It’s been almost seven weeks since I laid a batch of Negronis and Manhattans to rest in Deep South oak barrels. The target of 58 days is soon approaching. Tasting each one now, here are my thought on how they are progressing.
Manhattan: The wood has lent a smokiness to the flavor that is quite intriguing. This is almost ready for use. I think a few more weeks will smooth out the few remaining rough edges. Next time, I think I’ll try using a higher end vermouth and see what happens. (see my previous post about what brands I used).
Negroni: I am amazed at how smooth it has become. Really almost buttery in mouthfeel. The flavor is excellent and the balance of sweet, dry and herbal has become a cohesive whole. I might pull this from the barrel in the next week and use it as is.
Overall, it is clear that barrel aging affects the overall character of each cocktail in a positive way. I’m already thinking of future cocktails that will benefit from this process.