The Times’ Robert Simonson might have already provided his primer on barrel-aging cocktails, but any cocktail nerd worth her rhubarb bitters knows it was Jefrrey Morgenthaler at Clyde Common in Portland who brought the trend Stateside. StarChefs checked in with the aged-quaff expert to get his recipe for barrel-aging a Negroni; it seems you’ll need a Tuthilltown barrel, a funnel, a sieve, and six weeks. Here in New York, Clyde Common co-owner Matthew Piacentini is making barrel-aged booze of his own at his four-month-old spot, the Beagle. The barman tells us he’s about to add a barrel-aged Vesper (gin, vodka, lillet) to the cocktail menu, which is funny because, “we don’t even have vodka behind the bar.”
Piacentini has been pouring an aged Rosalind Russell (aquavit and vermouth) and White Dog Manhattan (Buffalo trace white dog, dolin’s sweet vermouth and angostura bitters) for a while now, and it turns out the Manhattan is getting progressively older. Say, what? It seems it’s done in the Spanish “solera” style, meaning three barrels (in Piacentini’s case) of the mixture are aged at four-week intervals, and combined in thirds so that the cocktail gets older, on average, as time goes on. Sounds like the sort of thing we might just want to try at home.