It’s spring and the cherries are in bloom, and cherry is one of our favorite spring flavors. The fruit isn’t in season yet, so we have a number of cherry spirits to tide us over until it is available. Today we thought we’d ferret them out of our cabinet, make a drink with each, and think fond thoughts of cherry season
- 2 1/2 oz Kirschwasser
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Stir in honey until it dissolves. Stir with ice. Strain into a glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
- Nose: Kirsch, faint lemon and honey
- Palate: Honey and cherry at the open and finish. Lemon and cherry on the mid-palate with a hint of orange. Bitter finish. The bitters pull out the cherry flavors from the spirit, and provide balance and structure. The honey takes the edge off of the alcohol bite. Very light despite being sweet. After taste of honey and cherry which is nice. The light sweetness and fruit flavors make this an approachable offering for people who normally don’t like spirit forward drinks.
- 2 oz assertive rye (we used Willetts)
- 1 1/2 oz Luxardo cherry liqueur
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a cherry.
- Nose: Spiced cherry. Cherry, spiciness from the rye and bitters. Barrel notes from the rye
- Palate: Mentholated cherry at the start. Rye spiciness and rich vanilla-y barrel notes on the mid-palate. Long spicy finish. The rye and cherry liqueur provide a great canvas for the angostura without the bitterness overwhelming things, though it gets more bitter on the finish as it warms up.
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz Roi Rene Rouge (if using a sweeter cherry liqueur you will need to adjust the proportions down)
- 2 oz club soda
Shake first 4 ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a cherry.
- Nose: Very faint cherry and lemon
- Palate: Cherry, lemon, juniper, and faint musky notes from the gin to open. Rich cherry notes on the mid-palate, followed by more herbal notes from the gin and sourness from the lemon. As it warms up, you get more notes of the bitter lemon peel. A very refreshing drink, it makes a great cooler in the warmer weather.
We’re in the shoulder season. It’s pissing down rain at the moment, but we’re looking forward to the longer, warmer days and enjoying a few delicious cherry drinks while we do so. It’s a very versatile flavor, so you can do a whole lot with it; we used it in 3 very different ways and got 3 very tasty drinks, each showing a different expression of what cherry can add to a drink. In a few months, cherries will be in season and we will be revisiting them both in terms of drinks and our forays into making our own brandied cherries.