How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Mason Jar

Have you ever tasted barrel-aged cocktails? I had my first craft cocktail a few years ago and it blew me away. So smooth and complex… more like fine wine than distilled liquor. Of course, I paid the price… one cocktail cost $20.

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Mason Jar

Whether you prefer a Manhattan, Martinis or an Old Fashioned, craft cocktails will vastly improve the taste of your favorite cocktail. Making barrel-aged cocktails (also known as craft cocktails) is easy to do at home… and you don't need a whisky barrel. With this mason jar method, you can make barrel aged cocktails in a mason jar in a fraction of the time it takes with a barrel — you'll have delicious craft cocktails ready in just 2 weeks instead of 6.

Oh, and these would make fabulous Christmas gifts!

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time Using a Mason Jar

Why Barrel-Aged Cocktails Taste So Delicious

Before I explain the method, let me tell you why this works. Humans have been aging wine in oak barrels since Roman times. Storing oak barrels began as a method for transporting wine throughout the expansive Roman empire, but people soon noticed that it made the wine taste better.

“The contact with the wood made the wine softer and smoother, and with some wines, it also made it better tasting. Due to the minimal toasting of the wood, wines developed additional scents such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice or vanilla, and when drunk they had additional flavors present, such as caramel, vanilla or even butter. As the practice of using oak barrels for transport continued, merchants, wine producers, and armies alike, found that the longer the wine remained inside the barrels, the more qualities from the oak would be imparted into the wine, and thus began the practice of aging wine in oak.” (Source)

Just as aging wine in oak barrels helps to make it taste better, it also works with other types of alcohol. If you've ever tasted aged Scotch whisky, you know what I'm talking about. This is why you see 30-year-old bottles of single malt Scotch selling for hundreds of dollars.

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time Using a Mason Jar

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time

This is the easiest thing in the world. All you need is a few things… You don't need to buy a big expensive [easyazon_link identifier=”B01C66EFXI” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]whisky barrel[/easyazon_link]. All you need is a mason jar and this nifty little [easyazon_link identifier=”B00R2JFODK” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]oak infusion spiral[/easyazon_link] — they sell them for $5 on Amazon — [easyazon_link identifier=”B00R2JFODK” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]this 4-pack[/easyazon_link] is only $14.91 ($3.73 each).

How to Make Barrel Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time

[easyazon_link identifier=”B00R2JFODK” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]This amazing little gadget[/easyazon_link] allows you to make a barrel-aged cocktail in just 2 weeks, or a fortnight, as they say across the pond. A fraction of the time it normally takes. With a [easyazon_link identifier=”B01GDCEHSE” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]2-liter whisky barrel[/easyazon_link], you'd have to wait a full 6 weeks to sample your concoction. Oh the agony!

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time

You should go ahead and get [easyazon_link identifier=”B00R2JFODK” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]the 4-pack[/easyazon_link] because you're gonna want to make a few batches. The first time I made craft cocktails, I made one batch of Manhattans and one batch of Negronis. They were gone almost immediately.

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time

You will also need a lid for your mason jar (I like [easyazon_link identifier=”B016YNPH04″ locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]these plastic ones[/easyazon_link]) and a permanent marker to write on the lid. Oh, yeah, and you need some booze.

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time

I am trying out a couple different versions of the Negroni recipe. I mixed my husband a Negroni last week and he complained that it needed more gin. So we'll see what he thinks of these (don't worry – you can always add more of any of the ingredients when you mix the cocktail).

How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time

 When making barrel-aged cocktails, you should only use liquors (for example, whiskey, Bourbon, vodka, tequila, and so forth), liqueurs (such as Campari, Amaretto, vermouth) and bitters. You should not add juices, other beverages, or sweeteners. Some of the best recipes for barrel-aged cocktails are: Manhattan, Martini, Sazerac, Negroni, Old Fashioned. You can also barrel-age a single type of alcohol for later use in various cocktails. They say you are not supposed to re-use the infusion spirals — they say all the oak flavor is extracted after the first use. But I am thrifty so I'm gonna give it a shot. I'll let you know how it goes.

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How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time Using a Mason Jar
Mason Jar Barrel-Aged Cocktails
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1-2 liters 5 minutes
Passive Time
2 weeks
Servings Prep Time
1-2 liters 5 minutes
Passive Time
2 weeks
How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Fraction of the Time Using a Mason Jar
Mason Jar Barrel-Aged Cocktails
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1-2 liters 5 minutes
Passive Time
2 weeks
Servings Prep Time
1-2 liters 5 minutes
Passive Time
2 weeks
Ingredients
  • 1 mason jar (1 or 2 liters)
  • 1 alcohol of choice
  • 1 infusion spiral
  • 1 mason jar lid
Servings: liters
Instructions
  1. Using a recipe for a cocktail, pour ingredients into the mason jar. For example, a negroni is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. So you would add 1/3 of each to the mason jar. Note: Do not add any fruit juices, other beverages or other sweeteners. Only liquor, liqueurs and bitters.
  2. Add the infusion spiral and cover with a lid.
  3. Write the contents and date on the lid.
  4. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 weeks. Enjoy.
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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

One thought on “How to Make Barrel-Aged Cocktails in a Mason Jar

  1. I want to try this. I admit that I watched an episode of Gilmore Girls and Emily was drinking a Manhattan and I looked for recipes last night. I was reading the article about Dr. Ron and Rami Nagel and found this today. Thanks!

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