Grilled Cherry Old Fashioned

You know what time of year it is.

Shark.  Week.

A wise man named Tracy Jordan once said, “Live every week like it’s Shark Week.”  That’s sage advice; Shark Week is not the time to doubt ourselves, or hesitate, or worry, or apologize needlessly.  Shark Week is the week for your tallest heels, and whatever the manquivalent is.  Shark Week is for doing bold things that make you feel like a pygmy shark (those exist!) in a big, huge, scary ocean.  Shark Week is a good time to tell your neighbor that your name is not, in fact, Daniella, even though he seems so content calling you that (maybe I’ll hold off on that one till next year, though).

Shark Week is perfect for having a whiskey cocktail “too early,” whatever that means.

And look–I made us one.

Cherries are sometimes allowed as an old fashioned garnish, but I don’t see anything wrong with nudging them in the direction of ingredient status.  Especially during such a glorious week.

You’re probably not used to grilling small, delicate berries, and neither am I.  This isn’t just an exercise to make you feel ridiculous about flipping nickel-sized berries with a giant pair of tongs.  There’s something disproportional and  “fat guy little coat” awkward about it, sure, but the payoff is charred, smoky, perfectly sweet, juicy summer flavor.  (That clip will never not make me laugh and I’ll find any excuse to post it!)

Cool the blistered, grill-marked fruit, then muddle with a bit of sugar (I bet this would be sweet enough without, actually–next time I’m skipping it) and bitters.

…Add whiskey, and there it is.  I made you a cocktail.  It’s red.  It matches the water in your shark nightmares!

(I’m kidding–don’t have nightmares, have a drink instead.  Duh.)

Grilled Cherry Old Fashioned

8 sweet red cherries (no need to pit if you’ll be using a strainer), plus more for garnish
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional; depends on how sweet your cherries are and how sweet you like your drinks)
A few dashes of bitters
4 oz. bourbon

Preheat a grill to medium-high; grill cherries until charred and fragrant (a couple of minutes on each side).  Allow them to cool.

Muddle grilled cherries with bitters and sugar, if using.  Add bourbon, stir, and strain into two ice-filled lowball glasses.

13 Responses to Grilled Cherry Old Fashioned

  1. My love and fear for sharks are equal in passion…I only really fear them when I’m wading knee-deep in the sea though, and we all know shark attacks can totally happen in the shallows. I don’t fear a cocktail though, especially one with whiskey and cherries! I love an old fashioned, I bet this is great!

    • I learned yesterday that you’re more likely to be bitten by a person than a shark! (I don’t know if that factoid is pre- or post-bath salts, though.) But I understand. Snakes don’t often attack either, but that will never change my mind about them. Disgusting little creeps they are.

  2. I saw the title and the words to a song popped in my head!

    “This morning, I woke up with this feeling
    I didn’t know how to deal with and so I just decided to myself
    I’d hide it to myself and never talk about it
    And didn’t I go and shout it when you walked into my room
    I think I love you (I think I love you)”

    GREG

    • Let’s make chocolate mousse and cocktails and create the weirdest oldies/Sonic Youth Pandora station the world has ever seen!

  3. Just happened to have some Just Tart Cherry juice (knudson’s) in my fridge. This is a nice cocktail . . . the bitters are important to round it out! (not that I’m into my second version of this coctktail or anything . . . ;)

  4. PS, your opening photograph is just perfect! :)

  5. Sheesh! You always make me wish I liked whiskey. I have to learn, because these cherries look PERFECT!!

  6. Thank you pinterest for sending me here. Like the drink and the words getting there.

  7. Very interesting! Too bad that we no longer cherries, but will try next spring

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