Gourmet Cooking with Aging Barrels


Most customers and fans of Deep South Barrels have already tried and perfected their favorite aging spirits recipe. Whether using a combination of essences and liquors, or simply throwing in a full bottle of your favorite rum or bourbon and letting it grow in flavor, it is incredibly easy to expand your repertoire (and your liquor cabinet) using only a few simple ingredients. However, one of our favorite ways to use the barrels is to age your own balsamic vinegar for cooking.

Money-Saving and Delicious

Much in the same way that aging liquor makes it taste like a more expensive drink, aging a cheap bottle of balsamic vinegar in a barrel imbues it with richer flavor, scent, and color. Cooking enthusiasts speak reverently of “traditional balsamic vinegar,” which is produced in Italy through a strict process requiring the syrupy liquid to age at least twelve years in the barrel. Like bourbon or whiskey, a portion evaporates in the barrel, and is referred to as “the angel’s share.”

Get as close as possible to the coveted traditional balsamic vinegar by filling your oak aging barrel with store-bought balsamic and letting it mellow and age for a minimum of twenty days. In addition, make sure to put the barrel in a safe place where it will not be touched or disturbed for the duration of the aging process. Serve your balsamic vinegar with salads, drizzled over fruit or vegetables, or with French bread for dipping.

Tastier Hot Sauce

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, you can also age hot sauce in a barrel, just as the Tabasco Company does.  Simply use your regular homemade hot sauce or barbeque sauce recipe, and pour the mixture into a barrel that you have used to age spirits in. Let it age for two weeks to a month, tasting at intervals. Not only will your sauce have a more complex, full-bodied flavor, but it will have an oaky, smoky taste as well, courtesy of the traces of alcohol still left in the barrel.

These are only a few of the many ways in which your oak aging barrel can be used. Experiment, play, and definitely let us know what concoctions you come up with. Email us recipes and accompanying photos at blog@deepsouthbarrels.com and like us on Facebook for all the latest info, updates, contests and giveaways. Added by Christina Nunn on Jan. 21, 2015.

Make your own barrel-aged balsamic vinegar today