Barrel Aged Cocktail Recipe – Wild Turkey Aged in Old Smoky Blackberry Moonshine Barrel
If you like bourbon then you are at least familiar with Wild Turkey. They have been around for years and their labels (including Russel’s Reserve also) have been consistently named as top 10 in tastings year after year. The Wild Turkey 101 is one of their top pours and I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it. On the nose you will notice a fresh creamy vanilla scent along with some pecan and clove. To the palate you will find it smooth with a bite of chocolate truffle, cinnamon and nutmeg. Obviously it is 101 proof but don’t let that scare you. It is smooth but also has some bite. Putting it in the barrel will taper it down a bit and give it some more color and oak flavor while smoothing out the hot peaks finishing with slight burn and brilliant spice.
I have made some cocktails muddled with blackberries, mint and simple syrup in the past and they tasted pretty darn good. I thought I would take the Ole Smoky Tennessee Blackberry Moonshine and use it actually cure the 1 liter oak barrel before I aged the Wild Turkey in it. This will allow the barrel to soak in that blackberry moonshine flavor and impart those notes in to the Wild Turkey 101 without making it too sweet or overwhelming. I am not a huge fan of the flavored bourbons and whiskies that are all the rage these days but I don’t mind a little of the flavor in my drink.
This barrel aged cocktail turned out really well. I noticed that the WT 101 flavor had a little of the blackberry sweetness to it now. Not anything to make your cheeks pucker but just enough to add some new dimensions to the palate. You will still get the heat of a 101 proof bourbon but is seems to be tapered down a bit. We ended up leaving the moonshine in the barrel for about 2 weeks so it was good and saturated in the wood. I personally didn’t drink it since it’s not my cup of tea but my wife used it to make some fruity cocktails that she thoroughly enjoyed. The best part of making these twisted cocktails is that you can’t buy it anywhere in the world and quite literally no one else is tasting the exact same thing you have. In fact, every barrel will impart it’s own flavor in to your cocktail differently so this same recipe in a different barrel will be slightly different than the one I had. You can use the WT 101 to make some tasty cocktails like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned or you can just drink it straight neat or on the rocks, depending on how you like it.
- 1 Liter oak aging barrel
- 750 ml Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine
- 750 ml Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
The first thing you need to do is cure your barrel. Most people normally cure the barrel with water but in this case you want to cure the barrel with your Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine. You will need to fill at least half of the barrel with the bourbon you are curing with. Leave the Ole Smoky in the barrel for at least a week. This will allow it to permeate the staves of the barrel and leave the flavor profile behind for your Wild Turkey bourbon to mingle with. Once you have the barrel cured then pour the moonshine back in your jar and empty the fifth of Wild Turkey you are going to age in the barrel. Now comes the hard part. WAITING. Wait for the barrel to impart the flavor into the bourbon. You can leave it in the barrel for a week, a month or even longer depending on how you like yours. I suggest that you take a small taste each week to see how it is going and once it reaches your preferred flavor then remove it from the barrel and pour it in a bottle. We left ours in the barrel for 4 weeks before we removed it.
Will make about 9-11 drinks per recipe. The longer you age it in the barrel the less you will have remaining since some loss due to Angel’s Share is imminent.