Some friends are getting married, guests are gathering for the weekend and I volunteered to provide a cocktail for Friday night (wedding is on Saturday). The cocktail is a variation on a Gold Rush -- homemade ginger liqueur (brandy base with vanilla bean and orange peel), bourbon, lemon, and a wee bit of smoky scotch, sidecar(ish) proportions. I normally shake them, which provides the "right" amount of dilution.
It's 6-7 hours between the time I leave home and the time I start serving (3-hour drive, and no refrigeration when we get to the venue). I have a 2-gallon glass dispenser jug with spigot that fits in my ice chest, plus a few additional 1.75L bottles also fit. I think I can fit most of the liquid in the fridge before leaving, with maybe a couple of the 1.75L bottles in the freezer (they won't freeze, they'll just be colder). I'll have ice/ice packs in the cooler and I think I can get more ice at or near the venue if needed.
Any great ideas for how to keep the 2 gallon dispenser cold during serving, without having it under-diluted at the beginning and over-diluted at the end?
My best plan so far:
-- make 2 large ice rings (bundt pan, maybe with lemon slices) and keep them as whole as possible in the ice chest
-- add 1 ring to the jug at the beginning of the party along with a couple handfuls of regular ice cubes, fill jug maybe 2/3
-- as the ice melts and the jug threatens to become over-diluted, add more undiluted cocktail
-- keep room in the extra 1.75L bottles -- if lack of cold is more of a problem than dilution of the jug, add ice to the bottles a little while before they're needed in the jug
-- add the second ice ring if needed
Is there any good way to add cold without any dilution at all, something along the lines of giant whiskey rocks?
Additional thoughts and/or encouragement? Thanks!