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Tag Archives: cherry

May 25, 2011 – The Twilight Lounge

About a week and a half ago it was a quiet evening at home  – perfect for a bourbon based cocktail as I contemplated what I needed to get done the next day.  I started flipping through some of my cocktail books and found this little number.

  Gall Bracer

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir.  Strain into a rocks glass with 3-4 ice cubes or an ice ball.  Squeeze a lemon twist over the top of the glass (discarding afterwards) and garnish with a cherry.

To properly mix, be sure to add the bitters first, then the grenadine and then the bourbon.  This applies anytime you are using bitters – adding it first to your ice will ensure it is fully incorporated, especially when you are stirring your cocktail (as opposed to shaking). 

In the Gall Bracer I used Knob Creek and this was a delicious sipper.  With just a hint of the Angostura and grenadine to mellow the bourbon out it really allows the flavor of the Knob Creek to come through as the king of this cocktail.  The flavors are actually reminiscent of a Manhattan, with the grenadine taking the place of what traditionally would be sweet vermouth.



Day 359, Cocktail 360

While the new job has kept me busy, fortunately, there are opportunities to try new cocktails.  Last night was just one of those opportunities.  While at a local hangout in the Dells I had the chance to try a cocktail called the Cherry Drop.  Yes, it was made with flavored vodka, but….it was easier than try to teach the bartender to make something new…  Truth be told, it was nice, refreshing cocktail.  It consisted of white cherry vodka, lemon juice, bar syrup and was topped with seltzer water.  The sugared rim was a bit over the top, but it was a nice, refreshing sipper.  I’m sure this would have tasted even better on a warm summer day poolside!

So, I’m really into the home stretch now, with just five cocktails to go in the next six days.  Stay tuned as the journey hits its last few laps!


Day  288, Cocktail 286

Monday night rolled around and I was in the mood for something a bit lighter.  I’ve been pretty whiskey heavy lately, and my detour through brandy for a week still kept me in the same vein of brown liquors.  So as I contemplated what do make down in the Twilight Lounge I pulled out my trusty bottle of Beefeater Gin to use as my base.  Next I opened up the liqueur cabinet (yes, I have one whole cabinet dedicated to liqueurs, and one dedicated to liquor – each about the size of a double door upper cabine in your kitchen) and started to root around.  The Ty Ku bottle was near the front and I swear I could hear it calling my name, so I picked it up.  As I did so, my hand brushed against the Luxardo Maraschino bottle and it the touch was electric…I knew that these two must somehow form a winning combination.

  Ty Ku Cherry

  • 2 oz Beefeater Gin
  • 1 oz Ty Ku
  • 1/8 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with a lemon peel.

Hmmm, this was nice.  Light, refreshing, with just a hint of melon from the Ty Ku and cherry from the Luxardo.  The Ty Ku has enough volume to tone down the gin (not that gin needs toning down) so that it wasn’t an overwhelming flavor.  This cocktail makes a great before dinner drink for lighter fare – think summertime menus of crisp salads or grilled tuna.  I can’t wait for warmer weather to arrive so I can have one while sitting out on the patio overlooking the pool!

I wanted to also comment on my use of the ‘ol 1/8 oz measure.  It’s actually pretty easy to achieve 1/8 oz as that is the volume of my bar spoon.  So when I make a cocktail that needs 1/8 oz it gets 1 bar spoon full of whatever it is.  1/4 oz is two bar spoons, etc.  If there is one piece of equipment worth having, it is the long handled bar spoon!


Day 269, Cocktails 269, 270 & 271

As I was preparing tonight’s post I couldn’t help but chuckle over the thought of my favorite Seinfeld episode.  It’s the one that has Jerry dating one gal, but he’s grown tired of her and is interested in her roommate.  Jerry and George spend all night in an attempt to devise a plan for “The Switch” when George comes up with the most brilliant idea he ever had – the Menage a Trois with the girlfriend and her roommate.  The idea is that the girlfriend will turn him down and break up and the roommate will be titillated by the notion that Jerry wanted to include her.  The plan “backfires” when the girlfriend and roommate are into the idea and Jerry backs out!  That’s the point at which I start screaming at the TV, unable to believe that Jerry is passing up the opportunity of a lifetime. 

So what does that have to do with brandy cocktails?  Not much, but I do have three of them for you tonight.  So let’s get to it.


  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with a lemon wedge and then sugar the rim.  In a mixing glass combine all the ingredients with ice and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into the sugar rimmed cocktail glass.

The cocktail is excellent, I could do without the sugared rim.  I still don’t know what possessed me to do it (just because the recipe called for it doesn’t mean I will).  I ended up clearing a spot with my first few sips and sticking with that cleared path to drink from.  I’m just not a fan of salted or sugared rims.  (Spinners and rim jobs, on the other hand …).  Anyway, back to the cocktail.  It was delicious with just enough of the maraschino to provide a nice cherry flavor pop that had hints of orange from the Cointreau.  Oh, and yeah, I could also taste the brandy as well as the base for this cocktail.  Given my love of maraschino, it’s no surprise that I liked this one (Gwen thought it was too boozy).

  Cherry Blossom

  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz kirschwasser
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another very nice, cherry flavored cocktail.  In fact, I’d have to say that this is the best cocktail I’ve ever had with kirschwasser.  By itself, I find kirschwasser (a cherry brandy, often German in origin) to be harsh with quite a bite.  In this drink, however, the lemon juice and Cointreau mellowed the kirschwasser out, leaving a lovely, almost (but not quite) cherry flavor accented by the orange of the Cointreau.  I’m sure the grenadine also helped smooth this cocktail out – and be sure to use the real stuff!

  Brandy Cassis

  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz creme de cassis

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This is where I should insert the photo of the really, really sour face.  Way too much lemon juice in this one, it completely overpowers the drink!  I even double checked the recipe after I made it and was drinking it (as I’m writing this) to be sure – I really thought I had made a mistake.  Sadly, I did not.  If I were to make this again I would cut the lemon juice in half or add a 1/4 oz of bar syrup.  I’d favor just cutting the lemon juice in half since even if sweetened it would still overwhelm the cassis. 

So, as Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain’t bad.


You gotta love fresh cherries!

 Day 41, Cocktail 33

Gwen and I have belonged to a dining group that meets monthly for several years now.  The gatherings are always fun and the food is good.  Yesterday’s theme was Tailgaiting and we expected to be outdoors at another one of our member’s home.  Unfortunately, the weather was completely uncooperative and we ended up subbing as last minute hosts since we have a bit more room indoors.  

So what does this all have to do with cocktails?  Well, I was expecting to take beer to the event – it’s a classic with tailgate food.  But, since we were hosting at our home, well, the Twilight Lounge was calling.  I started off with a couple of bourbon and colas to keep it simple.  However, by the time we were done with dinner Mark and I started messing around in the bar with Cherry Heering.  Mark came up with a really good concoction using rye, Cherry Heering, lemon juice, simple syrup and lemon mint.  Hopefully I’ll get the recipe from him soon to post (my memory of the exact recipe is a bit fuzzy).  During the course of our experimentation Mark suggested trying a Manhattan using the Cherry Heering.  It sounded like a good idea to me! 

  Cherry Manhattan 

  • 2oz Russell Reserve Rye
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering liqueur
  • dash of Angosturo bitters

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over several ice cubes.  Shake to mix and chill.  Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cocktail cherry (not a maraschino cherry!). 

The Cherry Heering works wonderfully with the rye to give a neat, spring flavor to this classic cocktail.  I enjoyed this one thoroughly and will be having one again soon!  

Have you ever experimented with new ingredients in a classic cocktail?  If so, let me know what you did and how it turned out!