Make your own barrel-aged cocktails


So the observant drinkers among you may have noticed a new term popping up on drinks menus across the land: cask-aged. You’ve had vintage wines and aged whiskeys. But cocktails? Can imbibing a six-week old manhattan be at all good for you? Or tasty? Never fear we are here to figure out the trend for you.

How it works: A wooden barrel (cask) typically soaks up some of the whiskey, rum or tequila it holds during the often years-long aging process. Once the original spirit is drained and the cask is refilled with a new liquid, the retained flavors from the previous spirit marry with the new liquid in the cask. The end result: a more complex spirit, which takes on a slight change in color and/or flavor. This is referred to as a “cask-finished” or “cask-aged” product.

Distillers have been using this technique for decades with whiskeys being aged in casks that previously held port or sherry; rum aged in Bourbon casks; tequila aged in rum casks. More recently, a handful of savvy bartenders have co-opted cask-aging for cocktails. These vintage drinks can be found at places ranging from Fort Defiance in Brooklyn to the Girl and the Goat in Chicago and San Francisco’s Blackbird.


read more on Anel Grobler