You know what time of year it is.
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.