What are Barrel Aged Cocktails?
In the year 2009, Tony Conigliaro, a London bartender, began aging Manhattan cocktails in glass containers. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a Portland, Oregon bartender, decided to adopt this idea, but instead aged cocktails in oak barrels. The trend of barrel aged cocktails has since been frequenting bars across the world, including the US. Bartenders have been experimenting with aging different types of cocktails, using different methods. There is no “best” or “right” method. As the trend is relatively new, bartenders everywhere are learning about barrel aged cocktails through trial, error, and tasting. Barrel aged cocktails are a great way to stock the bar because they combine innovation with classic alcoholic drinks recipes to create a modern cocktail.
The Barrel Aged Cocktail Recipe
Since the method of aging cocktails is so new, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Starting with a barrel aged cocktail recipe can help bartenders get the hang of the process. Such recipes are available and especially popular for aging a Manhattan cocktail. The best bar drinks can be used as a base for a barrel aged cocktail. Like Conigliaro’s drinks, the artisan cocktail can be aged in glass containers, but using a barrel will add flavors and have a unique effect. Some bartenders have created alcoholic drinks recipes that involve aging the cocktail in a used barrel, previously filled with wine, to add depth and flavoring to the drink. In this case, the wine acts as a spice, enhancing the complexity of the flavors in the cocktail, along with the barrel. Since this modern cocktail technique is new, most bartenders taste the barrel aged cocktail once a week, as it is aging, until it takes on the exact flavor they want to use to stock the bar. Pouring a small amount of the drink into the complementary cocktail glass can give an accurate tasting for imagining what the customer will experience. Typical barrel aged cocktail recipes call for aging the cocktail from four to six weeks.
Serving the Modern Cocktail
Barrel aged cocktails can be a unique addition to every bar. Even though the idea has become popular, it is still unique and will draw customers interested in an experience. Some bars take polls from customers as to which cocktails they would like to see aged. By involving customers in the decision process, a business will promote customer loyalty since the customers will want to return to taste their idea. Adding creativity to the drinks menu through barrel aged cocktails can increase business and allow the bartender to showcase his/her skills and talent.