If you have been following along you know that we have been barrel-aging batches of cocktails for some time now. We have three barrels on the go, each producing about a liter of liquor every two to three weeks. This is obviously more than we can consume. In order to store these libations for future use, or to give away as gifts, we have turned to bottling.
We prefer to bottle in individual-sized portions. It took us some time but we finally tracked down some Italian non-alcoholic apperitivo bottles that are exactly the right size. We were under the impression that bottle cappers were universal so D stopped by the local U-brew and picked one up. Meanwhile I emptied the bottles of their pseudo-vermouth and sterilized them. We were so excited. Can you guess what happened next? I bet you can.
Our adorable Italian bottles are not compatible with a universal bottle capper. We were stumped. After much online research D did what us amateurs always do when we need advice, he turned to a professional. He warmed the barstool at West, seeking advice from the incomparable David Walowidnyk, who not incidentally stores his cocktails in a similar fashion. He advised D on the type of capper suited with these bottles and suggested that we search eBay for a smashing deal.
Ten days, twenty dollars, and one trip across the border to collect the capper at Point Roberts later, we were ready to bottle for real.The capper D purchased was rather rusty so he took an extra day to sand blast it and paint it all shiny and new.
It may seem trivial but the ability to store product away for future consumption puts my heart at ease. We are hobbyists, not alcoholics, and I was becoming overwhelmed by the quantity of prepared cocktails accumulating in our apartment. Having it in small bottles preserves it for the future but also allows us to distribute it among family and friends. My Dad, for one, was more than pleased to receive a collection of aged cocktails as a father’s day gift!