This is a tale of two amazing things that when put together, result in a Savor Borgata event that’s going to blow your mind.
First up is the barrel. Yes, the simple barrel of the roll out the, over the, and barrel through variety.
Sure it may seem like some simple construction of wood slats and metal bands, but once constructed—and combined with liquor—it’s one of the most important flavoring agents in the distilling and brewing industry.
Think about it. They age whiskey, bourbon, scotch, rum, tequila, beer, wine and sherry in barrels to add to the spirit’s distinctive taste, color and body. Hey, they even age Tabasco sauce and vinegar in barrels (but that’s another story).
Next up is the simple bartender, the mixologist, the cocktail slinger. These humble purveyor of drinks are always looking to find that edge, that extra ingredient or element that puts their cocktails over the top into new territory.
So it’s not surprising that some of those wily bartenders—including ours here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa—hit on the idea of finding some old whiskey and wine barrels and aging their own cocktails in them.
Thus another trend was born—the barrel-aged cocktail. And on May 16 in Long Bar, the Savor Borgata Series will present a Woodford Reserve Barrel-Aged Cocktails Lunch. Specially made cocktails featuring Woodford Reserve whiskeys will be aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and pared with a menu by Borgata’s Executive Chef Thomas Biglan.
As Biglan describes it, “Aging cocktails in wood barrels can soften harsh edges and add layers of flavor, while still being able to taste the drink. Whiskey and other spirits gain their flavor, character, color and other unique characteristics from aging in a barrel. Putting a cocktail back in a barrel allows the flavor of individual spirits to meld, and then get richer with wood or smoke of the barrel.”
The process allowed Biglan to come up with this menu:
Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Cocktails
Drink: Old Fashion
Honey Bourbon Ham Wellington
Cinnamon Spiced Walnuts
Citrus Ginger Seared Black Sea Bass
Pork Belly Rice
Roasted Parsnips / Swiss chard Glass
As the song says, when we roll out the barrel, you’ll have a barrel of fun.