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06/24/2012

~ Mel's Annual Sour-Cherry Gin & Tonic Cocktails ~

PICT0024When faced with a daunting, mindless task, like picking and pitting cherries, especially small sour cherries, one must find a way to enjoy their time in purgatory.  Since Joe is our offical cherry picker and pitter, he chose to spend all day yesterday listening to ESPN on the radio and drinking cold beer while he worked.  We have one cherry tree in our backyard, and, for whatever reasons, it likes it here and produces A LOT of cherries.  This year we got 27 pounds, last year we got 38 pounds... I know EXACTLY why George Washington cut down the cherry tree!

PICT0012Picking them is a bit tricky, as they are at their absolute best if left on the tree until you think they will begin to spoil if left there one more day, while at the same time, getting them all picked at once before the birds devour an entire tree of them for you.  The dang birds got a few pounds from the top of our tree this year.  Once the cherries are picked, you have no more than 24 hours to "use them or lose them", which is where I come in:

PICT0002Today, I am faced with the daunting, mindless task of "using or losing" all of these pitted cherries, and, this year, I've decided to make sour cherry jam with them (which will be my next blog post).  Making jam is so easy it is indeed mindless.  That being said, it's going to take me several hours to make several batches of jam in order to use up all of these cherries.  I've decided to make the most of my "special" time in purgatory, drinking my favorite sour-cherry gin & tonic cocktails!

PICT0003For each cocktail:

really nice rocks glasses

a drink muddler

8-10  pitted sour cherries

6-8 ice cubes

1 1/2-2 ounces your favorite gin

tonic water or diet tonic water

Note:  Everyone who knows me knows that I am a "gin & tonic in a real glass" kinda girl.  It's only natural for me to add sour cherries, when I've got them, for a fruity twist:

Apologies to the real inventor!

PICT0007~ Step 1.  Place the cherries in the bottom of a rocks glass and using a cocktail muddler, smash them into juicy chunks and pieces.

A bit about a cocktail muddler:  It's a wooden tool with a blunt bottom, used to smash or crush ingredients in the bottom of a drink glass. Unless you are a professional mixologist, who own a very special, custom-made muddler, they are easily found and inexpensive too: about $5.00 - $10.00!

Note:  Cherries stain EVERYTHING. I protect my muddler by wrapping it in plastic prior to muddling the cherries.  You can thank me later! 

 Add the ice, gin, tonic water and serve!

PICT0014Mel's Annual Sour-Cherry Gin & Tonic Cocktails:  Recipe yields instructions for making one of my favorite, seasonal cocktails.

6a0120a8551282970b01538fe3093e970b-800wiSpecial Equipment List:  cherry pitter, plastic wrap, rocks glasses, cocktail muddler

Cook's Note:  Last year I froze my pitted cherries in 2-pound portions, to have on hand all year long. Instructions for freezing cherries, as well as, my recipe for:

~ I Can't Lie, this is Real Sour-Cherry Pie ~  is in Category 6!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

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