Firecracker Cherry Bourbon
|My drink offerings in my "new" vintage tool caddy.|
When I dreamed up the idea to do our last swap as a Spirits and Cocktail Party food and beverage event, I knew I wanted to combine the two flavors into one delicious drink. Taking the drink one step further, I started thinking about limoncello and other sweet cordials. Reading about other whiskey or bourbon inspired drinks then lead me to a story about a home-made Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey concoction. Hence the name of my drink, Firecracker Cherry Bourbon. A new drink is born!
SpecialtyBottles.com, the vintage style apothecary bottle, 8.5 ounces (which later I realized was TOO BIG!), along with plastic topper cork stoppers. To add to the vintage look I printed my labels on round craft paper labels from AVERY. I also made ingredient tag labels which I tied to the bottles. One final touch was using the plastic protector toppers that are slipped onto the bottles tops then shrink wrapped closed using a hair dryer.
Firecracker Cherry Bourbon Ingredients:
Step 1 Ingredients:
- 1.75 Liter Bottle of inexpensive Bourbon or Whiskey (don't use the really good stuff, as you're adding flavoring to it. For a fun read on "Low-Shelf" brands, check out this link here!)
- 2 Cups Unsweetened Dried Cherries
- 2 - 3 Jalapeno Peppers - cut into strips. For spicy flavor, keep the ribs and seeds in; for milder flavor, remove the ribs and seeds
- Large Glass Jar - about 2 quart size or larger with a tight fitting lid
Step 2 Ingredients:
- 1/2 Cup Candied Ginger Pieces - kept whole
- 5 Cinnamon Sticks
- 5 Star Anise Seeds - in their star-shapped pods
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Cloves
- 1/2 Cup Dried Cherries
- 3 Cups Organic Cane Sugar or Turbinado Sugar
- 3 Cups Cold Water
- 3 or 4 Quart Sauce Pot
- 1 Gallon Container
- 1 Funnel or Measuring cup to pour into bottles
- 12 - 6 ounce Glass Bottles, with stoppers to decant into
- Add the dried cherries to the bottom of a clean, large glass jar. Add in the cleaned and sliced jalapeno peppers. If you want a really spicy drink, you can leave the seeds and ribs on the jalapenos. For a milder drink, remove the seeds and ribs. Work carefully with the jalapenos, and either wear food safety gloves or wash your hands immediately in cool water with a lot of soap after having handled the peppers. Carefully pour in the 1.75 liter bottle of bourbon over the cherries and peppers. Put the lid on the jar and put the jar in a cool dark place.
- After about a week, check on the bourbon. The cherries will have plumped up and the jalapenos will appear to have pickled. You can remove the jalapenos at this point, or keep them in the bourbon for another week. In either case, remove the jalapenos after 2 weeks, as they will have given off a lot of their flavor and heat. Reserve the "pickled" jalapenos for some other use, such as using in a corn bread or in salsas. The jalapenos will be potent with booze so use them carefully!
- Let the cherries steep in the bourbon for up to 1 month, then strain the bourbon into another clean glass jar through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the bourbon macerated cherries for some other use, such as cocktails, cakes, in a pie filling, you name it. These too will be powerfully potent, so don't feed them to children or anyone who can't have alcohol.
- Once the bourbon has steeped for a month it's time to make the simple syrup. In a 3 or 4 quart sauce pot add in the 3 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water. To this add the candied ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anise seeds and whole cloves. Also add in a new batch of dried cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. You want to dissolve the sugar into the water and let the spices steep into the syrup, flavoring the syrup as it cooks and then cools.
- Keep the mixture at a bare simmer for 1 hour to infuse it with the spices. Remove from the heat and let cool with the spices still in the syrup. Once the mixture is cool, strain it carefully through a fine mesh strainer twice, to remove all the spices and any sediment. Discard the spice and if you are so inclined, you can re-use the dried cherries, but strain them from the final product.
- Pour the flavored syrup into a large glass jar or container, about a gallon sized jar will be good. Pour in the infused and strained bourbon. Gentle stir the mixture to combine then decant it into smaller clean bottles. Seal and refrigerate. Serve cold. Mixture will keep for 2 months, refrigerated.
- Makes 1 dozen 6 ounce portions, give or take...