Marinated Cherries

When you were a kid, how tempting were the maraschino cherries?  We all wanted them.  I have a confession to make, I don’t like them anymore.   I think it might be how cloyingly sweet they seem now.  So, I hit upon a better idea, I’ll make my own cherry garnishes.  And since it’s cherry season here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, now’s the time.

I love Bourbon, Rye and Irish Whiskey.  I’m in a Rye phase currently.  There are so many fabulous varieties hitting the market now, so when it came time for me to marinate my cherries, I decided to use Rye.  The same is true of cherries.  I usually go with the dark purple Bings, but when I can find beautiful Royal Annes, I’m in heaven.  As you can see, the color intensity varies by variety.

Start with a pint size jar.  You’re not going to be canning it so any jar will do.  I have a large quantity of empty Bonne Maman jars since they make the best raspberry jam so I’m using those.  I use my handy cherry pitter and fill the jar with pitted cherries.  Once the jar is to capacity, I fill it with Rye.  Put it in the refrigerator and let it get mellow for a week or 3.  They will only get better and will last for months in the refrigerator.  If you’re willing to share, these taste exquisite on ice cream as well.

Ingredients for a Manhattan:

Marinated Cherry for garnish

Dash Angostura bitters

2 ounces Rye

3/4 ounce Sweet red vermouth

Combine Rye, vermouth and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass.  Add ice and stir until chilled.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish the the marinated cherry.  You can substitute bourbon for the Rye, but why would you want to.

and remember:  I love to paraphrase Dorothy Parker:  Oh I love a Manhattan, 2 at the most, 3 I’m under the table, 4 I’m under the host.  Big kiss, Lynn

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