1/4 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved (Hedelfigen, Hartland, or Emperor Francis)
1 oz mint infused simple syrup (recipe below)
2 oz good bourbon
1/2 oz lime juice
Club soda to taste (or Honeycrisp Hard Cider)
Whole cherry and mint leaves to garnish
Mint Infused Simple Syrup (Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, removed from stems
Sweet Cherry Bourbon Smash
Combine cherries and simple syrup in the bottom of a rocks glass (I also like to use a half-pint jar depending on my mood). Muddle (i.e. smash and crush) the cherries with the syrup until pulpy.
Add the bourbon and lime juice and stir.
Add one or two ice cubes, and top with club soda.
For the Mint Infused Simple Syrup
Combine the water and the sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the mint leaves. Let the mixture reduce and infuse for about 10 minutes over low heat. The syrup should thicken slightly (don’t let it turn golden). Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Using a metal sieve or slotted spoon, strain the spent mint leaves from the simple syrup and discard.
Store the mint-infused syrup in an airtight bottle or jar in the fridge until used. Unused syrup will last four to six weeks in the fridge.
| Adapted from Feast in the Thyme