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Barrel aging at home is fairly simple, not ridiculously expensive and seriously worth doing. The ins and outs of getting started are covered in our Barrel Aged Cocktails page and additional aged cocktails and spirits can be found here. While simply barrel aging cocktails is reason enough to get started, the real magic occurs when you age something in a barrel previously used for a different cocktail or spirit. For instance, tequila aged in a barrel previously used to age sherry, bourbon, Manhattans and gin. Or white whiskey aged first in a new charred barrel, then aged further in a barrel after Negronis and a Martini. Each of these take on flavors far beyond those found in a charred barrel alone. Thus, the fun!
We used Hudson White Whiskey to flavor a new, charred oak barrel. THe whiskey went in, first for 1 month, then back into the barrel for 2 to 3 week stints between Negronis. A Martini also spent some time in that barrel as well. The whiskey came out with a nice color. The nose is caramel, vanilla, clove, herbal with a touch of corn whiskey. The flavor is slightly sweet corn whiskey with the oak, caramel, vanilla and herbs. There is a background of gin with a touch of bitterness on the finish. We used it to make an excellent Boulevardier:
Boulevardier with Negroni-Aged White Whiskey
In this drink, the white whiskey aged in the Negroni barrel contributes its slight corn whiskey flavor along with the flavors of oak, vanilla and caramel you might expect from a bourbon. But it's also been exposed to the herbal flavors of the gin, and Campari as well as the additional herbs and dried fruit of the vermouth. The effect creates an amazing Boulevardier.
- 1 oz. Negroni-Aged White Whiskey
- 1 oz. Dolin Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz. Campari
- Fat orange peel for garnish
- Chill an old fashioned glass with ice and water
- Combine all ingredients, except the garnish, in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
- Strain into chilled old fashioned over fresh, large ice
- Express orange peel over drink and float the peel
For additional barrel aged cocktail recipes, click here.