This past weekend, I rediscovered a small jar of brandied sweet cherries in red wine in my fridge that I made a few weeks back from Liana Krissoff’s Canning for a New Generation cookbook. I originally set out to make this recipe to gift a couple jars to my mom to celebrate her retirement. Her drink of choice is a Manhattan, with extra cherries.
So, Toby and I set about trying to use them in a cocktail. I’m not a fan of bourbon and nearly all of the cocktail recipes Toby found online included bourbon in some way, including those mother-approved Manhattans, so we ended up ditching our plan and made a cocktail from Apricot Rosemary Jam. I’ll have to include that cocktail recipe in another blog post.
However, as luck would have it, the next night Toby and I went out to celebrate the 7th anniversary of our first date (yes, we are that cute) and we took advantage of the Restaurant Week menu at Jose Garces’ new Rural Society in the Lowes Madison Hotel in DC. I had a babysitter come early so I could get to the restaurant with plenty of time before Toby arrived, and ended up enjoying a very lovely solo half an hour people watching in the Lowes bar. I checked out the happy hour menu and, lo and behold, spotted a cocktail with brandied sweet cherries that didn’t include bourbon! So, in the name of research, I had to order it. It had gin, hibiscus, lime juice and those cherries. While it was just ever so slightly a little too gin heavy for my taste, the cocktail was very good and the hibiscus was the perfect complement to those cherries. I talked to the bartender about the hibiscus and he let me try the syrup on its own, but he wasn’t sure how it was made. So, now I’ll be doing a little research to figure out my version of that drink. I’ll be sure to post my findings, like any good researcher.