Barrel Aged Negronis

When Matt and I first moved to the Boston area, we spent a lot of time at Temple Bar drinking their barrel aged negronis. They simply mixed up a large batch of negronis – equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari – and aged them for 3 months in whiskey barrels. When Matt’s birthday rolled around, I found smaller barrels on Barrels Online that can be used for aging cocktails. It was the perfect gift! They even personalize them, so I got his initials engraved on the front.

Unlike the whiskey barrels that Temple Bar uses, these barrels are new, so we first filled it with some Rittenhouse Rye and let it flavor the barrel for a couple of months. The rye was also good for drinking afterwards, of course. After emptying the rye, we immediately mixed a two liter batch of negronis and poured it into the top of the barrel with a funnel. We marked it in the back with the date and waited…

For some reason we originally thought that Temple Bar aged their negronis for 3 months, so that’s what we did with ours. We poured our first aged negronis last weekend.

Our negronis definitely tasted more oaky than the ones at Temple Bar, but not in a bad way. I think that Temple Bar actually tops their barrels off with fresh mixed negronis as they serve the aged ones, so they will naturally be less oaky. Overall, they were absolutely delicious. They tasted like a richer version of the classic negroni with a hint of oak. We could also taste a little bit of the rye flavor, making them a lot more interesting than the standard negroni.

Negronis are traditionally served with an orange peel that is put under a flame and squeezed into the drink, but we were too much in a hurry to finally try the final product to even remember that.

Now we just need to pick a next drink to try out in the barrel. We’ll have to decide soon, because I’m pretty sure this batch won’t last very long.

Here are a few links to articles/websites on barrel aged cocktails that we used when trying to figure out how to use our barrel. It has become quite a trend, apparently.

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