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Freezer Door Cocktail with Dark Rum – 5 Freezer door cocktails

Freezer Door Cocktail with Dark Rum

Need a cheat code for home cocktail entertainment? Freezer Door Cocktails are where it’s at. Have you heard about them? Simple freezer door cocktails are a not-so-subtle conjunction of well-executed craft cocktails, speed, practicality, and home bartending. And frankly, there are not enough dark rum cocktails getting the freezer door treatment. Time to remedy the situation. Let’s learn a little bit more about them, and let us help you with some tips.

What is a freezer door cocktail?

What are freezer door cocktails? Pre-batch your favorite craft cocktail recipes with a touch of dilution and store them in bottles in your freezer so that you can simply pour 6-8 servings into chilled glassware and garnish in the time it takes to mix up one from the get-go. Essentially, they are a win-win trendy method for making drinks on the fly for multiple guests at the same time. Ok, so a proper freezer door cocktail definition is a bit moot. Yes, some freezers are just drawers, doorless, and bottles of the 750ml size or bigger often need more room and height. But when a cocktail trend and phrase takes hold of the socials, you just go with it. Are there freezer door cocktail types? Short answer: yes. I would categorize them as such: 

  • Recipes that are ready to pour.
  • Recipes that are ready to stir or shake with ice.
  • Recipes that need 1 or 2 fresh ingredients.

 

Freezer door cocktails that are ready to pour generally won’t actually freeze because their ABV is at around 30%. These include Old-Fashioneds, stronger Negronis, and other spirit-forward recipes that are served over ice. Adding other ingredients like water, tea, or n/a mixers that can handle the cold will lower your ABV and cause the entirety to get a bit sludgy or just freeze. A little sludge is not the end of the world here as it melts quickly, but you’ll want to avoid freezing solid. The general rule when adding water is to add around at least 10% of your volume. So if you build in your bottle: 10 oz. Rum, 4 oz. Sweet Vermouth, 4 oz. Campari, then add about 2 oz. of filtered water, shake a bit to mix, and seal. 

Depending on the ratio of your Martini or Manhattan (3:1 or 2:1), you can also add more dilution and pour directly into your chilled coupe. Otherwise, you’ll want to pour your chilled batch into a mixing glass and stir with ice, and strain for proper dilution since a 1:1 ratio will likely freeze.

Regarding what not to freeze, generally, fresh fruit and citrus, coffee, or espresso are not ideal for freezing. When mixing up an Espresso Martini or a Daiquiri for the freezer, try batching without the espresso or lime and then adding that last step to your shaker when ready to mix.

There are also a couple of things to take note of with regard to freezer door cocktails. Adding bitters with the standard ratio will likely only be intensified because bitters engaging with other ingredients get more intense over time. Try using half the amount you usually would, or simply add them as one would rinse a glass at service. The same applies when adding spicy ingredients. The longer a jalapeño or other chile is in contact with its liquid counterparts, the more intense its capsaicin-hot character will infuse into your overall production.

What makes freezer door cocktails great for parties?

Party cocktails, by design, should never require the host to disappear for too long in the kitchen or bar, thereby ignoring their guests. Raise your hand if you are familiar with the founding-time-immemorial simple party cocktails with dark rum. Punches, indeed, are pre-batched cocktails at their core and certainly the root of our modern Freezer Door cocktail craze. At the heart of punch is extreme practicality, and we have historical records of punch recipes centuries old still being crafted today for all sorts of festive occasions. Check out the Regent’s Punch, the Bombay Government Punch, and the Golden Fountain Punch recipe pages for more inspiration. The key difference with regard to modern refrigeration here is, naturally, the freezing part. Punches are designed to be made shortly before entertaining and served over large ice. As such, these modern great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, aka freezer door dark rum party cocktails, do us one better because you can make them far more in advance and serve with even far less equipment.

Are Freezer door cocktails easy to make?

On a scale of 1-10, freezer door cocktails are a solid 9 or 10 in terms of being easy to make. The heart and soul of the freezer door cocktail lies with the freezer taking the brunt of the difficulty out of mixing a cocktail. By marrying ingredients and freezing them, this modern revel of ice box amenity-dom takes care of the dilution and chilling, aka, the stirring and shaking. Further, it does so and just lets you take your time about pouring. One need not worry about a mixed drink sitting too long in its glass or shaker as you sort out other logistics like glass chilling and distractions in all forms. This bottled cocktail cares not when you pour it as long as it’s properly cold. All that said, of course, depending on your recipe, you may, however, still need to stir, shake or add more ingredients. But this is up to you. Certain simple hacks are still well within reach. For example, you could batch less in your bottle and then top your bottle with water to its proper service dilution 5-10 minutes before service. All in all, these cocktails require much less effort and tools to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Who invented freezer door cocktails?

The term “freezer door cocktails” is a modern turn of phrase attributed to TikTok influencer J.M. Hirsch. He created a few viral videos using the expression and demonstrated recipes such as the Espresso Martini (but made with espresso powder.) With the rise of canned / Ready-to-Drink bottled cocktails, there has been a significant loss of craft involved in the process. In the US, RTDs can only be distributed at a certain ABV level, and the limitations in mass production are apparent to any regular craft drinker; Cue freezer-batched cocktails for home bartenders, whose population has been steadily growing especially since the pandemic when cocktail bars were all sadly shuttered and financially distressed.

The ritual of pre-batching ingredients that don’t oxidize easily has, of course, been in practice for some time. When the craft cocktail scene returned in full force in the early aughts, bar programs quickly found themselves transformed from “burn and turn” to “wait for it” as the slow food movement found its way behind the bar. Fast forward a decade or so and (or possibly less) and these programs learned they could prep more efficiently without losing quality by pre-batching certain ingredients. Technically, this still wasn’t a new trend as folks in the post-war Tiki craze (1940’s-60’s) also pre-batched all sorts of recipes to better time their service in addition to keeping their recipes under lock and key. Read a little more on that here.

5 simple Freezer door cocktails with dark rum

These 5 simple yet classic recipes are ideal for your next freezer door cocktail with Dos Maderas rum. As mentioned above, stirred ABV forward ratios are key here, and the proportions are set for filling a 750 ml bottle. Also, the bitters are halved so they don’t overwhelm their recipes. For all of the following, use a measuring cup and a funnel and pour them into your empty bottle to build.

old fashioned freezer cocktail
  • 16 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 or 5+5 or Selección
  • 2 oz. Rich simple syrup (2:1)
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 4 dashes of orange bitters
  • 3 oz. filtered water

 

Shake the bottle to mix and store sealed in your freezer for at least 3 hours. When ready for service, pour 3 oz. over large ice in a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

In the spectrum of Old-Fashioned variants, veteran NY barman and Food & Wine editor Joaquín Simó provides a cocktail in the manner of old-school “improved” cocktails that were adjusted with a bit of Maraschino liqueur. We’ve adapted it here for the Dos Maderas 5+5.

  • 16 oz. Dos Maderas 5+5
  • 2 oz. Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 oz. Rich simple syrup (2:1)
  • 4 dashes of absinthe
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 3 oz. filtered water

 

Shake bottle to mix and store sealed in your freezer for at least 3 hours. When ready for service, pour 3 oz. over large ice in a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

The ratio of Jim Meehan’s East India Negroni is stronger than a classic gin formula and, therefore, can stand up to a touch more dilution in a freezer.

  • 12 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum
  • 4.5 oz. Williams & Humbert Solera Especial Dry Sack Sherry
  • 4.5 oz. Campari
  • 3 oz. filtered water

 

Shake the bottle to mix and store sealed in your freezer for at least 3 hours. When ready for service, pour 3 oz. over large ice in a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Touted as the lighter Rum Manhattan variant but with a more floral edge, this formula has been adjusted to touch more potency for our freezer storage.

  • 12 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum
  • 5 oz. Blanc Vermouth (like Comoz or Dolin Blanc)
  • 2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao (or Cointreau)
  • 1 oz.  of Pomegranate Grenadine
  • 3 oz. filtered water

 

Shake the bottle to mix and store sealed in your freezer for at least 3 hours. When ready for service, stir over ice for 5 seconds and pour 3 oz into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange peel and a preserved cherry.

Here, we have a recipe that requires just a touch of fresh lime to finish. The rum and sherry are bottled in the freezer and shaken quickly for a fast service.

  • 14 oz. Dos Maderas 5+5 Rum
  • 7 oz. Williams & Humbert Canasta Cream Sherry
  • 3 oz. filtered water

 

Shake the bottle to mix and store sealed in your freezer for at least 3 hours. When ready for service, add a quarter oz. of fresh lime juice per serving, shake quickly with ice, and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange peel or some fresh nutmeg, or both.

Author: Chantal Tseng, Bar-Somm, Washington DC

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