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Tag Archives: cherry heering

Day 216, Cocktail 212

The Ohio State – Michigan game is always a big game for me.  Growing up in Ohio, The Ohio State University is the team I follow in college football.  And Michigan is the rivalry game for the Buckeyes.

With the game on today, I looked around for an appropriate cocktail.  I found something called the Buckeye Martini, which is my basic martini using a black olive as the garnish.  Interesting, but I couldn’t see myself swilling a martini while watching a football game.  I found another drink called the Buckeye that used Red Stag Cherry Bourbon.  Well, I don’t have any of that, but thought it could make the base for this drink.

  Buckeye Fizz

  • 2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering liqueur
  • 1-1/2 oz lemonade
  • seltzer water

Fill a pint glass about 1/3 of the way full with ice cubes.  Add the bourbon, Heering and lemonade and stir.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with ice and top with seltzer water.  Give a quick stir and enjoy.

A nice blend of the smokey cherry flavor of the Heering and the sweetness of the lemonade.  A nice, if not slightly more potent, alternative to a beer while watching the game.

Oh, and the results…The Ohio State University 37, Michigan 7. 


Day 154, Cocktails 153 & 154

I was ready for gin when I got home last night.  I perused the Ultimate Bar Book under the gin cocktail section and came across the Cherry Cobbler.  What caught my eye was the two variants that were listed for it.  Great,  I thought, I can get two for the price of one!  The first version is just the basic ingredients served in a chilled cocktail glass.  The second variant is to use a rocks glass and top the drink with seltzer water.

  Cherry Cobbler

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Wow, does the cherry heering come through on this one.  The creme de cassis is there as well, but the heering really dominates this drink, almost too much.  If you are not a cherry heering fan, you will probably not like this one.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and college football on TV (go Arkansas!).  Time to try the Cherry Cobbler topped with seltzer.  I’ll call this the fizz version.

  Cherry Cobbler Fizz

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • seltzer water

Combine all the ingredients except the selzter water in a shaker with ice.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water.

The seltzer water helps tone down the cherry heering, but it is still there in spades.  I did find this version to be more drinkable, but you’ll still need to be a heering fan to really enjoy this one.  Let me know what you think!


Please, No More!

Day 139, Cocktails 137, 138 & 139

So just where the heck did schnapps come from anyway?  Well, schnapps linguistically comes from Germany where the reference is to any strong, distilled alcoholic beverage.  These typically were distilled from fruits and, in fact, schnapps type beverages can be found all over Europe.  Of course, once we got a hold of it in America we had to add sugars (mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, yeech) and turn into something that frat boys could use to get sorority girls drunk.  Sigh.

Tonight, I bring my quest for a cocktail using peppermint schnapps to an end.  To my credit, I am going down swinging, but I just don’t see it happening.  For those of you who enjoy watching slow motion train wrecks, please keep reading.

The first effort tonight was pulled from the CocktailDB web site.  I did an ingredient search on peppermint schnapps and something called the Milwaukee Madness caught my eye.  Madness is correct for this cocktail as that is what this is – sheer madness.

  Milwaukee Madness

  •  1 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1 dash of bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with 4-5 ice cubes.  Stir and serve.

If you enjoy cough syrup, you’ll enjoy this.  If you are a 19 year old sorority sister, you’ll enjoy this.  If you like a well made cocktail, then, well, you’ll be out of luck.

Unfortunately, hubris set in and I became convinced that I could make something enjoyable out of this mess.  I decided to amp up the bourbon content and add another liqueur to the mix.  Being a fan of maraschino liqueur I decided to go in that direction.

  Milwaukee Madness (Take Two)

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with 4-5 ice cubes.  Stir and serve.

Ok, so I could finally taste a bit of bourbon and the maraschino helped subdue the schnapps a bit… but this is still too damn pepperminty syrupy.

But, being who I am, I decided to take one last stab at this.  I swapped out the maraschino liqueur for cherry heering, hoping the darker cherry flavor and inherent smokiness would subdue the schnapps and make it play nice. 

  Milwaukee Madness (Take Three)

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 oz cherry heering
  • 2 dashes bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with 4-5 ice cubes.  Stir and serve.

Uncle!  I give up.  This version is actually a step backwards towards the cough syrup end of the spectrum.

So what did I learn?  That I’m gonna’ have to either dump the peppermint schnapps or wait for a sorority party to break out at the Twilight Lounge in order to get rid of this stuff.  Maybe I’ll just stick it in the fridge and pass it off on unwitting friends playing Mexican sweat at the next party…

By the way, you find these recipes in the index because I really don’t want to ever drink them again!


Day 130, Cocktail 130

Whoopee!  I’m 35.6% of the way through my quixotic quest.  Sorry, the engineer in me just slipped out.  Hang on while I tuck him back away.

There we go.  Now, about today’s drink.  Throughout the various trials with the Algonquin over the last two days I had this nagging feeling that with the pineapple juice what this drink really wanted was rum.  But which of the five rums that I had in the cabinet should I use?  Bacardi 151?  No, way too strong.  Sailor Jerry?  No, spiced rum is great for rum and cokes and not much else.  St. James?  Hmmm, maybe, but it has a very strong, distinctive flavor that I wasn’t sure about when mixed with Heering and Luxardo.  Mt. Gay silver?  No, not enough ass to it.  Well then, I guess that leaves the Appleton Estate.  This is an amber rum from Jamaica (man) and has just a hint of smokiness to go with the sweet molasses flavor.

  Algonquin Rummy

  • 1-1/2 oz Appleton Estate Rum
  • 3/8 oz Cherry Heering
  • 3/8 oz Luxardo Maraschino
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in your shaker with 5-6 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish is optional, I used a maraschino cherry.

Astute readers will notice that I upped the heering and maraschino by 1/8 oz and added another dash of Agnosturo from the Algonquin Revisited.  This was to overcome the much stronger flavor of the rum and allow the cherry flavors to have the place alongside the rum in the flavor profile of this drink.  As with the Algonquin Revisited, there is a nice, deep sweetly smokey flavor.  However, the rum adds a whole different dimension than the bourbon, make the overall cocktail a bit sweeter.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Day 129, Cocktail 129

Yesterday I explored the classic Algonquin cocktail, named for the Algonquin hotel and most likey imbibed by at least a few members of the Algonquin Roundtable.  I also mentioned that Mark and I were working on an updated version of this classic (mostly because he makes that “I hate the way this tastes screwed up baby face” when he tastes dry vermouth).  Last night we were fooling around with various combinations of rye, cheery heering and pineapple juice.    I continued the experimentation this evening and this is what I came up with.

Algonquin Revisited

  • 1-1/2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Fill a shaker with ice cubes and add all the ingredients.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a cherry.

This turned out pretty good – a nice, subtle, smokey flavor is imparted by the heering and just a touch of sweet cherry from the maraschino nicely blends with the pineapple.  By the way, many cocktails that use pineapple call for them to be stirred, but I like to shake them because the pineapple juice gets nice and frothy, giving the drink an extra visual appeal.

Have you ever updated a classic?  If so, let me know, I’d love to try it out!


Day 124, Cocktails 118, 119, 120 & 121

So Daddy Tomato, Momma Tomato and Baby Tomato are out for a walk.  Daddy Tomato has to keep turning around and telling Baby Tomato to walk faster.  Finally, Daddy Tomato walks back to Baby Tomato and stomps Baby Tomato into pulp.  “I said Ketchup!” he yells as he rejoins Momma Tomato.

I know you Pulp Fiction afficianodos didn’t me to mention the movie, but for the uninitiated that was the corny joke that Uma Thurman told John Travolta during their “date” to Jackrabbit Slim’s.  It was her big moment in the pilot of “Fox Force Five”, her one shot at TV stardom.  Alas, it wasn’t to be for Uma.

So what’s the connection?  Well, I’m running as hard as I can to “ketchup” – and tonight is a big step forward with four cocktails to report on.

Last night my business associate and friend Ashish Gandhi was in town along with Dan Krueger.  I met Ashish and Dan at Izumi’s for a drink and dinner.  As always, we threw ourselves at the mercy of the sushi chef and we were well rewarded with an outstanding platter of rolls, sushi and sashimi.  Of course, before starting dinner we had a drink at the bar.  I asked the bartender what he had that featured gin and his suggestion was a Gin Rickey.

  Gin Rickey

  • 2 oz Bombay gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • soda water

Combine the Bombay and lime juice in shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.  Top with soda water and garnish with a lime slice. 

This is a nice alternative to the a gin and tonic, leaving the quinine behind for the clean taste of the selzter.  This allows the gin and lime to by the dominant flavors, and it works out quite nicely.  Additionally, it worked very well with the sushi that I had for dinner!

Once dinner was over, Ashish, who is quickly becoming a cocktail maven, wanted to head to Bryant’s for more classic cocktails.  We arrived to a rather full bar with Evan pouring the drinks.  Evan is a terrific bartender and about as unassuming as a person can be, and it’s always good to see him there.  For my first cocktail I was in the mood for bourbon and Evan suggested a depression era cocktail called the Mona Lisa.  This cocktail consisted of bourbon, creme de cacao, lemon juice and bar syrup.  It was mixed well and then served over crushed ice in a collins glass.  I have to admit that this wasn’t my cup of tea.  The creme de cacao really dominated this one and it was very chocolatey.  Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate, I love it, but I think I was really in the mood for a man’s drink…and this wasn’t it.

By the time we were ready for round two, propietor John Dye had taken over behind the bar.  I asked John for something that would have whiskey and maraschino in it.  His original creation, done on the spot consisted of rye, maraschino liqueur, lime juice and chartreuse.  As I quizzed John about what was in it I nailed the chartreuse, but totally whiffed on the maraschino and rye.  I thought John had made something akin to a previous Chad Doll effort that used scotch and drambuie.  As John chuckled at my tasting ineptitude I asked him what it was called and he answered the Chad No. 1 as he headed to the other end of the bar to take of another customer.  The drink was delicious, and I figured that it was the chartreuse/maraschino combination that threw me off and had me guessing drambuie.

By the time we got to round three the crowd has started to thin out and we had a chance to chat more with John.  This time around I asked for something with bourbon, cherry heering and maraschino.  John was spot on with the perfect blend of the three that resulted in a deep, rich, slightly cherry flavor with the bourbon capably supporting the blend of heering and maraschino.  I wish I knew the exact proportions, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out one of these nights at the Twilight Lounge.

Well, there you go, a ketchup night if there ever was one.  Although I didn’t make it completely back up to par, I’m sure it won’t take too much longer!


Day 107, Cocktails 106 & 107

“Torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fool
Lovin’ both of you is breakin’ all the rules”

Ok, so mabye Mary Macgregor’s semi-hit single is a hackneyed way to start today’s post, but trust me, it fits…somehow.  Today’s subject is a classic cocktail, the Blood and Sand.  Named for the movie Blood and Sand, originally produced in 1922 and starring Rudolph Valentino, the cocktail, like the movie has three or four versions floating around out there.  In fact, many other sources credit the 1941 version starring Tyrone Power as the inspiration for the cocktail, even though there appears to be credible evidence that the drink was around before 1941.  So just how does Mary Macgregor’s song fit in?  Well the movie is about a young man of humble beginnings who ventures off to find fame and fortune as a bull fighter, taking his young love with him.  Of course, along the way, he also falls in love with the daughter of a wealthy and powerful man.  What to do?  Remain true to his first love?  Or leave her for the glamour and wealth of the sophisticated beauty?  I’ll leave you to learn that on your own.

As for the cocktail, like the movie, we have a strong leading man in the scotch that is the base of this cocktail.  The two lovers that tear at his heart are represented by sweet vermouth and cherry brandy.  All are in the drink in equal amounts, making for the perfect love triangle.

  Blood and Sand (classic)

  • 3/4 oz scotch
  • 3/4 oz cherry brandy
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 oz orange juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

So just how does the scotch hold up against the vermouth and cherry brandy and orange juice?  Very well, thank you.  This definately goes into the category of cocktails I would never have imangined drinking a year ago, yet it works very well.  I made mine with kirschwasser and it worked well, even though I’m not a kirschwasser fan.  The sweetness of the vermouth and orange do the trick to mellow out the kirschwasser and let the smoky scotch flavor still come through.  Even though the scotch is torn between two lovers it is still firmly in charge of this drink.

As a side note, my first attempt at this was awful.  As I sipped trying to like it I started to think through why I wasn’t enjoying it.  Finally, it dawned on me.  I went back down to the Twilight Lounge and confirmed my suspicion.  I had made my first attempt with dry vermouth rather than sweet.  Ugh!  No wonder I didn’t like it!

After the having the original, I’ve spent the last several days toying with my variant on this theme.  It was natural to use Cherry Heering, although my later research uncovered multiple versions that used Heering as the cherry brandy.  This does not work for me.  The Cherry Heering and sweet vermouth are just too sweet and overpower the scotch when used in the traditional equal parts scotch, brandy, vermouth and orange juice proportions.  As I noodled around with this, I came to realize that Cherry Heering would substitute for both the sweet vermouth and cherry brandy.  Thus, the triangular perfection of the Blood and Sand story is lost.  But its still a damn good cocktail, so here it is.

  Bloody Sand Trap

  • 1-1/2 oz scotch
  • 1/4 oz Cheery Heering
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

This drink actually comes very close to the original Blood and Sand without the harshness of the kirschwasser.  The scotch and Heering play well together and the orange juice is a nice compliment.  It all came down to getting the proportions correct and the dash of Peychauds helps tie it together.

If you want to enjoy the movie with this one, I suggest the 1990 version of the film starring Sharon Stone.


Day 71, Cocktail 70

I decided to take advantage of the holiday today (my company was off today) to get closer to even on my journey.  So, while Gwen was whipping up some delicious crab cakes for dinner I pulled Dale Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail” off the shelf and started looking for something similar to a martini.  I settled on a cocktail called the Royal Cocktail.  According to Degroff this is a 1930’s cocktail from the Embassy Club in Hollywood.  I guess they figured they were royalty out there.

  Royal Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with 4-5 ice cubes and stir to chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

This was a tasty little treat, with the Cherry Heering providing the dominant flavor, but not completely overwhelming the gin and vermouth.  Since this is about as simple to make as it gets, I’m pretty sure I’ll find my way to anther one these yet this evening!


Now that's 1-1/2 oz rum, 1/2 oz maraschino...

Day 42, Cocktails 36 and 37

So I’m trying to figure out how to use up the left over limes and grapefruit juice I have in the Twilight Lounge.  A quick internet search and I stumble into this little gem called the Hemingway Daiquiri.  This cocktail is reputed to have come about while Ernest Hemingway was frequenting the La Floridita bar in Havana, a hot spot for daiquiris.  Hemingway, known for his drinking, didn’t like sweet drinks and convinced the head bartender of La Floridita, Constante Ribalaigua, to mix a daiquiri for him that used maraschino liqueur rather than simple syrup.  The result is now commonly known as the Hemingway Daiquiri and was thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly.

  Hemingway Daiquiri

  • 1-1/2 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes.  Shake to mix and chill.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime twist.

The maraschino and grapefruit give a great twist to the classic daiquiri.  Thank you Mr. Hemingway!

Part two tonight is actually from last Saturday’s gathering.  The credit for this one goes to Mark Stoffel who was using the fresh lemon mint he had picked up at the local farmer’s market that morning.  Just like food, great drinks come from fresh ingredients!

  Pimm’s Mint

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Pimms No. 1
  • 1/2 oz Heering Cherry liqueur
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters
  • 5-6 lemon mint (or regular mint) leaves

Muddle the mint leaves with the lemon juice, Pimms, Heering and simple syrup in a shaker glass.  Add the rye, Agnosturo and ice and shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with mint leaves.

This tasty number works quite well as the bitters pull together the Pimms, Heering and rye while the lemon provides some balance.  The aromatics from the mint top this off like a cherry on a sundae!  Great job Mark!


Day 41, Cocktails 34 and 35

While sitting around this afternoon contemplating how to get caught up on my cocktails I pulled my copy of The Cocktail Bible off the shelf.  As I flipped through the classics section I came upon the Singapore Sling.  I’ve never had a Singapore Sling I thought to myself…well, no time like the present!

  Singapore Sling

  • 1 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz cherry brandy
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz grenandine
  • seltzer water

Place several ice cubes in a shaker.  Add the gin, brandy, lemon juice and grenadine.  Shake well to mix.  Pour into a rocks glass half full with ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with a lime peel and cocktail cherries.

To be honest, I wasn’t wild with this one.  It may be because I used Kirschwasser as my cherry brandy.  This is a German style brandy that borders on the harsh and is not at all sweet.

However, undaunted, I decided to try a variant using Heering cherry liqueur in place of the brandy.

  Heering Singapore Sling

  • 1 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/4 oz Heering cherry liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • seltzer water

Combine the gin, Heering, lemon juice, and bar syrup in a shaker with ice cubes.  Shake well to combine.  Strain into a rocks glass about 1/2 full of ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with a cherry and lemon peel.

This was a better effort than the original Singapore Sling, but still not quite right.  I had actually cut the Heering in half from my first version, but I think this one still needs some tweaking.  Give it a shot, put your twist on it and let me know what you come up with.