June 24, 2016

proof whisky, batch, Vol. 164

Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of collaborating on drinks with the Well Preserved Team, Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison. We got together to make delicious cocktails for the Drake launch party of their amazing new book, Batch. Joel wanted us to share the recipe with you. This drink requires a little time and commitment, but let me tell you—it is well worth the effort. To learn more about our brand visit www.proofbrands.com.

the smoked cherry sour  2 oz proof whisky (this cocktail was designed for it) • 1 oz charred lemon juice* • 1/2 oz (1 Tbsp) smoked cherry simple syrup**

Fill a shaker with ice and add all ingredients, cover and vigorously shake for 8-10 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass filled with ice.

* Charred Lemon Juice
Charring the lemons is also optional but recommended. Briefly caramelizing the lemons changes their flavour from bright and sour to rich and sour and is a real nice compliment to the whisky and brown sugar. I like to make this right before making the cocktails to prevent oxygen from changing the flavour and colour of the citrus though some people make enough for a few days and store in the fridge, covered. Yield: Approximately 4 oz

You will need 4 lemons. Cut the lemons in half (across the middle as if you were cutting an orange to juice it). Preheat a cast iron (or other heavy) pan or BBQ on high heat.  Place lemons, cut side down, on the heat source and allow them to cook until sark brown or even black (they will be hot, use care when handling). Remove lemons from heat and cool. Optional: strain through a fine sieve or coffee filter. You’ll lose some of the liquid but this will produce a better mouth feel.

** Smoked Cherry Simple Syrup
Don’t have a smoker? Don’t fret - you can make this cocktail without smoking it if you’d like. We use a simple device called a pellet smoker that let’s us use a common BBQ as a smoker. Using it is almost as easy (and similar to) burning incense; the BBQ remains off while wood pellets smoulder and produce smoke for hours on end. Yield: 1 cup simple syrup (can be multiplied and will keep in fridge for 10 days or more)

You will need 1 lb of cherries & 1 cup brown sugar. Remove stems from cherries. Roughly chop cherries in half with a pairing knife (it’s ok to let the pits stay in). Cutting them will allow them to readily release their liquid. Place cherries in a large bowl with sugar, mix well. Cover and place in fridge for 6-24 hours, stirring occasionally. They will produce their own liqueur. Place cherries on stove and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 7 minutes. Strain and cool the syrup. You should have approximately 1 cup of liquid (add water to top if you have less). Place syrup in a stainless steel or glass bowl and smoke for 8-10 hours using hardwood. I recommend hickory, oak or a combination of the two. Pour into a jar with a lid and store in fridge.

“In the world of preserving, Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison are the masters, the authority. Batch packs everything you’ll ever need to know about preserving into one cohesive bible. Joel and Dana’s passion project takes a deep dive into the fundamentals of preserving and offers both simple and adventurous, and totally flavor-forward recipes.”Chef Curtis Stone, New York Times bestselling author and chef/owner of Maude Restaurant. We were very lucky to share a backyard sampling with Joel & Dana.

Joel and Dana’s journey into preserving began with an innocent lesson in making jam. Almost a decade later, WellPreserved.ca is an extraordinary resource for both beginners and experts alike. Their much-anticipated first cookbook showcases seven different preserving techniques—waterbath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, fermenting, cellaring, salting & smoking, and infusing—and takes readers on a trip to the market in twenty-five ingredients. Within each ingredient chapter, you’ll find multiple preserving recipes using the different methods. From apples, pears, peaches and rhubarb, to asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and covering a variety of meat and fish, Batch teaches you everything you need to know to get the most out of your kitchen.

With their signature approachable and fun style, Joel and Dana showcase techniques for a variety of skill levels, explain how to batch your recipes to make two preserves at once, give you multiple options for preserving in ten minutes or less, and serve up mouthwatering center-of-the-plate meals that take your preserves from the pantry to the table. With personal anecdotes, creative and incredible recipes, and beautiful photography and illustrations, Batch will show you how to incorporate preserving into your life and your community.

Thank-you Joel & Dana! It was a great experience. You can pick up a copy of this beautiful book at pretty much any bookstore. Their story began here: www.wellpreserved.ca

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