always if you have questions, please email me directly,