If you’re not aware, the reason that aged spirits – such as bourbon and scotch whiskeys, reposado and añejo tequilas, brandy, dark rum, sherry, and even some wines and vinegars – are smoky and aromatic and, well, tasty, is due to a traditional aging in charred (or “toasted”) oak barrels. The water content will absorb the flavors in the wood, such as such as vanillin and wood tannins, as well as the smoky flavors from contact with the wood.
The trend of barrel-aging whole cocktails has emerged among mixologists (likely attributed to expert Jeffrey Morganthaler), and in the absence of your own tiny casks, you can aged your own “white” cocktails for a mere $10 investment. The trick is a jar and a tiny piece of stave from an aging barrel. Available at Tuthill Town Spirits for $10.
I wonder if its possible to DIY one of these? Some white oak, charred with a blow torch? Maybe carcinogens would be a problem… Researching now. Perhaps I’ll have something to share in a bit. But $10? With jar? Totally worth it. [via Serious Eats]