How to Make a Barrel Aged Manhattan

by Pamela

How to Make a Barrel Aged Manhattan

A barrel aged Manhattan is a great way to usher in the holidays. The rich flavors obtained through barrel aging take the Manhattan to new levels.

Making a barrel aged Manhattan isn’t something that can only be done at a bar or a distillery. You can actually make one at home with a barrel that’s small enough to sit on your counter or bar cart.

Sure, a barrel aged Manhattan isn’t something you can whip up in a couple of minutes, like a regular Manhattan, but the extra time involved is well worth it. You mix up your favorite Manhattan recipe and pour it into the charred oak barrel and let it sit for at least two weeks (a month is even better). As the Manhattan rests in the barrel, it picks up the flavors of the oak and char from the inside of the barrel. This resting gives the the drink a mellow, slightly smokey and richer flavor than a regular Manhattan.

Barrel Aged Manhattan

For this post I worked with Uncommon Goods and used one of their 1 liter American White Oak Barrels to help create this recipe. I have a charred whiskey barrel and we always keep a stash of Manhattans in it. The flavor is amazing and I wanted to share the recipe with you and where you could get one of these fantastic barrels to make your own aged cocktail.

I also used their unbreakable cocktail glasses and whiskey stones for this post. I like using whiskey stones in my Manhattans because the soapstone (that’s what they’re made from) holds the cold (you need to keep them in the freezer) and doesn’t dilute the cocktail. Craig uses ice because he likes the extra water that they give to the cocktail.

The other cocktail that tastes really good made in the oak barrel is a Negroni. Don’t worry, you can use the same barrel that you made the Manhattan’s in to make the Negroni. You just need to clean it out (the stuff you need to clean out the barrel comes with it).

A couple of the reasons I chose to work with Uncommon Goods on this post is because with every purchase you make, they donate to the non-profit of your choice. To date, they’ve given over $1 million to charities around the world. They’ve also been awarded for outstanding customer service every year since 2007. In 2015, they achieved the BizRate Platinum Circle of Excellence award.

So up your cocktail game and make a barrel aged Manhattan. I promise that once you have one you won’t want to go back to a regular Manhattan. And don’t you think an oak cask would make a great gift for the guy in your life? Or for yourself?

How to Make a Barrel Aged Manhattan
Prep time
Total time
A barrel aged Manhattan is a great way to usher in the holidays. The rich flavors obtained through barrel aging take the Manhattan to new levels.
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • 3 parts rye whiskey
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  1. Use a funnel and add all of the ingredients to your prepped barrel (don't forget you need to prep it before you use it by filling it with water and let it sit for 24 hours before using it).
  2. Place the bung in the top and let sit for at least 2 weeks. I find it tastes best after 4 weeks, but you'll taste the difference after 2 weeks.
  3. For additional flavor, add ½ - 1 shot Luxardo Maraschino liqueur to the drink.




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John Fissette January 2, 2020 at 10:48 am

How long can you leave the manhattan in the barrel after the initial four weeks? Thanks for your help and the recipe. Looking forward to having some on my birthday, January 26th.

Pamela January 2, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Hi John, I leave it in there until it’s gone. Usually a couple of months. CHEERS!

Maria @ kitchenathoskins December 2, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Intriguing recipe! Yum

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