Wednesday: Barrel-Aged Cocktail Launch Party

March 15

Aging does wonders to booze, as evidenced by the best wines and whiskies in the world, but I didn't realize the same was true for pre-made cocktails until I saw this event. Here's the deal. As Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a bar manager at Clyde Common in Portland, explained to Food & Wine, "[Y]ou can still taste the drink, but it’s more integrated, with oaky flavors of vanilla and caramel." That sounds mighty fine to me. Golden West is getting in on the trend with a barrel-aged Manhattan, made with Jim Beam Black, sweet vermouth, and Fee Brothers orange bitters, and an Old Fashioned, made with Jim Beam Rye, Vermont maple syrup, and Angostura bitters. Both drinks, which are set to become permanent additions to the bar's menu, will be debuted tonight after two months of aging in oak barrels. Hopefully they're as tasty as Morgenthaler describes. It also happens to be Wax Wednesday, so you can hear Captain Cocktail spin records starting at 10 p.m. 7-11 p.m., Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891,, free admission (drinks are $9). (Brandon Weigel)

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