On a cold winter night, what could be better than sitting by the fire drinking a Manhattan with spiced brandied cherries? My hubby and I love classic cocktails, but of course I put in a twist by making my own brandied cherries. You can of course go buy some, but I think they’re way more delicious homemade.
For the Brandied Cherries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 cloves
- ½ vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup brandy
- About 30 cherries any kind
For the Manhattan
- 4 oz. whiskey
- 2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1 oz. brandied cherry syrup strained
- 2 dashes of good-quality bitters
- 2 brandied cherries for garnish
- For the brandied cherries, place all of the ingredients aside from the cherries into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, without stirring, over medium heat. Reduce the liquid by half and then add in the brandy. Turn off the heat and add in the cherries. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For best results, let sit for one week before using, up to 2 months.
- For the cocktail, place the whiskey, sweet vermouth, brandied cherry liquid, and bitters in a cocktail shaker over ice. Stir until thoroughly chilled. Strain into martini glasses and garnish with a brandied cherry.