Watch out world, I’m making my own liqueur now! Over the past few months, I’ve created a cocktail cart, done my due diligence to research key cocktails (hard work but somebody had to do it) and now I’m moving on to creating delicious, nutritious and fruity hooch. There’s no way for me to avoid my passion for politics in this crazy presidential year, so I’m going to need LOTS of alcohol so, very wisely, I thought why not make it myself?
With a sale on cherries that are happily now in season and a recipe from my friend Dawn’s blog, I was ready to muddle and mix up some cherry liqueur. Of course, pitting 6 cups of cherries is no small feat so on went the latex gloves as I ripped apart the gorgeous cherries while enjoying the beautiful Seattle day on our patio overlooking Elliott Bay. Needing only one cinnamon stick, I choose not to buy the $10 jar of sticks at the grocery because, really, when will I need another? I am nothing but cheap so we decided to check out Metropolitan Market’s bulk spice section and, sure enough, for only .14 cents, I got the one cinnamon stick I needed. SCORE! I already had the brandy and vodka on the cocktail cart, not being used regularly and, quite frankly, covered in dust. What can I say? My focus has been on whiskey and trying to create the perfect Old Fashioned and I’m oh so close, so my other booze has been feeling a little bit left out. Not any more!
After the pitting session, which my sidekick Thom chose not to participate in and rather just picked out the best cherries to taste, I was off to muddle. Even after quite the aggressive muddling session, I was only able to produce a tiny amount of juice that went into a separate jar for a week while the smashed cherries got the cheerful duty of absorbing the brandy and vodka. After storing in a non-sunny place with a shake here and there over the next week, the boozed-up cherry pieces will finally be reunited with the juice that will be boiled with water and sugar to create syrup. The final leg of the journey requires the mixture to rest for another week before straining out the final product, my very own cherry liqueur.
Then, watch out, it’s drinking time! Since I’m not much of a “shot” girl, I did a little research in my handy cocktail guide and created the “I’m with Her” cocktail to drink throughout the political season. I will be saving the straight shots for the debates and take a shot every time Trump says, “Win bigly” or “Big, beautiful wall”. Trust me, it will help. Can’t hurt.
So, here’s my proposed “I’m With Her” cocktail to celebrate our first female president-to-be. It will be a fruit-infused celebration in your mouth with enough kick to get you through the sure-to-be crazy upcoming political season. Now that I think about it, this cherry liqueur will come in handy to house in a flask (still need to get one of these!) when I stand out in the freezing cold at the inauguration of our first female president. Can’t wait! No, I’m not taking her victory for granted and I will do everything in my power to support her but I can’t imagine the alternative without going crazy so I’ll just be hopeful. And drink. A lot.
I’m With Her Cocktail
1parts homemade Cherry Liqueur
4 parts orange juice (I would say “fresh squeezed” like the cocktail books like to say but let’s face it, who has that sitting around in their fridge when the need for a cocktail strikes??
Dash of lime juice or bitters-whichever you have just for variety
Prep-chill the glass. Mix-shake the ingredients with ice vigorously enough to skip the gym. Strain into a glass, the prettier, the better. Garnish. ALOT. Fresh fruit or maraschino cherries or a sugar rim or umbrella decoration. Just pick whatever is fun for you. This is a celebration damn it! Enjoy. Cheers!
Many thanks to Dawn who shared this great recipe for cherry liqueur on her blog, First Look, Then Cook. Check out her great food recipes too. She may even inspire me to cook!
- 6 cups Bing cherries, pitted
- 1 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken
Put the pitted cherries at the bottom of a sealable glass jar and muddle them with a wooden spoon or muddler to release some juice. Drain the juice into a separate container and set aside. Then add the brandy, vodka, and cinnamon stick to the muddled cherries. Seal and shake the jar. Let steep for one week at room temperature away from direct sun, shaking every few days.
Combine the reserved cherry juice, sugar, and water in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Once the syrup is cooled, add it to the steeping jar, seal, and shake. Then let it steep for an additional 2 to 5 days. Strain through fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into glass jar or bottle. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.