Aged Cocktails: From the Barrel to the Cup


It’s not odd to hear about aged cocktails in barrels, the same cask where some wine or spirit once laid dormant. This is a trend that’s rapidly catching on in the world following the boom of molecular cuisine and a number of research studies on food in an effort to come up with different textures and ways of cooking.

Many bartenders and A&B specialists have always been interested in the possibility of fixing cocktails and preserving them in oak barrels, in their search for organoleptic changes to favor pairings with habanos.

The end results are no doubt stunning. Such classics as the President, Manhattan or Martini Sweet cocktails have gained complexity in terms of scents and tastes, unearthing a deluxe approach to habanos in the realm of smooth and soft-to-mild tasting range.

Bartenders put the cocktails in barrels for 20 to 30 days –sometimes longer. Those are recipes of liquors, spirits and maybe some spices and scented herbs. The palate is immediately thankful for this outcome, a drink marked by a well-balance alcoholic content, silky aftertaste and the taste the barrel wood, the spices and the herbs pitch in, including vanilla, cinnamon, cacao or coffee notes. 

What we do know for sure is that keeping cocktails in barrels cannot take too long (4-6 months) to avoid the prevalence of other elements that could make each cocktail’s primary features fall under par.