Baby Steps to Ageing
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.