Weapons of Choice: The Oak Bottle
Give your cheap wines and spirits barrel-aged flavour with the Oak Bottle
The Oak Bottle seems to have come straight out the dreams of cash-strapped drink connoisseurs everywhere, promising to make budget liquor taste like the higher-end stuff. Oak barrel aging is the secret to the nuanced flavours of many fine wines and spirits and the Oak Bottle allows you to recreate this process at home.
Made with American white oak, the Oak Bottle is designed to maximize the oak surface area the liquid inside comes in contact with, which speeds up the aging process. The inside of the bottle is charred, just like a traditional oak barrel. Letting your wines and spirits briefly age in the Oak Bottle adds rich flavours that make low quality drinks taste better than you would have thought possible. It's not just for cheap drinks, though – you can use the Oak Bottle to take your good wines and spirits up a notch too.
To use it, just prime the bottle with lukewarm water for 24 hours, empty it out and then add your favourite wine or spirit. Cork the bottle and let it sit for about 24-48 hours to age, sampling it periodically to determine when your liquor has reached the level of oakiness that you like (if anyone asks why you keep dipping into the wine, you can explain that it's part of the scientific process). The liquid doesn’t have time to fully saturate the bottle’s charred oak interior, which means you can simply rinse it out with water and use it again when you're done.
The Oak Bottle works wonderfully with chardonnays, merlots and cabernets, as well as spirits like bourbon, brandy and whisky – although experimenting with different wines and spirits and noticing their flavours change after sitting in the Oak Bottle is all part of the fun.