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Gourd as an aging tool at bars

by Panayiotis Savva
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The memories I have from my childhood are the water pumpkins or gourd, with this strange shape being everywhere, in homes, taverns and bars. No, the last one is not a childhood memory, it’s a picture of today. The gourd in the bars is something you will see at Barrel House Bar in Larnaca, as I rely on the past for its current use.

The gourd as a container offers the liquid that is inside a special place for rest and depending on the lining and time, it gives you different results. The technique of transporting wine and water into the gourds dates back to very old times. There were 3 types of gourds used by the old to transport wine and water. Plain, beeswax coated and pine tar coated.

I decided to revive and develop this technique after studying the history of this “pot” we often see decorated in old houses (usually with drawings on it) but also in Cypriot taverns (usually the bulk wine container). You know in the bar, there is a great potential for experimentation and significant influence from the past. Every place, every country has something to add to it, to customize with techniques, tastes with emotions.

I have tried various spirits and cocktail,s for days or even months, sometimes with very good results. In this video, I had left for ten days in the gourd which was lined with beeswax, Cognac along with Angostura Bitters (aged in a barrel). I took them out and created an Old Fashioned that has thyme honey instead of sugar. For decoration, I added a bit of honeycomb which adds to the Cognac,  aromas that have been taken from the gourd. The result? Magical!

I urge you to check out the video on the quest for the perfect gourd and the Old Fashioned I offer at Barrel House Bar.

Panayiotis Savva
Panayiotis Savva

Owner and bartender of Barrel House in Larnaca. Passionate homebrewer who is today founder and brewer of the Cypriot nomadic brewery "Mad Pan". He loves homemade products and delicatessen. Now owner of Little Asian Canteen.

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