Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pickled Cherries = Manhattan Time

Though the lack of space in our fridge might tell a different story (it's hard to find what you're looking for sometimes amid all those jars), quick pickles or refrigerator pickles are just so easy! And there's no reason to stick to veggies. Lots of fruits make excellent pickles, and their true sweet-and-sour flavor profile is just the thing for cocktails. If you love a Manhattan like I do, try this version out immediately. It is a long weekend after all...

Pickled Cherries
This recipe allows for extra pickling brine to use in cocktails and still ensure proper coverage for the remaining cherries, so you could easily increase the amount of cherries to 1½-2 pounds if you're planning to have a party or just want more on hand.

1 pound ripe but firm Bing cherries
1½ cups red wine vinegar
½ cup water
 cups sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 large strips of orange peel, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 bay leaf

After washing your cherries, prick each one a few times with a fork and place in a large bowl.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large non-reactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Place cherries in a quart-sized jar, spoon in the orange peel, cinnamon sticks and spices, and then cover completely with the pickling liquid.

Store in the fridge for 1 month, but wait at least 24 hours before eating so there's time for the flavors to infuse.

Sweet & Sour Manhattans
This cocktail is best made one at a time.

2 ounces good quality bourbon
½ ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
½ ounce of pickled cherry brine
1 pickled cherry

Pour the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pickled cherry. Lean back and enjoy.

These cocktail cherries also make an excellent cocktail garnish.

Pickled Cherries and Sweet & Sour Manhattans on Punk Domestics


  1. YUM -- I'm diggin' those Manhattans!

  2. Um, sounds YUM indeed. Can't wait to try this.

  3. Just tried your Manhattan recipe since I had some pickled cherry brine that I didn't want to waste. Really tasty. Thanks for the tip!