…from the Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? I’m hooked on American Bourbon. I just keep finding new ways to use it both in cooking and cocktails. My Backyard Barbecue Bourbon-Cherry Fizzy Punch offers sweet, spicy and bourbon flavors. I use a dry ancho chile which delivers assertive spiced dark cherry noteS while bringing together the sweet cherries and the bourbon to give a more 3-dimensional flavor to this wonderful cocktail punch.
When I’m looking for a stronger, contrasting citrus note. I use a crushed vitamin-C tablet. Don’t laugh, this is an old bartender trick. You don’t have one? Don’t fret. Just drop a cut lime quarter in each glass before serving.
There is some assembly required in making my Backyard Barbecue Bourbon-Cherry Fizzy Punch. It starts with pitting fresh cherries and turning them into a spicy purée. I promise it’s worth the effort. This cocktail is a perfect pitcher cocktail for your backyard summer barbecue.
Purée prep time: 20 minutes
Cocktail prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
For the cherry purée
1 dried ancho chile
1/2 cup warm water
10 ounces fresh sweet cherries (about 2 cups), stemmed and pitted
1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 500mg unflavored vitamin-C tablet, crushed into powder
For the cocktail
2 cups American bourbon
1/2 cup kirsch (cherry liqueur)
2 12-ounce bottles of black cherry soda (I prefer Dr. Brown’s)
Garnish: 8 cherries with stems (remove the pit—it can be done)
To make the cherry purée
ChefSecret: You can make the cherry purée the day before and store it in an airtight container. You can get a cherry pitter at Amazon for under $10 bucks. I like this one (pictured) because you can do 5 cherries at a time.
Quip of the Day: “Pain makes you stronger. Tears make you braver. A broken heart makes you wiser. And alcohol helps you to forget all that crap.”
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