Baby Steps to Age­ing

Wine & Dine - - HAPPY HOUR FEATURE -

While the ex­perts do spir­ited ac­ro­bat­ics with their age­ing, it’s also pos­si­ble to try one’s hand at it at home. Here’s how to do it safely:

• Take baby steps and ex­per­i­ment first with com­monly aged tip­ples like the text­book Ne­groni or Rob Roy.

• Avoid fruit juices as they can go bad and spoil your maiden batch. Leave that trick to the ex­perts.

• Keep your bar­rel in a dark cool place.

• Taste every week, keep­ing in mind that the first few weeks will see the most dra­matic changes.

• A greater sur­face area of wood to vol­ume ra­tio will trans­form your cock­tail faster. So as a rule of thumb, small bar­rels will change the cock­tail faster than larger bar­rels.

• A note on hu­mid­ity: high hu­mid­ity will draw out al­co­hol from your bar­rel, while low hu­mid­ity will draw out wa­ter con­tent.

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