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How To Cask-Age Your Own Cocktails

If you fancy yourself as quite the home barman and want to kick it up a notch by cask-ageing (or barrel-ageing) your cocktail, but don’t know where to start, then read on to find out how.

Cask ageing cocktails adds an extra layer of depth to your favourite cocktail, and it’s actually very easily done.

First thing first, you’re going to need a cask. As luck would have it we have a magnificent range of American White Oak Toasted Barrels, in sizes ranging from one litre to fifty litres.

Before you knock up a batch of your favourite cocktail, you might want to consider that the first time you use this barrel the oak flavour that comes from the fresh cask is likely to be quite strong. If you like big oak-y flavours then crack on, otherwise you might want to consider filing it with cheap vodka for a week and tipping that away, just to take the edge off. You can get a good three or four refills of these before the oak flavour starts to wear off.

Next, you need to make up your cocktail. Just use your normal ingredients and proportions, only scaled up. At this stage you should leave the ice and garnish alone – that comes later.

If you want to experiment, but don’t want to splash out on full bottles of the necessary ingredients, then you might want to consider getting some pre-mixed cocktails from our excellent range. You can even get mature your own kits which include a barrel and a bottle of pre-mixed cocktail, including the popular Negroni and Manhattan cocktails.

Once you’ve got your cocktail ready, you simply pour it in. After that you need to fit the tap (give it a good whack to ensure a nice tight fit). Then, you play the waiting game… Anything from a few days will start to add some depth. Anything over a few weeks will see a fair bit of your beloved cocktail lost to the angel’s share. The sweet spot is somewhere in between. Of course, the beauty of these casks is that you can sample it from time to time to see how it’s going. If you feel like it’s getting a bit too oak-y, then you can simply decant the whole lot and store it in a clean bottle.

To serve, stir or shake over ice, depending on the type of cocktail and the level of dilution you want, strain over rocks or straight up, and add your preferred garnish or twist.

Remember, you can reuse these, and so now you can get creative. If you’ve just seen off the last of a batch of Negroni that you’ve had hanging around in your cask for a few weeks, then why not try sticking some gin in there next time to make some delicious Negroni-cask-aged gin. You can get a feel for how experiments like this might turn out by trying some of the cask-aged gins from That Boutique-y Gin Company.

Combine this with some impressive clear ice balls, and we think you’ll agree you win at home cocktail making. Like a boss.

Oak Barrels

That Boutique-y Gin Company