June 29, 2018
This should be your go-to this summer (or one of them, at least), as it’ll transport you all over Europe without you having to leave the yard, while at the same time serving as a cool cooler, just as you want when the temps are tempting the higher digits. It was created by an old pal and bartending legend, Jeremy Sidener (who owns the Eighth Street Taproom in Lawrence, KS), who was genius enough to bring together the herbally Italian amaro Averna (which is about in the middle of the bitter scale when looking over the amaro family) and French herb-y Bénédictine, along with cherry brandy, lemon juice, and soda. I myself said in Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz that “the result will break any hold a dusty, hot summer’s day has on you.”
The Sicilian Sling
1-1/2 ounces Averna
1/2 ounce cherry brandy
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Chilled club soda
1 or 2 fresh basil leaves, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Averna, cherry brandy, Bénédictine, and lemon juice. Shake well.
2. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass. Top with chilled club soda, filling it almost to the top. Gently smack the basil leaf or leaves and let them rest on the drink’s top.
December 29, 2017
Let’s face it – we’re not getting any younger. Really, nothing is, I suppose. But wait, as the year rolls out into the sunset, and as a new one rolls in, let’s not get all down-in-the-mouth, and think about getting older. But instead, remember all the many wondrous days, and all the ones happening now, and how we can be youthful all year round, and many other things one might find on a card – hahaha! Or, skip all that, and sip a Happy Youth instead.
The Happy Youth, from Champagne Cocktails
1 ounce Cherry Heering cherry brandy
1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Chilled extra-dry rosé sparkling wine
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Cherry Heering, the orange juice, and the simple syrup. Shake youthfully.
2. Strain the mixture equally into a four flute glasses. Top each with the sparkling wine.
December 9, 2014
You might not think Cranford, a classic about 1850s small-town English life, especially the life of single older ladies, would have a bunch of cocktail moments. And, it doesn’t, necessarily (by the way – read it if you haven’t. It’s a swell selection of stories that all intertwine around these ladies). But if there’s one thing 1850s ladies in small towns in the U.K. like, it is a little sherry-like sipper on special occasions. Or, very rarely, cherry brandy. Here is one of those times.
Miss Barker, in her former sphere, had, I dare say, been made acquainted with the beverage they call cherry-brandy. We none of us had ever seen such a thing, and rather shrunk back when she proffered it us – ‘just a little, leetle glass, ladies; after the oysters and lobsters, you know. Shellfish are sometimes thought not very wholesome.’
— Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford
March 16, 2012
Much like Mr. Sponge himself, the Sporting Tour has lounged around the Spiked Punch couches and guest rooms and breakfast buffets for awhile (read the first Mr. Sponge Cocktail Talk post here for more background), but we need one or two more quotes to round out the experience. And the following, dear reader, are them:
He exclaimed in a most open-hearted air, ‘Well, now, what shall we have to drink?’ adding, ‘You smoke of course–shall it be gin, rum, or Hollands–Hollands, rum, or gin?’
‘O! Liquor them well, and send them home to their mammas,’ suggested Captain Bouncey, who was all for the drink. ‘But they won’t take their (hiccup),’ replied Sir Harry, holding up a Curaçao bottle to show how little had disappeared.’ ‘Try them with cherry brandy,’ suggested Captain Seedeybuck, adding ‘it’s sweeter.’
–Cocktail Talk, R.S. Surtees, Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour