With the flurry of trends in the cocktail world, you'd be hard-pressed to guess which will have staying power. Take barrel-aging. Yes, it's super cool to get your nightly cocktail from a barrel with provenance, but is it really relevant anymore?
The Spare Room cocktails at The Spare Room
With barrels now available to the home bar geek, distillers barrel-aging and bottling their boozy recipes, and barrel-aged cocktails appearing in even more experimental combinations across the country, barrel-aging seems destined to age quite well.
So, what exactly is this mysterious process? Not so mysterious at all, really. Booze has been in barrels for centuries. During the Golden Era of the cocktail in the late 19th century, Jerry Thomas -- the ultimate bartender/showman -- was aging rum shrub in casks for about six weeks, as well as bottling many of his cocktails, most likely for easy storage and batching drinks. At the turn of the century, 1910 adverts from the Heublein Company touted their bottled cocktails first being aged in wood; these Club Cocktails were popular even into the 1960s.More »