recipes & how tos | dec. 14, 2021

Give the Gift of Bottled Cocktails

It can be hard to find the right gift for friends and family, especially when everything you could ever imagine is available online and at your fingertips, ready to ship. By the time a creative idea arises, it may very well show up in their Instagram feed.

This is nothing more than a golden opportunity for thoughtful and of-the-moment gifts. Crafting cocktails for your friends or family is a great way to strut your stuff when it comes to quality mixes, and also serves as a well timed fridge reach during a party, or the end of a long holiday session.

In this Proof Read we enlisted the help of our resident cocktail researcher to go over some tips and tricks for gifting bottled Patrón cocktails. Follow along as West Coast Manager of Trade Education & Mixology Egor Polonskiy walks us through some recipes perfect for capping off your gifting list, and some of the things to stay away from so each mix is your best mix.

Gifting bottled cocktails is a brilliant idea and can be very well received by so many people, whether you are a cocktail lover or not.

With a little extra effort you can turn this simple idea into something that people will brag about, with no chance of regifting.

Here are few of my tips for creating bottled cocktail gifts:

  • When deciding what cocktail to bottle, consider the overall presentation and bottle itself — something that’s just as if not more important than the drink of choice. There are many options and formats to choose from. You can go with a smaller bottle that holds just 1 – 2 servings of the cocktail, go big with some high quality, custom metal flasks, or choose a larger vessel for batched cocktails or groups. You can find bottles at craft stores, on Amazon, and through wholesale packaging sources like Berlin, Webstaurant, and more. 

  • I highly recommend spending some time on the label as well. It should include the name of the cocktail and the ingredients in it at the minimum. It helps to have a logo or some sort of image as well, even if it’s just something seasonal or fun. There are many online resources nowadays that will help you design and order custom labels, including Etsy, Vistaprint and Zazzle. But for a quick and easy solution, even a handy label maker will do.

  • When choosing what kind of cocktail to bottle, it’s best to go with something shelf stable. Stay away from creams and any ingredients likely to separate in the bottle. I recommend spirit-forward cocktails versus a drink containing fresh citrus juices, unless you have a beer filling gun that will force CO2 out of the bottle when filling. 

  • Carbonated bottled cocktails are fun and I love making them. A holiday twist on Patrón Loco Chico is simple enough to make without much extra equipment. Keep in mind that anything that needs to be carbonated entirely will require a keg and CO2 equipment.

  • As far as bottled cocktails go, I think the best idea is to go simple yet intriguing. Share your own spin on a classic Martini, Rosita or an Old Fashioned. The key is to make the drink familiar to everyone, but add a nice personal touch, like a drop of secret sauce to make it unique and extra appealing.


EAP! Ol Fashioned

For example, something I love gifting as a bottled cocktail is an EAP! Ol Fashioned” that I age for about three weeks in a small American oak barrel before bottling.

It consists of a blend of several bottles of aged Patrón Tequila (I usually use a blend of Roca Reposado, Patrón Añejo and a touch of Extra Ańejo, but this year I am replacing Roca Reposado with the Sherry Cask Aged Añejo), holiday” syrup and a blend of black lime, cocoa and mole bitters.

This year I will pack it into 750ml bottle so the large batch recipe will be as follows:

EAP! Ol Fashioned

  • 10 oz Patrón Sherry Cask Aged Añejo
  • 6 oz Patrón Añejo
  • 2 oz Patrón Extra Añejo
  • 2.5 oz Holiday Syrup (it’s a secret recipe but consists of sweet potato, agave and rosemary. You can find some store-bought options or create your own spiced simple syrup with baking spices and herbs of choice.)
  • 5 oz Chilled water for dilution (I always go with about 20 – 25%)
  • 10 Dashes of the bitters Blend (Scrappys Black Lime, Angostura Cocoa, Bittermans X‑Mole)
  • 4 – 5 expressed orange peels

Stir everything together in a container, transfer to the bottle, add the label and keep refrigerated.


Once gifted it’s ready to be served over ice with a slice of orange.

At the end of the day the best cocktail to gift, is one you know they’ll love. Whether you mix up some of the recipes we’ve mentioned or whip up your own, those who are on the receiving end will be thankful you put in the thought and the time for them.



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