Recipe: Old Fashioned


Aug. 15–21 is Midtown Cocktail Week in Sacramento, with boozy parties and cocktail-making classes all week long. In its honor, I requested this amazing homemade Maraschino cherry Old Fashioned recipe from a new friend, the newly minted Jersey Girl, Zoe H. (check out her new blog, Lamb’s Quarterly). The cherries are spicy and fresh, and retain their snap—a million miles away from those nuclear red, squishy sweet ones from the bar.

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Servings: About 10 drinks
Time: About 20 minutes active; less than one hour total

For the Maraschino Cherries (makes about 10 drinks):
1/4 cup raw, turbinado sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 lemon rind slices, about 1/2″ thick
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

Per Drink:
2 lemon rind slices, about 1/2″ thick
1/4 tsp raw, turbinado sugar
5 drops of bitters
2 teaspoons Maraschino Cherry juice
2 ounces good-quality Rye Whiskey (I used Bulleit 95 Rye)
2 Maraschino Cherries

1. In small pot over medium heat, stir together 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and lemon rind. Bring to a boil and reduce to 1 1/4 cups liquid, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the cherries and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a glass jar. Let cool or refrigerate overnight.

3. To make a drink, muddle lemon rind, sugar, bitters and cherry juice until the sugar is mostly broken down. Add one large or three regular ice cubes to the glass. Pour in whiskey and stir, and then add cherries.

Writer Bio:
Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog,, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all tasty, lifestyle.