When we were visiting our daughter over the Christmas holiday she had made some bourbon cherries that made a great Manhattan. Maybe not a traditional Manhattan, but a pretty good variation. I made a batch of these tasty cherries when I got home and I think the longer they “cure” the better.
1 fifth of bourbon (I used Evan Williams)
1 pint of grand Grand Marnier
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T vanilla (or 2 vanilla beans slit)
1 T whole allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
a little grated nutmeg
32 ounces of frozen, pitted tart cherries
In a large heavy kettle combine bourbon, grand mariner, sugars and spices. Over low heat whisk until sugars are completely dissolved. DO NOT boil. Turn the heat off and allow it to steep and cool down. Once off the heat stir in the vanilla.
Put the cherries in glass jars and pour the cooled alcohol mix over the cherries. You can leave the spices in the jars but be careful to remove them before serving.
To prepare your faux Manhattan…
In a small glass with a little ice pour “cherry juice” over the ice. Add a couple dashes of orange or Angostura bitters. Spear a few cherries on a cocktail pick and serve. You can add a bit of orange or lemon peel for garnish if you wish. A traditional Manhattan has a little sweet or dry vermouth but the grand mariner is a great substitute.
I think these cherries would be awesome over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or on a dish of homemade rice pudding.
Cheers! Happy New Year.