Barrel-Aged Manhattan



  • 2 parts Bourbon or Rye
  • 1 part Sweet Vermouth
  • ⅔ oz Orange Bitters per liter of Bourbon

  • Pour all ingredients into a clean oak barrel. Barrel character will be apparent by week 1, and continue to deepen following that. To serve, tap 3 ounces into a mixing glass. Stir, with ice, to chill and strain into an Old Fashioned Glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry. (Alternately, bottle the contents of the barrel into clean single-serving bottles. Cap, refrigerate, serve in a chilled glass, and garnish as above.)

Barrel-aging a Manhattan nicely rounds out this classic and provides it with an extra layer of richness and depth by adding subtle oak, smoke, and vanilla notes. The Manhatten is a great cocktail to initially age in your barrel. Follow it up, and experiment, by aging a different bourbon or rye-based cocktail (such as the Boulevardier). Enjoy it as it ages and evolves in your barrel. You’ll notice changes at day 5, with a peak (in a 3-liter barrel) at about 4 weeks. (The larger your barrel, the longer it will take to reach its aging peak.) Check out our Tools & Techniques video about Cocktail Aging Barrels as well as the different Barrel-Aged Cocktails we have made.


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