Oak Martinez Anyone? Cocktail Time At The Compound

My dear friend Jake and I often get together at either his home or mine to enjoy fellowship, terrific old jazz vinyl, and a beverage or two (or three). I suppose if cigars were to become part of the evening, we’d be complete. Haha.

My love for vintage high fidelity equipment, wonderful classic jazz on vinyl from such greats as Junior Mance, Dave Brubeck, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans and Andre Previn (just naming a few, I could go on and on) rubbed off on him, so all this superb music alone makes for a pretty incredible evening.

Along the way, we have explored a few excellent concoctions of drink for the evening… and more recently dear Jake introduced this totally delicious blend involving the effective barrel-aging process. 1 week is quite effective, in a readily available 1.5 or 2 liter oak aging barrel (check Amazon, but beware of the foil-lined barrels, these are ineffective), but it’s also quite yummy without the barrel.

It’s called an OAK MARTINEZ.

The Martinez is a great cocktail to age in a barrel. The complexities which the oak barrel imparts (smoke, oak, and a hint of vanilla) certainly make aging this wonderful cocktail worth the wait. You’ll notice the barrel’s influence in about a week, but it will really become impressive at about 4-weeks.

The Old Tom Style gin we selected as a more readily available substitute was a pleasant surprise… the award-winning Smooth Ambler Spirits Company making magic in my very own home-state of West Virginia. This pleases me!

Here’s the recipe ladies and gentlemen… enjoy… you will love this.

2 parts Gin (Old Tom style)
1½ parts Sweet Vermouth
¼ part Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (or a suitable cherry liquer)
½ oz Boker’s (or Angostura) Bitters per 1½ liters of Gin

Pour all ingredients into a clean oak barrel. The barrel character will be apparent by week one and continue to deepen following that. To serve: tap 4 ounces into a mixing glass. Stir with ice to chill and strain into a Coupe Glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist. (Or bottle the contents of the barrel into clean single-serving bottles. Cap, refrigerate, pour into a chilled Coupe Glass, and garnish as described above.)


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