Liquor Aging Recipes

One of the best parts about aging your own liquor at home is the freedom it gives you to experiment. After all, one of the reasons we have such a wide variety of spirits available today is because adventurous distillers took the initiative to try new things. While the home distillation of alcohol is still illegal, by aging and infusing your favorite spirits, you can develop exciting recipes and new twists on old favorites.

At Deep South Barrels, we encourage our customers to experiment and share their results with others in the DSB community. On this page, you'll find some of our best used-submitted recipes, as well as some background information on how to age liquor to make it taste better. Keep reading to learn more!

Aging Spirits in Wooden Oak Barrels

The impact of aging alcohol on its taste has been well known for almost as long as beer, wine and spirits have been produced. But what, exactly, is happening when you age your own booze in a wooden barrel? There are two things:

  • Flavor compounds present in the wood, such as vanillin and tannins, are slowly absorbed into the alcohol, affecting its taste profile. Different types of wood have different compounds — American white oak, which all DSB barrels are made out of — is among the most prized.
  • The porous nature of the wood aerates the aging liquor. Much in the way we decant wine to improve its taste, aging spirits like rye and whiskey creates a smoother, more drinkable finished product.


How to Age Your Own Liquor

Aging liquor at home in small batches accelerates both of the above processes. Most professional distillers age spirits in standard-size 53 gallon barrels for months, or even years at a time. This is necessary because of the high volume of alcohol in the barrel. For the home aging enthusiast, however, sticking to smaller batches not only saves space, but it gives you similar results in a shorter amount of time. Many of our most popular liquor recipes call for just three weeks of aging, though of course you are free to experiment with longer or shorter times.

"Bootlegger" essence infusions can also heighten the impact of aging alcohol and allow you to create bourbon, rye or other more complex beverages from neutral spirits like vodka or grain alcohol. Simply mix in the essence before pouring it in the barrel and, over time, the aging process will turn bottom shelf spirits into something worth savoring.

Got a recipe you'd like to share? Send it our way and we'll post it here!