The difference between barrel-aged, bottle-aged and steel-aged cocktails

Aging alcohol is nothing new, but have you ever heard off or tried an aged cocktail? Now, just hold on a minute! If you think we are talking about those sweet bottled mojitos that you find at your local liquor store, think again.

Firstly, you get three kinds of aged cocktails, namely barrel-aged, bottle-aged and steel-aged.

Barrel-aged Cocktails

A barrel-aged cocktail is probably the most complex one to make out of the two, as the barrel is as important as the process. The size of the barrel, type of oak, and previous contents are all factors that must be considered when making barrel-aged cocktails.

Bottle-aged Cocktails

Ageing a cocktail in a bottle is the slowest technique but with a greater complexity which occurs over time. This might seem to be waste of time since it’s generally accepted that spirits don’t age in a bottle because of its high ABV but what scientists are recently suggesting it doesn’t have to be totally impossible.

As we know wines which are kept in bottles will mature and developed its complexity over the years and most of the cocktails are about a halfway between ABV of wine and spirit. So there might be some kind of development in terms of ageing.

But what is it that helps to smooth out the flavours during bottle ageing?  One of the explanation might be that molecules of alcohol, water and other ingredients don’t mix together evenly once they are freshly shaken so after a period of time bottle ageing helps to mix ingredients together resulting in a smoother experience.

Steel-aged cocktails

Steel ageing seems to work 6-10 times faster than in the glass and has a more profound smoothing effect on a cocktail. Steel ageing is the way to go if you don’t want to add any additional flavours to your cocktail unlike in oak barrel ageing and best of all it’s easy and affordable when buying steel drinking flasks.