This cocktail began like most of my kitchen ideas, and not related to cooking at all. I found this awesome green ice bucket at a stoop sale for a dollar. Let me tell you, there is nothing more classy for a cocktail than an ice bucket. Owning an ice bucket also means that I am one step closer to being a real adult. A retirement plan is step one.
One of the first cocktails that I learned to make was an old-fashioned. Actually, we decided to make them that summer because my dad had purchased a muddler, and we had a whole set of old-fashioned glasses from my grandparents (clearly, it must run in the family)!
Traditionally, maraschino cherries get muddled with orange slices but since I had a whole lot of pickling spice left over from the radish pickles, I quick pickled some cherries. They were amazeballs. A great little bar snack that would be perfect with some cheese, or in the bottom of a glass waiting to be covered with ice from your very own ice bucket.
I decided to build this in a cocktail shaker, and strain out the muddled fruit but the old-fashioned (ha!) way would be delicious as well.
Pickled Cherry Old Fashioned
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker muddle 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 dashes of bitters, 1-2 pickled cherries (recipe below) and a slice of orange. Pour in a shot or two of bourbon, a few cubes of ice, and shake what yo’ mama gave you. Pour into a chilled glass and top with soda. Garnish with a pickled cherry and an orange.
3 cups cherries (I left mine pitted)
3/4 cups white wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and refrigerate for a couple hours and up to a month. They make cocktails happy!