When the artisanal cocktail craze heated up a few years ago, discerning bars and restaurants looked for that extra edge that would set apart their Manhattans and Negronis from those of the competition. Many turned to barrel-aging cocktails, a technique borrowed from the world of whiskey- and wine-making that was popularized by bartender’s-bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Portland’s Clyde Common.
Since then, barrel-aging has become de rigueur in the cocktail world, landing at or near the top of the National Restaurant Association's beverage trend survey for the past five years. And rather than dying out, adventurous bartenders are only diving deeper into the barrel, applying the seasoning method to assorted bitters and beers. Some have even moved beyond the barrel itself, turning to alternative vessels to aid in the aging process.
Here are nine local bars, restaurants, and brewpubs currently making the most of barrel-aging, and — in one case — of a leather wineskin.Read More