Oak Aged Cocktails

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I aged Old Fashioned cocktails in a mason jar with Jack Daniels oak barrel smoking ships.

I aged Old Fashioned cocktails in a mason jar with Jack Daniels oak barrel smoking chips.

Oak barrel aged cocktails are amazing. Here’s how to make your own (no barrel required).

Chris at Man Made DIY shared his experiment with a few different ingredients for aging cocktails, the clear winner in my interpretation was chips of Jack Daniels whiskey barrels sold for smoking meat.

Chris used 8 grams of Jack Daniels oak barrel chips with 6 ounces of liquid. I’ve done some experiments and the best combination is to proceed in his footsteps by making five Old Fashioned cocktails and aging them for two weeks with 17 grams of Jack Daniel’s oak.

I made five Old Fashioned cocktails pretty much as normal in a Boston shaker and aged them for two weeks one week with seventeen grams of oak.

Edit: originally I was aging these for two weeks. That worked for just doing one or two but at these quantities that was too long. Just age them for a week.

15 dashes bitters (5 x 3 dashes)
half an orange (5 x slices) [filter these out before aging]
5 maraschino cherries (5 x cherries) [include these for the aging]
5 sugar cubes (5 x cubes)
13 ounces Bourbon (5 x 2.5 ounces Bourbon)
17 grams Jack Daniels Oak Barrel chips

Only real difference from a normal cocktail is that I muddle the orange and filter out the mashed peels; then I age the mixture with the five cherries. The cherries turn into little Bourbon bombs and pretty much make the whole exercise worthwhile.

Hint: make a little extra for now; you’ll have to wait fourteen seven days to try the rest.

I love Luxardo cherries but use Woodford Reserve here for aging (I found that the Luxardos will dominate the drink in a cloying way).

I’m making these in 16 ounce Ball mason jars; I tried using old pickle jars but they always smell like pickle no matter what I do to remove the smell.

Sunday Morning

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Spicy Bloody Mary in recognition of one more day of the weekend.


Hella Bitter on Kickstarter

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This is very cool; Benjamin is collecting funds to make a big batch of is bitters recipe. Sign up if you’d like to take a chance on a bottle. I’m in!

Hella Bitter Citrus Cocktail Bitters by Benjamin Ahr Harrison


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Miehana with Flaming GarnishThe Miehana is my go-to umbrella drink; it’s yummy, easy to make and is fruity without beating you over the head with the rum. It’s a modern invention, not an old-school Tiki-drink but I like it.

Combine the following in a shaker ⅔ full of ice

1 ounce of fresh lime juice
1 ounce of orange juice
1 ounce of unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ounce of Grand Marnier
1 ounce of gold Virgin Islands rum
1 ounce of coconut-flavored rum

Shake well and pour, unstrained, into a double old-fashioned glass or a Miehana mug (crafted by TikiFarm but only available on ebay currently). Add ice as needed to fill glass. Alternately, you can make one-and-a-half and fill a hurricane glass!

Flaming garnish is inspired by the out-of-print book, Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living. I’m working on a separate post just about the flaming garnish. Short story is leave a bit of bread on the counter overnight and douse it with lemon extract (found with vanilla extract with spices at your grocer).

Recipe from Beach Bum Berry Remixed.

Seriously, if you attempt a flaming garnish please be safe; have an Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher on hand.

South Seas Zombie

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South Seas ZombieThis recipe is from the South Seas restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii circa 1970. Not your standard Zombie recipe but a very nice version. Plenty of rum and fruit in this one, no surprise there!

Combine the following in a shaker ⅔ full of ice

1 ounce of orange juice
1 ounce of unsweetened pineapple juice
½ ounce of fresh lemon juice
½ ounce of sweet Italian vermouth
½ ounce of orange curaçao
1 ounce of dark Jamaican rum
½ ounce of light Puerto Rican rum

Shake well and strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Float

1 ounce of dark 151 proof rum atop the drink

Recipe adapted from the out-of-print Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica!, if you’re interested you may want to order his updated book Beach Bum Berry Remixed

The garnish here is from one of my favorite (also out-of-print) books, Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living; it is made from skewer of candy Lifesaver Gummies. You can get the 6-inch Bamboo Skewers and the LifeSavers Gummies (Pack of 18) from Amazon.

Note: I do have a nice collection of tiki mugs but I really like how the rum drinks look in a clear glass so they don’t get used very often.

Sutton Cellar’s Brown Label Vermouth

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Sutton Cellars Brown Label VermouthI was recommended this Vermouth on first visit to a  Whole Foods. I was lost and asked if they had Vermouth and was blown away when the answer was, “Well, My favorite is over here.” I will always be sucker for high-quality, hand-crafted Vermouth and, sadly, am still surprised when I find people who feel the same.

Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth is a yummy Vermouth. It’s sweet smelling and tastes of gingerbread.

really liked it in a “wet” vodka martini (3 of vodka, 1 of vermouth) with olive garnish. In a Hendrick’s Gin martini I thought the flavors conflicted unpleasantly.

I really like the Sutton Cellar’s Brown Label. My only gripe is that I wish it was available in half bottles so I needn’t worry about the open bottle turning funky. I do my part but can only drink so many Martinis.

Find this at Whole Foods stores or order it from the winemaker.


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The daiquiri has gotten a bad rap. It’s not supposed to be blended or overly sweet; properly made, a daiquiri is a rich and refreshing combination of lime and light rum.

Combine the following in a shaker ⅔ full of ice

2 ounces light rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup

Shake well and strain into a double old fashioned glass filled ⅔ with crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Per the William-Sonoma: The Bar Guide this drink was discovered by Teddy Roosevelt on Daiquiri Beach, Cuba during the Spanish-American War and it was popularized by Ernest Hemingway.

Adapted from William-Sonoma: The Bar Guide

Blended Piña Colada

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Blended Piña coladaCombine the following in a blender

2 ounces light rum
6 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces canned coconut cream (such as Coco López)
2 cups crushed ice

Blend well and serve in chilled glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge and Maraschino cherry.

Adapted from William-Sonoma: The Bar Guide

Bamboo Skewers and
Margarita Glasses available from Amazon.

Surf Room Mai Tai

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Royal Hawaiian Mai TaiThis is not the original Trader Vic Mai Tai. What this is is a very nicely balanced version of the fruity one’s that we fell in love with while on vacation in Kauai. This recipe originates from Surf Room at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki circa 1940.

Combine the following in a shaker ⅔ full of ice

1 ounce Orange juice
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
½ ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
¼ ounce orgeat syrup
¼ ounce sugar syrup
¼ ounce orange curaçao
1 ounce Demerara rum
1 ounce Jamaican rum
1 ounce Puerto Rican rum

Shake well and strain into a chilled double old fashioned glass. Garnish generously.

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica!

For your garnish, get 4 inch Bamboo Skewers from Amazon.

Gourmet Coffee Grog

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Gourmet Coffee GrogThe brown sugar, rum and spices are almost chocolatey with the coffee. This is quite good and worth the bit of preparation. Note that this recipe is enough for 4 drinks.

Cream together…

2 teaspoons of sweet butter
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
a pinch each of salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves

Stir together in a mug…

1 teaspoon of the prepared mixture
a splash of hot coffee to dissolve the butter

top off the mug with
1 inch strip of lemon rind
1 inch strip of orange rind
1½ ounces of light rum
1 ounce cream
enough hot coffee to fill mug

Stir to blend. Serve immediately. Makes 4 drinks

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica!

You can order these mugs form Amazon: Bormioli Rocco Verdi Cappuccino Cup with Stainless Steel Handle