Friday, January 6, 2012

Poached in Booze

There is no excuse to use those HIDEOUS "maraschino" cherries that are nuclear red & soaking in corn syrup. It's incredibly easy to make uniquely delicious cocktail garnishes with very little effort. I've been experimenting with garnishes for awhile now. My first foray into it was comprised of dried cherries soaked in brandy. It worked pretty well & they were quite delicious. However, it wasn't enough for me so I continued to experiment. More recently I had some more successful garnishes. In the summer when cherries were fresh Kelly & I bought a whole hell of a lot. I poached them in Buffalo Trace Bourbon & Rothman & Winter's Cherry Liqueur. They turned out perfect! The fresh snap of fruit with the sweet heat potency of the elixir was so delightful in a manhattan & in some gin based drinks too.
When cherry season was over I turned to organic frozen cherries. I poached them in a mixture of Benchmark Bourbon & Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Absolutely delightful.
One garnish that I am very proud of are the blueberries I recently made. In a pan I warmed Don Q silver rum & the zest of one meyer lemon. As soon as it came to a simmer I turned it off & dropped in the blueberries. They cured in the warm rum & zest & leached out some nice purple color from the skins. Once it cooled I dropped them in jars & set them in the fridge. I gave a jar to my friend Dustin last weekend when we stopped by for brunch at his house....ok we stayed for hours drinking mimosas. After a few mimosas it was time for a proper cocktail. I wanted to do something with the blueberries of course. In the bottom of a rocks glasses I added 3 blueberries, a teaspoon of the elixir, a slice of orange & Angostura bitters. After muddling that all together I topped it with Gentleman Jack, crushed ice & a splash of club soda.
What I came up with was a slight twist on an Old Fashioned & it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Throw those disgusting "maraschino" cherries away & add something delicious to your drink!


  1. It's quite easy. We should have a garnish making party!

  2. Yes! These are awesome. I drop a few of these babies down into a glass of fine bourbon and that's it. So good.

  3. TCV-I can't wait for cherry season again. I'm going to put up a ton.