How To Age Bourbon In Seconds

If you're a regular connoisseur of bourbon, you'll probably agree that like many liquors, it's better when it's aged. Unfortunately, aged bourbon is pricey when purchased in a liquor store, and many people don't have several years (or patience) to wait for the best results.

According to Vine Pair, the sweet spot for aged bourbon is between 10 to 14 years, as it brings out a flavor-packed mixture of pepper, vanilla, and caramel. The article advises against processing bourbon much longer than that, lest it becomes bitter and sour. As stated in Kentucky Tourism, 95% of bourbon worldwide is produced in Kentucky. It's aged in barrels that fluctuate with the temperature and allow the liquor to soak in the wood.

This flavorful beverage might be a tad out of the price range for college students and young adults. However, there is a lesser-known secret for aging bourbon quickly and affordably.

The ingredients and process of aging bourbon

The process of how bourbon is really made involves a longer aging process for certain types of prized bourbon (via Southern Kitchen), but similar effects can be achieved in mere seconds in a method much simpler than you might expect. A recipe from Business Insider suggests adding "1 tablespoon of dry sherry, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke to 750 milliliters of budget bourbon." After adding the necessary ingredients, shake the mixture thoroughly and enjoy.

So, why these ingredients? Business Insider, which learned its tricks from a book by "Kitchen Hacks," states that liquid smoke gives the mixture a complex flavor, the vanilla mimics the natural flavor of bourbon barrels, and sherry provides necessary undertones. To further ensure bourbon tastes its best, you may want to use none other than classic Kentucky bourbon for the mixture. Kentucky Tourism boasts that its limestone reserves, perfect climate, and fertile soil make it the ideal place for bourbon making. It's made of at least 51% corn and bottled at 80 proof or more.

Toronto Star used the same recipe and conducted a taste test in which liquor aged using this method held its own against more expensive classically aged bourbons, with the slight caveat that the liquid smoke smell could give it away. However, this hack definitely seems worth a try.