The New Ready-Mixed Cocktail

Aging alcohol is nothing new. But what happens when you age a Negroni?

Bottle aged cocktails. The title looks suspiciously like a way of re-branding those canned mojitos that sit forlornly in train station Marks and Spencers. But the idea of leaving a cocktail to mature is gathering serious momentum with London’s most respected mixologists.

Multi-award adorned barman Tony Conigliaro has been shaking up Manhattans, only to leave them to dwell in the cellar at his 69 Colebrook Row bar. One bottle is quietly released each year and purchases are limited to one per customer – such is the eagerness of booze connoisseurs to sample the 'vintage'.  

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Hoxton-based bar White Lyan, meanwhile, bottles cocktail mixes made with custom blended spirits for swift service and intense flavours. Kings Cross grill and bar VOC devotes a section of its drinks menu to cocktails which are aged in barrels, rather than bottles. The Cannon Smoked Star is a marriage of vodka, Grand Marnier and lavender bitters kept for three weeks and served in an anise smoked glass.

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Exmouth Market based bar 5CC makes cocktails, stores them in antique perfume bottles and serves at the table for a hint of speakeasy style. Their bottle-aged take on the Negroni is smoother, richer, and more complex in flavor than its freshly made counterpart. To understand the science behind the process, try their Forgotten Cocktails masterclass, where an expert will take you through the steps before bottling up your own bespoke beverage. 

The bar’s head mixologist, Piyush Chavda, says that the oxidisation that occurs in the bottle develops and changes the flavours. Juices, citrus peel and other perishable additions obviously can’t be included at the time of bottling, but can be added when serving for a welcome twist.

It sounds pretty nasty, sure. But trust us on this: these pure booze, no-fruit concotions mellow and develop like a laid down bottle of Bordeux.

Just don't try it with a mimosa. 

Vintage Manhattan image courtesy of 69 Colebrook Row 

 

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