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Entries in cherry (2)

Saturday
Jul302011

Behind the bar-The Northern Baptist

 

It's summer and sour cherries are in season!! I'm sure you have a fridge full of them, am I right??? Well I do, sooo making a drink is the perfect reason to use all those red beauties and get smashed at the same time. 

This recipe is a variation on a Presbyterian (Scotch, Club Soda and Ginger Ale). Some say is was called this because you could drink it at a church picnic and it just looked like iced tea. So sneaky!! Kenny and I used Bourbon, Luxardo marinated cherries and Vernors soda in ours to kick it up a few million notches. That Vernors packs a PUNCH!!

Kenny named ours the Northern Baptist to give a node to the northern Michigan orgins of Vernors Soda and staying in the religious theme Baptist just seemed like a damn good religion to pick.  I couple of these babies and you may just be a believer.

Ingredients:

5-10 Luxardo Marachino Cherries with 1/2 oz syrup-Here is the recipe.  It is super easy and everyone will be so impressed and think you are a cherry goddess, but it takes about 2 to 3 days to really marinate.   If you don't have time, buy the Luxardo cherries pre-made or regular maraschino cherries are ok, it will just be sweeter so reduce cherries and syrup used.

2 oz Bourbon- We used Templeton Rye. It's pricey but delicious. This stuff is SO good, drink it straight...if that's your thing. A lesser quality of bourbon is okay, after all this is a mixed drink and you're not going to taste all  the beautiful flavors of the top shelf stuff.

2-4oz Vernors Soda- Okay so this stuff if pretty hard to find, almost impossible here is New York. I found it at the Court Street Market in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn. You have to taste this stuff, SO GOOD. If you love ginger ale you will freak out over it.  You peeps from Michigan know what I mean.  If you can't find it, use a good quality ginger ale.

oh and of course ice

 Okay now lets get on with it.....

-Muddle the cherries and syrup in a shaker. add a hand full of ice and the bourbon.

-shake it all up

-pour all into a glass (no need to strain, all those muddled cherry bits are delicious)

-Top with remaining Vernors or gingerale.  

-Garnish with a few cherries on top, cause it looks pretty and no one wants a tasty drink to feel ugly.

Serve and Enjoy!

Photos by Danielle Malmgren

Thursday
Jun302011

Should you Maraschino?

I have vivid childhood memories of going out with my family to our favorite Mexican restaurant in California.  As my parents ordered their favorite, frozen, fruity concoctions….my sister and I would beg and plead for our  favorite sugary treat, the sweet Shirley Temple.  The simple, ruby red, sparkling drink (7up and grenadine syrup)  was delicious, but the crown jewel of the beverage was really the majestic maraschino cherry and I couldn't get enough of them.

In the beginning  the maraschino cherry started it's humble life as a Marasca,  a small, black cherry from Croatia. For years the fruit was brined and then macerated in maraschino liqueur,  although this came to an end when Prohibition made the alcohol-soaked fruit illegal.

In 1925 a nonalcoholic version was introduced.  Today a variety of light cherries are soaked in salt to remove there natural color and flavor, next they are pitted and soaked for 30day in natural sweetener. Finally they are dipped in artificial coloring (here is where that dreaded red dye no. 2 comes in).

Today I still catch myself craving the neon, candy sweet , mystery fruit.  I admit that I occasionally sneak one or two at bars when no one is looking or add it to fancy fizzes and boozy cocktails in the secrecy of my own home.  I ask you, would a Manhattan or whisky sour be as pretty without the ruby jewel at the bottom? Of course not!!!
Luckily I don't have to go without and neither do you, because there are so many options of maraschinos that aren't nearly as bad as the shirley temple days of our youth

All-Natural Maraschino Cherries by Tillen Farms-these were actually the first natural maraschino I ever had.  They are quite tasty and are great in drinks!  These are perfect if you can't give up the syrupy sweet ruby red gems of your childhood

Princess Maraschino Cherries-Have not tried but seem to be a good option

Luxardo Maraska Cherries-
This Italian import is the real deal and everything that a maraschino was intended to be and taste like. Not cheap at 17.00 a jar… but worth it.  Use the syrup in the jar for drinks as well.

Or make your own!  Here is a recipe that will give you amazing results. The process is surprisingly easy. When sour cherries are in season stock up and pack the pitted fruit in a mason jar filled with Luxardo (cherry liqueur). Let sit for 2 weeks.  You will find that the cherries will have a deep brandied flavor and cherry almond aftertaste.  This authentic taste will be a more grown up version of the candied fruit from our youth.

Illustrations by Danielle Malmgren