We first got into making our wooden shot glass/cups when we were researching different methods of making wine and whiskey. We found out that many distilleries and wineries using oak barrels for the distillation process and there is a reason behind that. So, we thought to ourselves "Why not make a miniature version of this for shots and drinking vessels?" and our shot cups and tumblers were born.
Why do they use oak barrels?
The reason for this is rooted in the chemistry that occurs during the aging process. Oak will naturally add oxygen as well as tannin (which gives a lot of flavor to red wines, whiskeys, bourbons, etc.). This chemical also enhances the resistance to rot as well as insect damage while the liquor ages. Tannins are a natural compound that is also anti-microbial/bacterial and tannic acids are present in a lot of teas, nuts, and other fruits and foods.
Prior to barreling distilleries and wineries also often scorch the staves of the barrel to make them more water resistant (by closing the end grains of the wood) which also releases flavors and tannins into the liquor.
We also recommend taking a long lighter or other extended reach flame and lightly scorching the bottoms (not the sides) of our shot cups and tumblers, allowing the liquor to sit in the wooden glass for approximately 5 minutes and then drinking. This seems to release more tannins into the liquor and gives it a fresh, smokey, right out of the barrel flavor.
We also make our shot glasses out of walnut (left in photo above) which while it does not affect the liquor in the same ways it is very visually striking!
What are some other benefits?
Since they are not made of glass but wood they are less likely to break if dropped and as long as proper care (handwash, don't let liquor sit overnight) is taken they last for years and years. There's also just something natural to drinking out of a wooden glass that seems to be nostalgic and connecting to our ancestral roots.