Negronis with Greg:: Episode 005 w/Special Guest - Marie Larsen featuring the Barrelsmith Negroni

by Negronis Greg

Over the last couple of years, we talked about doing some fun video or live chat to talk about different versions of the drink we had concocted, rare bottles we had stumbled upon, or use it as an excuse to pour a cold one and chop it up. Well, Greg moved from Chicago to Orlando, schedules become surprisingly more complex, and we never found time.

Fast forward to this spring WM Brown’s own Matt Hranek (@Matthranek) released a book, ‘The Negroni A Love Affair with a Classic Cocktail,’ and it got us talking about Negroni’s again. 

Today we are back with the latest episode of the Negronis with Greg podcast. Join us in episode 005 w/special guest - Marie Larsen and we taste the Barrelsmith Negroni. Join us on an Adventure to explore Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail




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About Barrelsmith

Since 2010, Matt and Martha have been perfecting the art of creating barrel-aged craft cocktails. Not settling for traditional recipes and off-the-shelf bottles, they experimented, sourced, and developed their own ingredients and methods to create the very best barrel-aged craft cocktails.

Working for a technology company in the casino business, Matt spent a lot of time in Las Vegas and around the world experiencing the very best cocktails and bar culture. At one of his favorite spots, he spent many hours talking to the bar staff about their innovative cocktails, especially their in-house, barrel-aging program. With encouragement from the staff, Matt and Martha started experimenting with barrel-aging cocktails at their home in Connecticut. 

A trial and error process with off-the-shelf ingredients and different aging techniques finally resulted in a cocktail that they were proud of and that visitors judged to be the best they had ever tasted.

The business was born when Matt’s mother ordered a Negroni at a high-end Italian restaurant. After sending her drink back three times, she finally had to settle for a different cocktail. They could not come close to matching the intricate and refined drink resulting from selected craft ingredients aged in a charred, oak barrel that she had tasted at Matt and Martha’s home. Many friends and family had similar experiences and started asking to take home Matt and Martha’s barrel-aged cocktails.

But to create a cocktail for sale to the public, they knew they had to elevate to product to a higher level. They hired a flavor scientist with decades of experience in the spirits industry to source the best ingredients, create new spirits, and refine their home recipes and techniques. The new ingredients and recipes created cocktails that are elevated by barrel aging AND result in a balanced cocktail.

Martha Outlaw is certified by WSET as a Level 2 Wine and Spirit Educator. She spent 5-years as an authentication and research consultant for a high-profile wine collector. Her research led to civil and criminal wine counterfeit cases that resulted in multi-million dollar damage awards and a federal conviction. She also conducts cellar appraisals and management.

Recently she served as Director of Fine Wines at ReserveBar, the preeminent online destination for the gifting of top-shelf spirits, fine wine, and premium champagne.

And yes, the liqueur used in the Manhattan and Boulevardier is named after her!



The Negroni by Barrelsmith

London Dry Gin, Rosso Vermouth, and Martha Outlaw’s Liqueur are blended into a Negroni and then aged in oak barrels. After we taste and determine it is worthy to be labeled Barrelsmith, we bottle at full strength, 30% ABV (60 proof). We source our London Dry Gin from an award-winning distillery. Our own Rosso Vermouth is made from California wine grapes and natural flavors. Martha Outlaw created her unique liqueur specifically for craft cocktails destined for aging in barrels. All-natural ingredients, no artificial flavors or colors added.




 Total Score:  Greg-6, Reed-7, Marie-5

Greg’s Voting:

  • Taste: 2

  • Look: 2

  • Balance: 2

  • Total: 6

Reed’s Voting:

  • Taste: 2

  • Look: 3

  • Balance: 2

  • Total: 7

Guest Vote - Marie Larsen:

  • Taste: 2

  • Look: 2

  • Balance: 1

  • Total: 5


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