Bourbon Soaked Cherries
One of the best happy hour restaurants near us make a Manhattan with brandy-soaked cherries that Dustin really enjoys and also inspired the making of these bourbon soaked cherries. While we didn't have brandy in the house, we did have bourbon, which I thought would probably pair nicely with the cherries. I also figured Dustin could add them to his favorite make-at-home whiskey cocktail, the Old Fashioned.
The recipe for these is super simple from an old Martha Stewart Living magazine referenced online. First pit around a cup of cherries in the least destructible way possible. If you have a cherry pitter, use that. We don't have a cherry pitter, so my hands got down and dirty using a sterilized hair pin, a tip I'd read online. It looked like I'd been in surgery all day, and boy did I have fun scrubbing the deep red color out from underneath my finger nails.
Once the cherries were pitted, I brought a cup of bourbon to a simmer and in it, dissolved two tablespoons of granulated sugar. Then I removed the pan from the heat and added in the pitted cherries, letting the mixture cool down to room temperature. I placed the bourbon mixture and the cherries in a glass container, sealed it, and put the cherries in the refrigerator.
We let the cherries soak for two days before we started using them so that they would really have absorbed the bourbon flavor. Not only are these cherries good in cocktails, but they elevate desserts like ice cream to a whole new level of fanciness.
I think Dustin's favorite part might be that when the cherries are all gone, he can sip on some cherry-infused bourbon!