If a speakeasy has nearly 1500 Yelp reviews, an above-board liquor license and nary a single drink involving bathtub gin, is it still a speakeasy?
Merriam Webster defines a speakeasy as “an illicit liquor store or night club (esp. during Prohibition).” Which means that if you would like to patronize one in 2016, you’ll likely need to be its proprietor, serving DIY booze out of your own DIY white oak barrels.
Barrels like: the Mighty Pint, a new single-serving barrel capable of churning out aged spirits, wines, cocktails or even hot sauce in as little as three days from the comfort of your sitting room. After building the one-pint barrel, wannabe whiskeymakers can infuse their spirit of choice with vanillins and tannins from the barrel’s interior by hydrating, draining and then filling the miniature receptacle.
“We started conducting aging experiments using various methods and were blown away by the way oak improved taste,” says company COO Emmet Leahy. “We experimented with a lot of different methods, but building and using these tiny barrels produced the best results in the shortest amount of time.”
The $50 kits were funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign and, lucky you, they started shipping on President’s Day.
But does investing in one of the sets make sense? We reached out to the folks at Brooklyn’s Kings County Distillery to find out. Their answer? Depends on what you want to accomplish.
“We've played with miniature barrels for specialty gifts, and they are notoriously leaky, and tend to overage after only a few months,” says distillery co-founder Colin Spoelman. “But if the goal is to have a fun experience getting a little more intimate with the whiskeymaking process, there is a lot to learn here, and pretty much anyone can afford to risk a pint of whiskey on the fun of aging it at home.”
If you decide to go for it, enjoy your portable, potent potables responsibly, and good luck with the speakeasy.