If you want to impact spirits with wood, you could go the traditional route–which is to put said spirit into an oak cask and let it sit there awhile. Maybe a few month like a reposado tequila. Maybe four to seven years like many bourbons. Or perhaps as many as 12, 18 or even 30 years for scotch.
Then again, you could just pour some booze into an oak cup and wait half an hour.
That last one is the basis of Oak Tumbler, a new product from the people behind Oak Bottle–same idea, but a bottle–wherein you alter your drink by quickly imparting the flavors and aromas of wood.
Because these American white oak cups have a surface-area-to-volume ratio well beyond that of a barrel, those woody flavors and aromas that leak into wine and spirits over a matter of months or years can occur in a minimal amount of time. Just pour in your favorite spirit, wine, beer or even a cocktail, and in about half an hour, the charred Oak Tumbler will infuse your drink with some barrel-like qualities.
They note that you’ll taste the oak impact in as little as 30 minutes, but the longer you sip on your drink–or the longer you let it sit there untouched–the more oak influence you’ll get.
Okay. But you’ve got to wonder: does this actually improve anything? Sure, it could be a fun experiment to quickly add a little oak to your gin. And barrel-aged cocktails are obviously a thing, so this isn’t that much different in that respect. But here’s where they lose us: 1) Most good whiskeys, wines, rums and whatever else are aged meticulously to achieve a certain flavor profile, so the idea that you might alter that profile for the better is unlikely. And 2) who wants to wait 30 minutes before taking a sip?
The Oak Tumbler is available online for $40.