Three years ago, Ryan Minnick started working on infusing liquor through a unique process called barrel aging using small replicas of the larger oak barrels that Sagamore Spirits ages their whiskey in. The process produces whiskey cocktails that pack a ton of flavor in a single pour, using a variety of ingredients from fruits to smoky bacon. Now, Minnick is excited to present his first ever Barrel Aging Class at Bethany Blues of Lewes on September 18th from 2-4PM.

Minnick says, “I’m going to provide a plethora of ingredients including liqueurs, bitters, herbs, spices, and fruits. Everyone will be able to choose ingredients to express themselves in cocktail form.”

Minnick feels that choosing the flavors to combine to get unique cocktails is a creative process of self expression. And just how creative can you get? Well, really, the possibilities are pretty endless. He has made all kinds of cocktails from floral infusions that are punctuated with citrus and sweetness to his latest concoction, The Hound Dog, which incorporates all the flavors of Elvis’ favorite sandwich: peanut butter, banana, and bacon!

He explains, “This one was a process where I roasted pecans, almonds, and walnuts. I left them for about two weeks in the rye whiskey, strained it, and then I took homemade candied bacon from the smoker at Blues and I let it sit to collect flavor. From there I used banana chips to infuse with the sugars and flavors. Then I threw it on a drip system, and strained out all the fat content.” The resulting drink is coming out in late August, and will be a power packed flavor combo!

Everyone in the class will have the opportunity to build flavors that speak to their palates! Participants will be given a bottle of Sagamore Spirit, and a 1 liter white oak charred barrel, which is a replica of their larger whiskey barrels. Minnick will be soaking the barrels for everyone properly to ensure the aging process goes accordingly. Because of the nature of the infusion process, where the flavor from the ingredients is imparted into the whiskey, everyone will be mixing in large glass containers, which Minnick will allow to sit, and then he will strain into the barrels on the proper timeline.

After the ingredients have aged and sat long enough, he will remove the fruit and sediment from herbs, and strain the cocktail into the barrel. The custom cocktails will be ready to drink when they are picked up, but can also continue to be aged while they sit the barrels.

Classes are taking place Saturday, September 18th from 2-4PM at the Lewes location. Tickets are $65 and include everything you need to make your unique barrel aged cocktail. Space is limited for this experience, so reserve your spot by emailing Nicole Giannella right away at