Sunday Funday –Barrel Aging
We really enjoy making the libations in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, but the nature of our project compels us to follow Ted Haigh’s recipes to the letter. Sometimes we feel like going rogue and adding our own touch to the cocktails we create. Enter the one liter oak barrel.
Having coveted these miniature casks for at least six months, D found the best deal he could online and ordered two barrels from oakbarrelsltd.com. Upon arrival we set to work prepping the barrels, a process that takes about 72 hours, while debating the pros and cons of the recipes on our short list.
We decided that we would age one whiskey or rye cocktail and one gin, but which ones? As the gin drinker I settled on a Bijou cocktail for the simple reason that it is a drink I can go back to again and again – we are making a liter of this stuff, after all! Using my logic D decided on The Boulevardier for his creation.
As it turned out we were only to make one cocktail on our first attempt. One of the barrels continued to leak past the 72 hour mark and was deemed unfit. We will credit oakbarrelsltd.com here with amazing customer service. They replied to an email we sent almost immediately and a replacement barrel has been shipped. With a little luck the cask will be ready to go in a few days.
With only one barrel on the go we experienced a last minute change of heart vis-à-vis the recipe being aged. I wanted D to have first go at the oaking process but he wanted to ensure we made a libation we both enjoy. The Vieux Carre was the answer. Murray Stenson made me my first Vieux Carre at Canon in Seattle, leaving me with fond memories of both the drink and the man.
As of this writing the concoction is sitting snuggly in the barrel. We anticipate that the entire process will take about two weeks, but are intending to taste the work-in-progress when we top up the cask in a few days. The short list for what goes in next continues to grow…