With all the focus on fresh, mixed-to-order cocktails in recent years, perhaps it is inevitable that a countertrend should arise. Enter barrel-aged cocktails, the current darling of creative mixologists. Barrel aging is a relatively low-fuss way to create one-of-kind signature drinks. The hard part is waiting weeks or months until the elixir is ready to serve. This is actually a story so old it’s new again, because wood has been used for centuries to smooth the taste of alcohol and ...

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