Monday, August 15, 2011

Imbibe Monday: Introducing Jeffrey Morgenthaler and the Barrel-Aged Cocktail

"Coughlin's diet: cocktails and dreams." 
- Doug, from a horrible movie called Cocktail

So my wife and I have been exploring a few cocktails and whiskey treats I have been wanting to add to Imbibe Mondays, but none of them turned out like I wanted so I thought I would cheat a little and post some videos I've been "keeping to myself" about an interesting development in the cocktail world. An exciting time for cocktails, mixologist, and those who love to drink their makings, new ideas and creations are literally being poured out from coast to coast. One of the current trends taking over bars across the U.S. is the barrel-aged cocktail. Literally a cocktail aged in used whiskey barrels these beverages are generally consumed in bars, however, because of the ease and personalized touch anyone can add to these aged cocktails, I wouldn't be surprised to see them start popping up at larger events and weddings.

The creation of this new and innovative idea originated from none other than Portland's own, Jeffrey Morgenthaler of the fabulous Clyde Common, located in downtown Portland one block south of Powell's City of Books. Tending neighborhood taverns, college nightclubs, fine restaurants and upscale lounges since 96, Morgenthaler began writing and blogging in 2004, yet since his move to the Clyde Common his image has grown considerably. Now considered one of the leading mixologist in the world his recipes and mixologist musings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Wired, and Imbibe magazines. Forbes Traveler labeled Morgenthaler one of the "Cocktail Movers and Shakers" of 2007, while the Tasting Panel Magazine knighted him as the "New Leader" in 2009. 

Below are two videos explaining the barrel-aged cocktail process: The first is a video of Morgenthaler and another Portlander Evan Zimmerman, the bar manager of Laurelhurst Market, and the second video is Morgenthaler at Tuthilltown Distillery explaining the process using Tuthilltown’s unaged corn whiskey in a barrel cocktail.

One can purchase a barrel-aged cocktail from the Clyde Common for $10, but from a New York Times article I read, in a place such as New York prices can be between $13 and $25! Such high prices are justified, say many bar owners, because of the limited quantities and the actual time invested in creating the cocktails, which have to be constantly watched, tested, and gauged until considered ready to serve.

Click here for barrel-aged cocktail directions straight from Morgenthaler's great blog - a must read for any mixologist.   

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