Sunday, November 13, 2011

CLINK! Barrel aged cocktails

You know that I really like mixing and drinking cocktails. Well, Four Squares and I stumbled across something that takes cocktails to the next level. Okay, maybe not the next level, but at least to a different level-barrel aged cocktails. The idea is simple-mix up a very large batch of spirit based cocktails (sorry, fruit juice and eggs just won't work), without ice, pour into a charred American Oak barrel and wait. For a while. Maybe anywhere from 5-7 weeks. Be patient. Decant. Pour into a mixing glass over ice and stir until well chilled (these will all be stirred, refer to my post Shaken vs. Stirred). The effect is sublime but different for different drinks. The charred oak will exert a different influence based on what is in the barrel and for how long. The effect on whiskey would be expected to be much less emphatic than the effect on a clear spirit such as gin. My initial research supports this, although given only a small sample size (which of course I plan to address in the very near future, staring now!). I've included some photos of my first go at this, which incidentally is a Manhattan. I used a 2L barrel. Next up is the Negroni and the El Presidente.
I would be remiss if I didn't cite my muse-Jeffrey Morgenthaler. I believe he deserves credit for at the very least introducing this hair-brained idea to the US. Check out his blog post on the subject, and if you are ever in Portland go to Clyde Common and order up a barrel aged cocktail for yourself. You won't be disappointed.


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