The days of having to take a a course on mixology or stocking your bar with fifty different bottles to make a high-quality cocktail at home are over. All you need is a bottled cocktail. The name is fairly self explanatory. “Take a cocktail recipe, scale it up to a larger batch and bottle it,” says Charles Joly, award-winning bartender and founder of Crafthouse Cocktails. To date, there are at least a dozen high profile bottled cocktails currently available. “This gives you more choices among the litter of flavored malt beverages, corn syrup and collegiate hangovers in waiting,” says Joly. “There's no excuse to be at a concert venue and have to settle for a flabby gin and tonic with a hairy lime.”
The best bottled cocktails are generally aromatics; the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Negroni last much longer in a bottle than other cocktails because they lack citrus flavors and carbonation — ingredients that dilute drinks pretty quickly. “When these ingredients are not used, cocktails often improve with time as the ingredients sit with each other in a bottle,” says Evan Charest, mixologist at Patina Restaurant Group. Read on for our favorite picks and cut out the middle man with a tasty bottled cocktail tonight.