While Kevin & I are in Alaska, we've asked some friends and
colleagues to post on their wine loves, wine experiences and more. For
this post we welcome Jay Erisman, our favorite instructor from The Party Source EQ Center and quite the wine and spirits expert. He tries to put a positive spin on our dislike of the new Jim Beam Red Stag. Thanks Jay!
Bourbon drinkers have offered mixed reviews of the latest from Jim Beam: Red Stag Black Cherry Infused Bourbon. I tend to lean to the thumb-down end of that spectrum. (Although Red Stag is rather subtler than I expected, and not quite the Robitussin swill some have described. And it is clearly aimed at the Beam-and-Coke crowd, who may like it just fine.) But the appearance of the drink led me to wonder: how good could cherry and Bourbon be?
For help, I asked my first-call cherry masters, the Luxardo family of Torreglia, Italy. The Luxardos are responsible for the great maraschino cherry liqueur–a requisite ingredient in any bar–as well as a host of other cherry products, including whole amarena cherries and a syrup made of real maraschino cherry juice (that's "mara-skeeno," and marks the true and original cherry of that name, not the little artificial radioactive-red fruits endemic to American liquor cabinets). A cocktail of good, strong Beam Bourbon, layered with amarena syrup and the extra bitter Punt y Mes vermouth leads to a cherryish but quite complex cocktail, with a nice thickness that could even work as an after-dinner sip. Serving it on the rocks with a splash of soda cuts the richness if you like.
Giacomo Fascio's Rosso Cervo Cocktail
45 ml (1.5 oz) Jim Beam Baker's Bourbon
15 ml (.5 oz) Luxardo Amarena syrup
15 ml (.5 oz) Punt y Mes
Combine in a shaker with ice and stir for 20 seconds. Serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with three Luxardo Amarena cherries, and pour a floater of Sazerac Rye on top.
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