EDGE Steak & Bar is known for many things. Amongst them is their impressive brunch selection that features a la carte hot dishes and a spread that puts a suckling pig 10 that’s been roasted overnight 10 feet away from a mini raw bar proffering oysters, Alaskan king crab legs, succulent shrimp and during season, stone crab. Their hard-to-beat happy hour, which features dollar oysters and half price small bites is a favorite amongst locals. So is their perfectly cooked lamb anything from executive chef and top class act Aaron Brooks.
They aren’t, however, particularly known for in-house barrel aged cocktails. That’s because as of recently, they just started pouring their first barrel and are already aging their second.
Restaurant manage Eldrys Carrasco had the idea. To bring it to life he teamed up with the cocktail authority in town — Bar Lab Boys Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta. “We wanted to take the cocktail program to the next level but be crafty and simple and stay away from the molecular,” says Carrasco.
Carrasco and the Bar Lab boys have created a bourbon based cocktail — the Double Barrel Shooter — that’s been double aged. As part of the distillery process, bourbon is aged before it ever reaches the bottle. It is then aged again in the barrel for about a month and a half. “Anything more than that causes the cocktail to become too oaky.” To test his theory, once the cocktail has been aged to its highest point, Carrasco won’t empty the barrel completely, but rather leave a bit in there to see what the result is if you were to age it forward.
As far as the preparation, the cocktail is ready to pour once it’s aged. The only thing added is an orange twist for garnish. All the magic happens between the wood and prior to aging. “You can’t use any fruit or citrus because it rots, so we have to stay away from any lemon juice.” This called for Carrasco to get crafty with their concoction, having to call on liqueurs and bitter to balance the libation, which mixes Woodford Rerserve handcrafted bourbon from Kentucky with Aperol, angostura bitters, Licor 43 and vermouth. Licor 43 is a Spanish liqueur named after its ingenious use of 43 ingredients, which include citrus, fruit juices, vanilla and other herbs and spices. It’s the ideal substitute to using any real fruit or citrus and also brings a bit of sweetness and balance to the boldness of the cocktail.
Once all elements have been poured into the barrel, it gets flipped every single day to ensure that every last drop inside is exposed to the oak. Carrasco and his team also try it every week thought the process to evaluate the taste. “Two things happen when you barrel age cocktails. You expose cocktail to wood and as it oxidizes the ingredients age together and are more well balanced.”
Once has all been said and done, 55 cocktails can be poured from the one barrel. The Double Barre Shooter has been such a hit that Carrasco and his team are already aging their second and larger sized barrel. “We were going to do something different but people really like it as it has the profile of an old fashioned, which is our most popular drink.” It is in fact an excellent alternative to an old fashioned and one worth sipping on with lamb, oysters, or anything in between.
Eventually Carrasco plans on introducing more to the menu, but for now, the one barrel-aged cocktail is a new addition and compliment to the already list of must-haves at EDGE Steak & Bar.