Spring is here, and the cherry blossom is starting to bloom (see above if you don’t believe us). So what better basis for a refreshing spring cocktail than cherry brandy? Before we start, some hard science. Cherry brandy is not just brandy with cherries added as an afterthought. According to that excellent website The Drink Shop:
Rather, most cherry brandies are in fact liqueurs, with most producers macerating their own choice of cherries with the base spirit of vodka before the addition of other enhancing flavours.
And they should know! Recipes for this delicious drink abound on the internet, but we at LSS have always favoured a time-saving bottle of Bols.,Warniks or De Kuyper carefully stacked in our collection. It was a great favourite of King George IV of England, who used to drink gallons of the stuff, according to historians. So yes, you can take it neat or over ice. Be warned-it’s pretty powerful. Safer to dilute the stuff down into longer drinks which you can sip in the shade of a cherry tree, if you are lucky enough to have one. Best not to try public trees in the street, though. You might get some funny looks.
Our old favourite the Singapore Gin Sling makes the best of cherry brandy. Add six ice cubes to your shaker, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 fresh orange, 1 measure cherry brandy, 3 measures of dry gin, 3 drops Angostura bitters, and shake. Pour with cubes to a nicely-chilled hurricane glass and top with ice cold soda water. Decorate with cocktail cherries and lemon slices. Drink with planet-saving paper straws.
For a real pinky cherry blossom ambience, you won’t beat a Cherry Julep. Put five ice cubes to your shaker, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon of grenadine, 1 teaspoon of sugar syrup,1 measure of cherry brandy,1 measure of sloe gin, 2 measures of dry gin. Shake ’em until they rattle, and stand to one side, briefly. Find a medium to long glass generously filled with smashed or chopped ice, and add your mix from the shaker. You won’t be sorry. Sip that with your A la recherche du temps perdu, aesthetes!
Just the cherry: if you are so unfortunate to have run out of cherry brandy, you can still use that old bottle of cocktail cherries that’s been gathering dust in the fridge to decorate any number of other drinks. Of course there are hundreds to choose from: but for today we like the Club, because it’s so easy.
You just put thre ice cubes into a mixing glass, add 2 drops of Angostura Bitters, 1 measure of good scotch whisky,and a dash of grenadine. Stir, but don’t shake, as Mr Bond used to say. Now pour into a cocktail glass. Decorate with a spiral of lemon and a cocktail cherry on a stick. ( A cocktail stick, not one from a cherry tree)
We wish you all a happy friday night.
All recipes are derived from The Ultimate Cocktail Book, published by Hamlyn. We strongly reccomend this tome
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