Apparently living in a barrel is a thing. Well, sort of. It’s certainly fun, a little crazy, and definitely ‘made in Cognac’.

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So, the “BeauEr 3x” is a compact, extendable caravan made in the region of Cognac. And it’s shaped like a barrel. This Cognac barrel may not be fabricated from oak, but it’s a pretty ingenious creation. When in towing mode, it’s the same size and width of a small car. But flick a switch, and 20 seconds later, you have an entire living area, fully furnished, with separate sleeping areas. Pretty cool, huh?

So this got us thinking about what alternative ‘careers’ could there be for real Cognac barrels? After all, having spent decades­–centuries even–imparting their magic upon the eaux-de-vie they hold, these humble oak barrels are literally items of living history. And as such, for the lover of Cognac, or simply those who strive for the alternative, how could these vital elements of Cognac making be repurposed for 21st century life?

As it turns out, in quite a few ways, actually. There’s a ton of Cognac hacks other than simply using them as flower planters. So if you’re looking for some unique pieces to creatively indulge your love of Cognac, then look no further than these great eaux-de-vie inspired ideas.

Cognac barrel trash can or recycling bin

Another genius invention. We want one! Not only do they look amazing, but they certainly won’t blow away in the wind.

Photo credit: By Jrcla2 [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Cognac barrel fire pit

Be the envy of your friends with such a fire pit to cook on, or simply warm yourselves on a cool evening. Yes, you can buy ‘new’ ones from Costco, but they’re just not quite the same. If you want real authenticity then you need a genuine Cognac barrel, a few hours of DIY, and hey presto, a little piece of rural France in your own back yard.

Photo credit: Costco

Cognac barrel bar

Simply slice in half, insert some shelves, and there you have it: The perfect place to display your Cognac collection.

Photo credit: Johnn via

Cognac barrel hot tub, bath, and Sauna!

Barrels are the perfect size for a hot tub. Now, many of today’s hot tubs are made from plastic, but actually, wooden hot tubs, or baths, have been present for centuries. In Japan, for instance, such hot tubs or baths can be found in many homes to this day. In North America, the very first barrel hot tub in written history came to pass in the vineyards of California during the swinging sixties. It first occurred at the end of the grape harvest, when the hot, sweaty, and tired field workers would fill a wooden barrel with water, and heat it over a wood fire. Just imagine…

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This one’s a bit more contemporary. But gives you the idea of what you could create for a perfect outdoor (or indoor) hot tub.

Or, if you like cleansing in the Sauna, here’s a wooden barrel Sauna, which will decorate your backyard. We found this on the Belgian fabricator VANHIE, who make beautiful furniture and this beauty, among other things:

Cognac barrel wine and beer cooler

Perhaps the perfect retirement job for a Cognac barrel.  Just fill her up with ice, and it’s the perfect party center piece.

Cognac barrel table

This gives you multiple options, with only your imagination setting barriers. Side tables, coffee tables, outside tables, bar tables, there’s really no end of options.

Cognac barrel flooring

Now this certainly won’t be something you’ll see every day. But it really is possible to incorporate the oak from an old Cognac barrel into the floor of your home. And with recycling being super important for our planet, we can’t think of a funkier, more eco-friendly manner in which to re-use this ancient wood.

Cognac barrel drum kit

This has to be the ultimate in creativity, doesn’t it? But in addition, the barrel shape makes for an amazing sound and resonance. It’s a little bit (French) country, it’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll…



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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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