The New York Times declares a trend in the bartending world: barrel-aged cocktails. Barkeeps across the country are applying the same principle that works on whiskey to their concoctions, writes Robert Simonson. It's as simple as it sounds: Make up a batch, stick it in a barrel for about six weeks, then serve with higher prices.
"The wood imparts flavors of vanilla, caramel, and certain spice notes," writes Simonson, who even experimented at home. "Vermouth becomes a bit oxidized from exposure to air through the wood. And practitioners say the various alcohols integrate in the process." Much of the credit goes to Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a Portland bartender with a popular blog who experimented in the spring and posted his results. "Someone just emailed me from Australia saying they were doing an aged cocktail,” he said. (Read more alcohol stories.)