Barrel Aged Cocktails

In the never-ending arms race to top the next guy (or gal), Chicago bartenders have turned to the novel idea of aging their cocktails in barrels to deepen the flavor and increase their revenue per glass. The Chicagoist is reporting that at least one local establishment, The Violet Hour, is aging their bourbon manhattans for up to two weeks in barrels, and the result, according to the author of the piece, “is an awfully good cocktail: the barrel-aging process deepens the flavors overall – especially the bitter component, which here goes further to complement the sweetness of the Vermouth.”

This of course gives me a second reason to visit the Chicago region for some good-natured drinking. The primary one is that they free pour in Chicago, or so I’ve heard.


2 responses to “Barrel Aged Cocktails

  1. Hmmm — I have a couple of questions, namely what type of barrels are they using (New American or French? Or repurposed wine or whiskey barrels – and in the latter case, charred?) I’m not sure how barrel ageing would introduce a bitter component to the flavour of the cocktail although it could intensify the drying effect of tannins. In regards to the amount of time — 2 weeks isn’t a lot of time in oak — I have to question if they’re using the dreaded oak chips instead of barrels.

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