I saw this drink in a New York Times piece yesterday and, since I had cherries on hand, decided to give it a shot. While the recipe calls for sour cherries, I only had Bing cherries available. But, since I tend to like my old-fashioneds a touch on the sweet side, I didn’t think this would be a problem.
2 oz. rye or bourbon (in truth I probably 2 1/2)
2 pitted cherries
2-3 dashes bitters (Angostura is specified, although I used The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters)
1/2 tsp. simple syrup
a piece of orange peel, about 2 inches long
Muddle the cherries with the bitters and syrup, add ice and whiskey, and stir until well-chilled. Twist the orange peel over the drink and drop it in.
This tastes pretty much like an old-fashioned – i.e. mostly like whiskey. The cherries and a nice mix of sweet and tart flavors, and do blend quite well with the whiskey and bitters. It’s a nice twist on this classic cocktail, and although certainly not an improvement on the original (how could it be?), nor is it a step down. Five livers.