Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cracking the Barrel at Fork & Wrench

Canton’s The Fork & Wrench Restaurant and Bar at 2322 Boston Street is cracking open the barrel-aged Vieux Carré and Negroni cocktails tonight!

Barrel-aged cocktails are where a mixologist pre-mixes cocktails and puts them in individual wooden barrels for a couple of weeks so the flavors become more harmonious and rounded, the strong edges smoothed and softened. It is startling how wood and air can alter the taste of a drink.

Cocktail connoisseurs and novices alike will have the option of enjoying the barrel-aged cocktails: 1) full size; 2) half portion of a Vieux Carré and half of a Negroni; 3) or taste a half of a barrel aged Vieux Carré or Negroni and compare it to a non-barrel aged rendition.

Both drinks have interesting back stories:

The classic New Orleans Vieux Carré (pronounced veeyou care-ay, meaning "old square" and referring to the French Quarter) is said to be the most responsive to barrel aging. A fine balance of rye whiskey, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and Peychaud’s bitters, the drink was created by Walter Bergeron at the Hotel Monteleone back in the 30’s.

No one knows the Negroni's origins for sure. It is said that in the early 1900’s, a Count Camillo Negroni invented the drink when he requested that his bartender replace the soda water in his then-favorite cocktail, the Americano, with gin. The bartender also added an orange garnish instead of the typical lemon. A simple cocktail with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, the Negroni can be thrown off if one ingredient is not exactly in the right proportion.

The Fork & Wrench’s mixologist, Shana Leachman, has timed the aging of both these cocktails for premium taste and robust flavor notes. The Fork & Wrench will serve no barrel-aged cocktail until its time. Notices will go up on their Facebook page and Twitter account @ForkandWrench, but pencil in Thursday, April 3rd and be the first to imbibe!

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