Went to a family wedding a few weeks ago in Detroit. One of the little goodies in our bag was dried cherries. Apparently, local to Michigan. Does it say “something” about a person who sees produce and thinks cocktail? No. It just means your creative and always searching for something new. Of course, making Cherry Bounce is no revelation. But, I knew I had a vanilla bean at home waiting to be used. Cherry, vanilla, bourbon, it was a no brainer. The first batch turned out AMAZING. After one sip, I was ready to make another [larger] batch. I’m getting the feeling (while sipping this old fashioned) that this will be one of my go-to summer infusions. Simple and delicious. When using dried fruit in infusions, you’re going to get a sweeter product. The dried fruit is concentrated and gives off more flavor faster than fresh fruit. It’s all about your preference. I liked they way the infusion turned out with the dried cherries. They took on some of the bourbon and plumped up a little. For this infusion, I will not be discarding the cherries and vanilla bean. We will be making boozy cherry vanilla ICE CREAM!!!!! I couldn’t throw out a vanilla bean that’s been sitting in bourbon. Would you? We’ve already got vanilla sugar, ice cream is the next logical step. After straining, wrap up the bourbon cherries and throw them in the freezer. Wrap the vanilla bean in foil and store in a plastic baggie.
Another thing that I like about this infusion is that in late summer, it can take you into fall weather. Cherry-Vanilla Bourbon: 1 Cup Dried Cherries 1 Vanilla Bean 375ml Bourbon [Wild Turkey 101 used here] Add all ingredients to a container with a lid, like a jar. Let sit for 2-3 weeks swirling a few times a week. Strain and bottle. (Refill the bourbon bottle). Can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in an old fashioned.
Cherry-Vanilla Old Fashioned:
2oz. Cherry-Vanilla Bourbon
1 Sugar Cube or 1/4oz. Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters [Optional]
2 Dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters [Optional]
*Angostura Bitters will work here.
Add sugar to mixing glass or tumbler. Dissolve [sugar cube] with bitters and 1oz. of the bourbon. Stir. Add ice and remaining 1oz. of bourbon. Stir until chilled. Strain over 1 block of ice, or stir in tumbler glass until chilled. Garnish with brandied or fresh cherry. Cheers!