I’m headed to the lake for a big family weekend today — which in my family, of course, means lots of drinking. Usually everyone just pounds whatever’s around, but for the last few gatherings, I’ve been mixing up big-ass batches of the good shit. (It’s really the least I can do when other people are entertaining my kid.) For my dad’s 65th birthday party in July, it was my sparkling basil-mint whiskey lemonade. But I’ve been so busy being a legitimately employed person lately, I hadn’t even thought about what I’d make for this weekend.
That is, until I got a text from my sister: “Emily, David wants you to come up with a good drink if you can.” If I can! If I can? Ha. Clearly, “David” is not on social media and doesn’t read my blog. (Note: Both of those statements are true and I have no idea why I felt so compelled to put his name in quotation marks when his name is very much David, but it just felt right there.) Well, “David” likes whiskey, and so do I. So I thought, “What’s a good batch whiskey cocktail for fall?” It took me about two seconds to come up with the answer.
It’s last week’s cocktail, the Early Fall Lowball, a spicy (and only ever-so-slightly sweet) chai tea-based drink. Not only is it perfect for making in batches, it’s a great drink to make ahead of time because it doesn’t have any carbonation. Plus, letting it sit in the fridge for a night or three is the next best thing to shaking the shit out of it — since nobody I know has a three-liter cocktail shaker.
For the tea, you’ll want to boil a little more water than you’ll need, since some of it will evaporate. And this recipe calls for double-strength chai, which is 8 ounces of tea brewed with two bags instead of one, or one bag per 4 ounces. So for this recipe, if my math is correct (and it could be totally off) you need 12 chai tea bags for 6 cups of double-strength tea. (Is that right? Fuck, math is hard.) I used the Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea and it was wonderful, though I’m sure any quality chai would do.
Now, is this technically still a lowball if it’s made it batches? I don’t fucking know. Just pour it into a lowball glass, or one of these classy-ass “Cut Crystal” plastic cups from Chinet when you’re ready to party. Close enough, right?
A Big-Ass Batch of the Early Fall Lowball
Yield: About 3 Liters
6 cups double-strength* chai tea, chilled
6 cups whiskey
1.5 cups Grand Marnier
72 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Add all of the ingredients to a large drink dispenser, pot, or whatever the hell else will hold three liters of booze, and stir really fucking well. If you aren’t serving it immediately or storing it in a dispenser in the fridge, store it in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. When it’s time to drink, give it a good shake, then pour it into a lowball glass over ice. Enjoy!
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