Cherries come and go so quickly in the summer; make sure you grab some for this Cherry Old Fashioned Smash!
Fresh, seasonal fruits and summer simply go hand-in-hand. Some fruits we take for granted all year long and many we can find out of season most of the year but there are those special fruits, of course the ones we crave the most, that have a limited run. For me the most special of all are cherries. They are my favorite and a summer only fruit. Period.
And they aren’t an easy fruit to love. Although I’ve heard of recipes where they are used without being pitted first that’s not for me. So pit them I must and maybe that’s another reason they are so special…there is a time investment! Still, for a cocktail like this Cherry Old Fashioned Smash, the effort is worthwhile.
I am constantly looking for something new to make with them. This Black Forest Ice Cream Sundae I made with roasted cherries and chocolate was one of the best ever. Cherry pies need no introduction from me and of course I do love hoarding some homemade maraschino cherries for my cocktail making. So summer without a cherry drink would just be wrong, right?
In the past I’ve loved these Cherry Mint Margaritas and this White Peach and Bing Cherry Sangria but yesterday I was in the mood for bourbon. Probably because I was dying to make something using this bottle of Angels Envy. Before I even opened it I have to say it was one of the most beautiful bottles I’ve ever seen. A slim bottle from front to back with beautiful angel wings on the back side that nicely represented the brand.
Not unlike most premium aged bourbons, primary aging for Angels Envy lasts for a minimum of four years, with five to seven years often reported as typical. When deemed ready, the bourbon is then transferred to Port barrels for a finishing of three to six months. Certainly a unique method but one I found interesting and appealing and I’m not alone as it has seen it’s share of great reviews in the press. GAYOT named it a top spirit for 2011, Wine Enthusiast gave it a score of 98, and Maxim labeled it the Best Newcomer for its “8 Best Bourbons in America”. The nose is sweet and includes a hint of cherry; how could it be more perfect for this summer cocktail using fresh cherries?
In the past I’ve made the perfect Old Fashioned and last summer created this Blackberry Smash. Both are great but there are similarities so why not combine the two? We’ve got the muddled fruit and sparkling soda of the smash with the orange bitters of the Old Fashioned and together? The Cherry Old Fashioned Smash; a cocktail with a shelf life as limited as cherries and one I’ll be looking forward to each year now with anticipation. It was perfect! Next on my ‘I MUST have cherries agenda?’ I NEED this Grilled Cherry Salsa. Go take a peek, you’ll see.
I found my first cherries at the market yesterday and knew this cocktail would be made again. I first published this post a couple of years ago but it was time for a redo…I won’t even show you the old photos! Make some of these before cherry season gets away from you; you so won’t regret it.
As often happens in Colorado in the Spring, we’ve had a couple of days of snow and I need to be reminded that warm weather and summer produce really is just around the corner. This cocktail just might do it…cheers everyone!
- 10-12 cherries, pitted
- 4 oz. bourbon
- 1.5 oz. Cherry Brandy (I used Cherry Heering)
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters
- Club soda
For the Garnish
- 2 Whole Cherries
- Put the pitted cherries into a cocktail shaker and muddle.
- Add the bourbon, cherry brandy, simple syrup, orange bitters and ice to the shaker and shake well until container is cold.
- Fill two lowball glasses half full with ice.
- Pour shaken cocktail (plus the ice and muddled cherries) into your glasses.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish with the whole cherries.
PIN Cherry Old Fashioned Smash: