This week kicks off that wonderful, crazy season of celebrations. The time of year we open our homes and gather with friends to celebrate. It is always important during this time of year to be ready at the drop of a hat for whatever revelries might present themselves. I find the easiest way to do that is to perfect one specific drink and have festive bar elements always prepped to serve it.
This year we’ve settled on classic Old Fashions with a modern twist of adding brandied cherries that I’ve had sitting for six weeks. For the bar scene, I love the classic look of brass accents and small pops of color. I was happy on my last trip to Target to find an entire line of gorgeous fall brass bar accents. The line is just like my drink – classic with a twist of fun and whimsy.
My favorite way to make an old fashion is mixed with a cherry. Although not the traditional drink – it has become a favorite! This was my first go at brandying cherries for the drink, and it was super easy. I love being able to serve something a bit more homemade this time of year.
To brandy cherries: mix 1 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar, 1tblspoon cinnamon and 2 pounds fresh pitted cherries in a sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into a large bowl, adding 1 cup of brandy to the cherries. Pour the entire mixture into mason jars and secure closed. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 weeks. Be patient, the cherries need the entire time to completely cure.
To make this twist on the classic old fashion: Mix 2 oz brandy, 1 oz vermouth, a dash of bitters, and one sugar cube in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over 2-3 of the cherries and add a splash of 7-up for a drink that will become and instant classic for holiday festivities.
We’ve divided the cherries up into small candle holders, topped with washi tape and simple craft tags, to hand out as favors . The little holders are an easy way to have the cherries on hand and ready + we can send a couple home with each guest to enjoy on their own.
The washi tape was a perfect topper for these favors since it fits secure around the top and provides a quick, graphic punch. Top any kind of favor this season with a washi top by layering the tape across the top and cutting around the sides to match the opening’s shape. Fold over and secure in place. Add in the brass elements for a bar that is prepped for anything this season.
Compensation was provided for this post by Target. The suggestions presented are all my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target. Thanks for supporting our partners who allow me to create and celebrate daily.