The farmers market in Tribeca on Saturday is just a tad different. It’s the only market here in the Northeast that I have seen with a vendor selling orchids. And there’s this very distinguished looking Amish gentleman offering habenero dill pickles. Talk about emerging or merging cultures. The culinary crossovers here can be striking.
One vendor, Red Jacket Orchards, offers a variety of juices. Most of them are a combination of apple + something else. But two of them are pure and potent: 100% apricot and 100% sour cherry.
What to do with sour cherry juice? You drink it, but in fortified passion. You first option is to make a tart and red cherry version of a mimosa. Top off a glass of sparkling wine — you know I prefer Cava from Spain — with a splash of that cherry brightness. Or, on the web, I found a recipe for cherry mojito. I liked the idea, but not the proportions: it was one ounce of rum for four ounces of club soda. My version below has, shall we say, greater fortitude. Please feel free to make your own adjustments.
I do enjoy the pure flavor cherry from Red Orchard, no added sweeteners or preservatives.
Yes, this recipe is a teaser. Cherry season approaches. And cherry pie. And there is a cherry pie recipe in your future her.
Brian’s Sour Cherry Mojito
- 1 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons tart cherry juice
- 9 mint leaves
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 ounces white rum
- Ice cubes
- Dash of club soda to fit your taste
Place 6 mint leaves in a tall glass. Add the sugar. Crush mint leaves with a muddler, or with the back of a spoon.
Add the tart cherry juice, lemon juice, white rum and ice. You can mix well in the glass or transfer to a cocktail shaker for a more energetic finish..
Pour the beverage back in your glass, add ice and that dash of club soda. You may garnish with the remaining mint leaves.
Source: Yahoo Answers for Sour Cherry Cocktails.
It’s amazing what a couple of weeks of sun, showers, and non-freezing temperatures can do for mint. Suzen shrieks, “It’s a weed. We have to cut it back before it takes over the garden.” I reply, “How many drinks can we make?”
I really think I have perfected the mojito: the secret is freshness and sweetness. The standard mojito calls for lime juice but I prefer the sweetness of lemon juice. And for the mint, well, you can’t top the intense scent of fresh mint that five minutes ago was in the ground and now is being muddled. The aroma from a dozen leaves can fill the kitchen.
I’ve experimented making this drink with mint-flavored sugar syrup, but I think it’s better with standard sugar syrup and allowing the mint flavor to come from freshly selected leaves.
Most mojito recipes call for topping the drink off with club soda, and I’ve put that option here. With the club soda, the drink is sobered a tad. And I suppose classier to some palettes. But after a long week spent drinking only Pepsi, I look forward to Friday night and a stiff cocktail strong enough to move barbells. So, I leave the club soda out.
Go hunting in your yard for some mint, grab some rum, and enjoy.
Brian’s Lemon Mojito
Yield: 2 large drinks
12-15 mint leaves, freshly picked, rinsed clean and patted dry
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces plain sugar syrup
3 ounces fresh lemon juice, reserving one of the juiced lemon halves
6 ounces white rum
10 ice cubes
⅓ cup super fine sugar
1 cup shaved ice
2 ounces club soda [optional]
Place the mint leaves in a steel cocktail shaker, add the tablespoon of sugar, and muddle for 2 minutes.
Add the sugar syrup, lemon juice, and rum into the cocktail shaker along with enough ice cubes to fill the shaker. Shake until thoroughly chilled [that’s about 20 vigorous shakes]. Set the cocktail shaker aside.
On a plate, spread the super fine sugar into a circle on a dish; the circle should have the same diameter as your cocktail glasses. Take one of the juice lemon halves and run it around the rim of two cocktail glasses. Immediately dip the rims into the super fine sugar. Do not be delicate here; get a solid coating of sugar on both sides of the rim.
Add the shaved ice to each cocktail glass. Pour in the mojito from the cocktail shaker. Top, if you wish, with club soda. Drink fervently.
Source: Brian O’Rourke