Cherry Capital Old Fashioned

Cherry Capital Old Fashioned - original watercolor painting by The Cocktail Artist
If you've read some of our previous posts (such as the Up North Raspberry and Rye or the Grand Mariner Cocktail) you know that we're fans of the bourbon and rye produced by The Traverse City Whiskey Co. Traverse City, Michigan is known as the "Cherry Capital" for being the area with the largest production of tart cherries in the United States. In Traverse City, you will find wonderful freshwater beaches, lots of summer tourists, and (of course) cherries! You can attend the Cherry Festival in July, go to the Cherryland Mall, and fly into Cherry Capital airport. So the folks at Traverse City Whiskey (naturally) produce an American Cherry Edition of their bourbon. Here in the Nation's Capital we were lucky enough to find this cherry bourbon at our local liquor store. It's a nice bourbon for sipping neat, but during #OldFashionedOctober we also tried it in an Old Fashioned and were pretty pleased with the results. An Old Fashioned is probably the right cocktail choice for this spirit since it already comes with a very pleasant (but not overwhelming or sweet) cherry flavor.

A traditional Old Fashioned is comprised of whiskey, sugar (or simple syrup), and bitters. It's served in a short tumbler, generally with ice. Purists get touchy when you call a cocktail an "Old Fashioned" if it contains anything other than those basic ingredients. We feel like we stayed pretty true to form with our Cherry Capital variation. Of course, we had to include a skewer of cherries as the garnish - especially because we had a stash of Traverse City Premium Cocktail Cherries from our last trip to Northern Michigan. (FYI - you can purchase these online from Traverse City Whiskey Co, and they are pretty fantastic.)

So here's our Cherry Capital Old Fashioned. It's not only a tasty cocktail, but one with a very attractive  color. This is one that we'll be drinking at any time of the year. It reminds us of summer in Northern Michigan, but it's warming and rather festive, so we'll definitely be serving it during the holiday season.


Cherry Capital Old Fashioned

2 ounces Traverse City Whiskey Co. American Cherry Edition Bourbon
1 teaspoon Dark Brown Sugar Syrup
3 dashes Creole Bitters (The Bitter Truth)
Cocktail Cherries for garnish (Traverse City Premium Cocktail Cherries)

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass for 15- 20 seconds. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with several cocktail cherries.

Traverse City Cocktail Cherries - original watercolor painting by The Cocktail Artist

Dark Brown Sugar Syrup

1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water

Put sugar and water into a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Pour syrup into a bottle and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

The Cherry Capital Old Fashioned and the ingredients

Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan - original watercolor painting by The Cocktail Artist

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