Aging makes for killer cocktails

on 12/05/11 at 9:56 am

Spirits

Aged cocktails are becoming quite the thing, it seems. It’s a very interesting concept, and it’s a process that really does make a difference.

As far as I can make out, Tony Conigliaro, the English bartender whose latest venture, 69 Colebrooke Row, in the Islington district of London took off the moment the doors opened, is the guy who first thought of aging premixed cocktails. He’s a bit of a mad-scientist type.

I sipped aged Manhattans at Tony’s bar last year. They were a thing of great beauty. I managed to quaff three of them. They’d been aged in bottles.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, head bartender at Clyde Common in Portland, Ore., also sampled some of Tony’s aged cocktails, and he decided to play with the idea, laying his cocktails down in oak barrels, and thus adding yet another layer to the drinks.

What happens to cocktails when they age? For one thing, they oxidize a little when they are aged in bottles, which results in a tightly integrated, complex drink that shows a tad more complexity than a freshly made mixed drink.

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