5 Best Barrel-Aged Cocktails in Metro Phoenix
Barrel aging can transform a cocktail from its typical flavor to a smoother, richer, and more cohesive final product. As the cocktail mixture sits in the barrel, it develops much like a bourbon does as it barrel ages. While cocktails typically spend much less time in barrels than the spirits they're made with, the month or two that they're generally aged at makes all of the difference. Whiskey, gin, or rum, there are several bars around town barrel-aging cocktails to suit every taste.
Heather Hoch Citizen Public House's aged Negroni has a salty secret.
See Also: 5 Best Gin Cocktails in Metro Phoenix
Sea Salt Negroni at Citizen Public House
Citizen's sea salt Negroni ($12) was conceptualized by the idea of importing liquor back in the days when shipping meant literally sending via ships. As barrels of booze sat in the hull of a ship, they would get splashed with salty sea water, dry out, get splashed again, and on and on. Citizen bartenders do this to barrels full of their recipe Negroni as the cocktail ages from four to six weeks. The resulting cocktail has the herbal, bitter elements of a Negroni with a light salinated taste at the end that's unlike any other cocktail in town.
Manhattan at Hanny's
As far as the classics are concerned, Hanny's has developed one of the most iconic cocktails into an even richer version of itself with a barrel-aged Manhattan. The process begins with the recipe for their Maker's Manhattan, which uses Maker's Mark, Cinzano Rosso, and Angostura bitters. That mixture is then aged for 90 days. The final product ($11) is served up in a martini glass with a maraschino cherry and benefits from a smoothed out overall flavor.
Copper District at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
Evie Carpenter The Copper District ages Copper City Bourbon to a whole new delicious smooth, vanilla-y level.
Never did we ever think that we'd find a cocktail that tastes exactly like vanilla pudding, but here it is. Matt Tobey's Copper District ($11) ages Copper City Bourbon with elderflower liqueur and housemade brandied Bing cherry syrup in new white American oak barrels for two weeks. The sweet, smooth, and, yes, vanilla-y drink is then kicked up with blood orange bitters and poured over Angostura ice cubes. To finish, the drink is then garnished with a lemon peel and brandied cherry. This cocktail is as close as you'll ever get to drinking your dessert without going full-blown obvious like an adult milkshake.
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