Friday Happy Hour: Cherry-Infused Brandy Manhattan

This recipe is a bit of a happy accident. Last year I was experimenting with cherries to make our own garnishes for cocktails. Someone had left some brandy at our place after a party, and I thought I’d play with this forgotten bottle.

The process was simple: Buy some fresh cherries (the sweet kind, not the bitter/sour kind), remove the stems and the pits, put them in a jar, and fill the jar with brandy so the cherries are completely submerged.

Leave the jar in the refrigerator for some period of time (days, weeks, months), and that’s it. Super easy.

The problem was when I tried the cherries after a few weeks. WAY too strong with brandy and not enjoyable as a garnish for anything. The alcohol in the brandy had also pulled the color out, so they resembled green olives more than cherries. Again, not good for a garnish.

Honestly, then I forgot about them. They lived in the back of the refrigerator for months. It was only recently that I realized what I did have was a nice cherry-infused brandy, which was much more interesting than the cherries themselves.

So, what to make with cherry-infused brandy? How about a Brandy Manhattan?  It is sometimes also called a Metropolitan, which causes some confusion. There is another version of a Metropolitan cocktail out there, that is a cousin of the Cosmopolitan and includes vodka, lime juice and cranberry juice. I am not talking about this drink.

As the name would imply, this lovely drink uses the same ratios of a regular Manhattan, but with brandy in the place of Rye.

Cheers!

Friday Happy Hour: Cherry-Infused Brandy Manhattan

Ingredients

  • 60 ml (2 oz) Cherry-infused brandy
  • 30 ml (1 oz) Sweet vermouth
  • 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters (or other savory bitters)
  • Garnish with a Maraschino cherry (the real kind, like Luxardo or Amarena)

Instructions

  1. Chill glass
  2. Mix all ingredients in a mixing glass full of ice for 20-30 seconds
  3. Pour into chilled glass, add garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

If this is too much brandy for you, you can tone it back to 45 ml (1.5 oz).

http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/03/24/friday-happy-hour-cherry-infused-brandy-manhattan/

Friday Happy Hour: Bijou Cocktail

A couple of weeks ago we went on a green Chartreuse kick, and did some experimenting with a variety of cocktails. One that stood out was the Bijou (“jewel” in French), which combines gin, green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and a dash of orange bitters.

I’ll credit this Esquire article for our original inspiration, and pointing us to the original, very old recipe by Harry Johnson, first documented in the late 1800s. (Here’s a link to digital version of  Harry Johnson’s 1882 New and Improved (Illustrated) Bartender’s Manual and a Guide for Hotels and RestaurantsThis recipe is on page 129).

The original recipe has equal parts of the principal ingredients, but most modern versions have tweaked the ratios. A couple of days later we played with these ratios ourselves and definitely preferred ours more gin-heavy and dialed-back on the Chartreuse. The one we settled on was closer to this version from Imbibe Magazine.

Chartreuse is a lovely and complex liqueur that touts 130 different plants and flowers. In laymen’s terms, this means it will likely overpower an herbal/flowery gin. We used one of our Corpen gins that is more earthy to complement, rather that compete with, the herby flavor of the Chartreuse.

Friday Happy Hour: Bijou Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 45 ml (1½ oz) Corpen gin
  • 22 ml (¾ oz) green Chartreuse
  • 30 ml (1 oz) sweet vermouth (white)
  • 2-3 dashes orange bitters
  • Lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass.
  2. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Squeeze lemon peel express the oils and discard.
  4. Garnish with a cherry.
  5. Enjoy!
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/03/17/friday-happy-hour-bijou-cocktail/

Friday Happy Hour: Boulevardier Cocktail

We’re trying something new here. I’ve been working on building a craft distillery here in Barcelona, and in the interest of professional development, we’ve kicked our cocktail game into high gear over the last couple of years.

Here’s the first installment in what will become a recurring theme: Cocktails we love, we are experimenting with, and/or have made up ourselves.

Our first installment in this series is the lovely Boulevardier, which we recently had at Mark’s Bar in London (downstairs in HIX Soho). Upon ordering this, the bartender said “Ah yes, a whiskey negroni.”

Yep, that’s about right, and exactly why we love it.

Friday Happy Hour: Boulevardier

Ingredients

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Campari
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Sweet Vermouth (we use Casa Mariol's Vermut Negre)
  • Garnish: Orange twist or Maraschino Cherry (the real kind, like Luxardo or Amarena)

Instructions

  1. Chill an Old Fashioned glass
  2. Mix all ingredients in a mixing glass full of ice for 20-30 seconds
  3. Pour into chilled glass, add garnish.

Notes

- We like to over-pour on the whiskey here, but that's us, about 1.5 oz (45ml).

- Bourbon can be used in place of rye if you wish, but we prefer the spiciness the rye adds to this drink.

http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/03/10/friday-happy-hour-boulevardier-cocktail/