Last Christmas, I gave Cooper a small barrel, designed by Drinking Made Easy host Zane Lamprey.
It sat empty for a looong time. As it turns out, coming up with a drink to age isn't as easy as I expected it to be. There are tons of age-able drinks, but to age a drink, it needs to be primarily straight booze. You can't stick Sprite - or whatever - in a barrel and expect it to sit well for four to six weeks.
Finally, about a month ago, I took the leap, making a batch of El Presidentes, the classic pre-Prohibition Cuban cocktail, and pouring them into the barrel. (I used this recipe, but replaced the Curacao with Grand Marnier.)
We unveiled the drink over the weekend, at the annual Carol and Crawl party hosted by Alicia, Mike, Bill, Kyle and Mary. (Note: The C and C has evolved past caroling or crawling. It's just a one-house Christmas party these days. But we keep the name.)
And the results? Unsurprisingly, it's still boozy. I wouldn't light a match anywhere near it. But the drink was much mellower than I remember it being before I poured it into the barrel. I was surprised, though, that I didn't get a whole lot of oaky flavor. Which was fine - just surprising.
The first whiff is definitely intense, and the definitely best over ice, after a little of that ice has melted. But considering that I'm not much of a straight-liquor cocktail kind of girl, I thought it was really pretty good.
Now I just need to figure out what goes in the barrel next!