Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Corporate Events: Former horse barns and sex clubs now hot venues with barrel-aged cocktails

While Speakeasies have become hot partly because of their historical significance, venues that had nothing to do with prohibition are also transforming into awesome event spaces with a very unique selection of beverages.

We found one in the Meatpacking District that is not your typical models and bottles destination.

In fact, legend has it that it was a former horse barn turned into some kind of sex club.  But those days are long gone, as it is now one of the most expansive and dynamic corporate event venues.

The key to this and other emerging venues is the menu of barrel-aged spirits. Barrel aging is taking the Speakeasy to a new level and it is exactly what it sounds like.  Venues are mixing up a several-gallon serving of a cocktail (called "batching") and funneling it into an oak barrel, the same kind used to age wine or bourbon. In fact, they often score the barrel from wineries or distilleries.  This cocktail-in-a-barrel is then set aside in a dark corner of the basement for anywhere from a couple of months to as long a necessary until it is "ready." 

As with wine or bourbon (or rum or aged tequila or any other aged spirit), what's happening inside involves a complex relationship between barrel and alcohol. As the barrel "breathes", the alcohol is absorbed and expelled from the wood, extracting tannins, color and flavors. The alcohols soften and gain complexity as they age.

Because New York and San Francisco are out in front of the entire industry with this trend, your corporate meeting, association convention or destination incentive group will be among the first to jump on this delicious idea!

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