Located in Boston Landing, Rail Stop is Boston’s only restaurant with cocktails aged two months or more at their on-site barrel bar. Josh Medeiros, GM of Rail Stop, is part of the team that ‘concocted’ the idea.
Tell us about the Barrel Aged cocktails!
We offer a unique barrel aged cocktail program on a larger scale than anywhere else in Boston! Right now we have a selection of 5 Barrel-Aged Cocktails on the menu, that have been maturing and mellowing in Unused New American White Oak Barrels with a level 3 char. Barrel chars go from 1 being the lightest to 4 being the heaviest. The more time the liquid spends in the barrels, the more flavors and colors are pulled from the wood.
If you think about it, most spirits are clear right after distillation; it is the aging in barrels that give whiskey and other spirits its color and flavor. The cocktails are aged for approximately two months solera style and then transferred into “cheater” bottles behind the bar. We have a few others that are aging but are not ready yet.
How do these taste different than the “every day” cocktail?
By aging the cocktails for two months, it enhances the flavor profile and adds balance to an already great drink.
Are you changing up your cocktails in the fall?
We plan to continue to feature our current selection of cocktails but our goal is to eventually have a total of 40 Barrel-Aged Cocktails within the next two years
How do you know when the ideal aging time is?
Our barrels are 5 gallons. When comparing it to the much larger bourbon barrels that distilleries use, it means that we do not need to age the liquid as much time in the wood because of the surface area. Distilleries can age the liquid up to 20 years, whereas we choose to age our cocktails for approximately two months.
There is liquid left in the barrels from when we first opened in 2017. When removing the liquid from the barrel we always leave half, creating a Solera Style Cask. Meaning that although we let the liquid age for two months, it also is blended with the older liquid inside. To give our cocktails an exact age statement would be inaccurate. The only way to ensure quality, is to taste. So we taste regularly, and we taste often!
Is this the future of cocktails?
In some way, it is actually more from the past than the future. As we all know, spirits are clear before entering the barrel–so most of the flavors and colors from whiskeys and other spirits are acquired from the barrel. Bourbon, for example, was invented hundreds of years ago and it was the aging of the liquid in toasted/charred new American oak that made it delicious. When applied to cocktails it has similar magic–taking all of the ingredients and mellowing it out, adding color, sweetness and vanilla caramel notes.
Where do we get to try these cocktails?
These cocktails are all featured on our cocktail menu. In addition to ordering them at our beautiful 30 seat bar, they can also be enjoyed in our vintage-chic dining room and our outdoor patio area.