Some weeks I’m more on top of things than others, and this week is thankfully one of them. I’d originally planned a totally different cocktail for this week, but was so excited about this one I just had to share it.
Not only is it especially simple to make, the combination of bourbon and cherry is one of my favourites, and makes me think of spring (fitting since on Groundhog’s day they predicted Spring was on its way!). Preserved fruit and veggies in the form of jams, marmalades, and pickles, is one the best parts of winter. They’re a bit like little hints of warmer months that brighten up a meal. While I was picking up a loaf of our favourite sourdough bread early this week at our favourite place (Gail’s), I decided to try some of their cherry jam as well. Gorgeously syrupy with large cherries hiding at the bottom, my first thought was that it would be lovely in a cocktail.
My hunch was right- skimming a bit off of the top to replace the sugar resulted in an old fashioned that was wonderfully balanced, with just enough cherry to be a surprise, but not too much to be overly-sweet– the bourbon and tart cherries becoming better than the sum of their parts. If you don’t live near a Gail’s (I’m sorry), try to find a really good dark cherry jam and thin slightly with a bit of water or bourbon before using, or sub Luxardo maraschino cherries and halve the amount used.
• 3/4oz bourbon
•1/4 oz sweet vermouth
• 2 dashes angostura bitters
• 1/4-1/2 tsp runny jam
- combine ingredients in a mixing glass, stir to dissolve the jam
- add ice and stir again to chill
- strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel, or a cherry
I think the slightly red colour makes it a prefect cocktail for Valentine’s day as well.