Buzzwords in food over the last few years have included "provenance", "artisan" and "heritage" this, that and the other. But there is a particular phrase gaining momentum that we wanted a shot at: "barrel-aged". Being whisky and rum drinkers, we thought why not just age a spirit to see what happens? The results are very impressive.
When you buy a decent bottle of whisky or rum, the spirit is aged for years rather than months. We didn't want to wait that long for the results and this is where the small size is a huge advantage. In a small barrel, the surface area of charred wood that the spirit is exposed to is much greater allowing a quicker transfer of the woods ageing properties. You will already start to see a huge difference in the spirit within a few weeks. See how we did it here.
The uses for the barrel don't stop at spirits. On a recent visit to a bar in London we couldn't help but notice that one of our favourite cocktails, the old fashioned had been "aged". It turns out that they had bought a miniature wooden barrel that had been charred on the inside and were resting cocktails in them. This gave a fantastic oak flavour and definitely helped the ingredients to blend.
The processes involved are simple, the results fantastic, and the barrel will look pretty darn cool on your sideboard. Get involved.