A couple of weeks ago I asked folks on Twitter, ‘What should I do next; orange or cherry liqueur?’ The resounding response was for cherry so I went on a Google journey to find the best method for making it as it’s not something I’ve done before. I found several versions and I’m sure they are all great but the one thing I just could not handle? SIX MONTHS? My impatient self struggled with waiting one month for Limoncello yet knew that I still shared that recipe in time for readers and friends to make something to enjoy this summer. It just seemed impossible to consider that I would share the process of making cherry liqueur and say, ‘See you in 6 months for a cocktail.’ So I punted.
I recalled seeing Matt Armendariz make a Cherry Sidecar using fresh cherries and brandy and at the time I wasn’t interested in waiting 5 days but I thought I could handle that now; especially in comparison to 6 months. Matt had made a cherry/brandy liqueur to replace the traditional brandy and orange liqueur in a sidecar. This version using fresh cherries is so perfectly seasonal and the type of cocktail I love; a bit sweet and a bit tart and certainly a lot beautiful!
This was certainly my own ‘Cherrypalooza’ – the cocktail consists of a liqueur that is a combination of brandy infused cherries, a cherry syrup that is made from more fresh cherries and sugar and then garnished using the maraschino cherries I made a couple of months ago that combines cherries and Luxardo liqueur for a much more natural and tasty treat.
Matt’s version was his attempt to recreate a cocktail he enjoyed at Hatfield’s in LA. I’ve not had the Hatfield’s cocktail but I have to say, this was not just a great combination of flavors; it was also an absolutely gorgeous drink. Start now and you can have one next weekend; that’s better than waiting until Christmas for something, right? I’ve done a bit of my own revising; I like it served cold on the rocks and with a sugared rim; that little bit of sugar seemed perfect with the tart bite of the cocktail itself but it’s totally optional; sugar only if you want to!
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