Whoa guys...it's been a minute. Not because I haven't been busy (I made 103 pints of jalapeno jelly in ONE DAY fairly recently), but I often struggle with the ethics of what to put on here. Since I make jam for a shop, I'm not exactly going to put extra top secret recipes for all to see. However, I did come up with something original, not shop related, and completely my own.
I call it...The Dolly Cocktail.
My friend Peter called me over to teach him to make a simple jam. (Note, this is not secret but generally, folks, it's equal weight sugar and fruit, 2% of total weight of acid, and cook. Anyone can do it.) He had a bunch of sour cherries. You know, those gorgeous ones that look almost fake?
We pitted them, jammed them, and said Damn.
It seems like the window for sour cherries is small. Shortly after this Kyle and I traveled up to Northern Michigan where the sour cherries weren't ready yet. Back in northern IL, i got my hands on some "late in the season" ones.
In true summer fashion, I stayed up late pitting cherries and staining my hands red. Making jam in the summer without AC is hot, even in the evening. My comrade Dylan was there to help and before long we were starting the boil.
As with most of the French style jams I learned to make at the French Pastry School, the end result is more of solid fruit pieces in a light syrup that's extracted with the sugar and the application of heat. I ended up with over a pint of the sour cherry syrup.
So when it came time to host a Dolly Parton bachelorette party for my dear friend Polly, it seemed only right to figure out how to use this magenta magic.
After a little good ol' fucking around, I give you this:
- 1 Part Sour Cherry Syrup (homemade if possible, or another flavor poured off from jam making)
- 2 Parts bourbon (I used Makers Mark)
- 3/4 Acid (I used a mix of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar)
- La Croix Cherry Lime Seltzer or La Croix Apple Cranberry Seltzer
- Black Strap Molasses Bitters
- Sour Cherry/Citrus (garnish)
Mix first three ingredients well. Pour into tumbler with ice and mix with equal parts La Croix apple cranberry seltzer or cherry lime seltzer. This seltzer is important because the above mix is sweet enough and should not be mixed with soda, but the La Croix gives it an extra pump of flavor. Top with black strap molasses bitters, garnish with sour cherry and citrus.
Best enjoyed at Ravinia with friends while listening to Dolly's dulcet voice.