Heering in SACC newsletter

Summit Sips – Drink of the Week: Singapore Sling

Supposedly, July 27th was National Scotch Day. I know it’s not the most popular holiday, but the timing was pretty good (it was a coincidence, really) for describing the Scotch tasting event last week and for featuring the Blood and Sand cocktail the week before. I thought about selecting another Scotch drink this week but I decided it was time to move on. That’s when a friend of mine finally tracked down some Cherry Heering and made the Blood and Sand. I wondered if perhaps there were other readers looking for additional ways to use cherry brandy, so I thought I would feature the Singapore Sling.

It can be a delicious cocktail, depending on the recipe you use. That said, it’s just as easy to make one taste awful. Part of the problem is that like a lot of cocktails, the original recipe was lost and this has caused many enthusiasts to experiment with ingredients over the years. It’s certainly considered a classic, dating back to the early twentieth century when it was created at the Raffles Hotel Singapore, but it disappeared around 1930. The official “restored” version was supposedly discovered on an old bar napkin and pieced together based on bartender memory, but not everyone agrees that it is the proper recipe. Another drink called the Straits Sling is a close match, and more than a few cocktail historians think this might actually be the real recipe. Whatever you want to believe, one thing is absolutely clear—right or wrong, there’s more than one way to make a Singapore Sling.

And that’s another problem with this cocktail. It’s just never the same drink in two different locations. Finding a favorite version would be a lot easier if there weren’t so many ingredients to assemble. Now, I’m not saying you should ignore any cocktail that has more than a few ingredients, but if you are in a hurry, it’s probably not going to be your first choice. The traditional recipe is a combination of gin, Dom Benedictine, Cherry Heering, Cointreau, lime juice, fresh pineapple juice, grenadine and Angostura bitters. It’s not impossible, but how often does anyone have fresh pineapple juice anyway? Now, normally I’d be excited about the opportunity to use some homemade real pomegranate grenadine, but there is a real risk of ruining this drink with too much syrupy sweetness. Imagine my surprise when I found a version that not only leaves out the grenadine, but drops the pineapple as well!

This version of the Singapore Sling is found in the pages of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s excellent Beachbum Berry Remixed, a revised compilation of tiki drinks from his two successful books in one volume. Some of you might argue that the pineapple juice is what gives this drink the foamy head and that it’s an essential flavor element. Well, I am not here to argue, but but I gotta say, I am a lot more likely to make this drink in it’s less complicated form than I am to carve up a fresh pineapple in order to conform with tradition. Besides, I like the flavor of this version because it has a nice balance without being overly sweet. Do what you like, especially if you have a pineapple and some pomegranate grenadine, but I’m saving mine for another time and making this version from now on:

Singapore Sling
from Beachbum Berry Remixed
2 oz gin
.5 oz brandy
1 oz Cherry Heering
.5 oz Benedictine
1 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 oz club soda to top

Add all ingredients except the soda to a shaker. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a tall glass of ice. Add soda to top and garnish with an orange wedge and a sprig of mint.

Heering once again in the New York Times!

Morning Joe With a Jolt

Troy Sidle Coffee cocktails at the Randolph, from left: the Incoming Tide, World’s Best Dad, Slow Trip to New Orleans and Double Punch.
For those who find that a cup of joe just isn’t quite enough to get them going in the morning, the Randolph at Broome has started serving coffee with an extra kick, starting at 8 a.m.
Hot and cold coffee cocktails — for $13 — include the World’s Best Dad, laced with Laird’s Applejack and sweet vermouth, and the Slow Trip to New Orleans, a glass of Bulleit bourbon, Plymouth sloe gin and coffee.
Troy Sidle of Alchemy Consulting, a consulting firm that developed the program for the Randolph, said it wasn’t easy finding the right spirits to go with coffee.
“Spirits that were too complex were outshone by the coffee,” Mr. Sidle said. “We found, because coffee beans are a fruit, fruit-based liquors worked best.”
Hence the Incoming Tide, which calls for Cognac and Cherry Heering. The fruitiest cocktail on the list is the cold Double Punch, with Pisco, distilled from grapes, and maraschino liqueur, derived from cherries.
The general coffee-to-alcohol ratio in the cold coffee cocktails is 2 to 1; the hot cocktails contain less booze.
For those who don’t wish to have their eyes opened quite so wide so early, there is regular coffee, ground to order, with a rotating selection of five roasts (recent selections included Oslo Papua New Guinea and Dark Matter Ethiopia Yirgacheffe). But they’re not serving espresso or cappuccino.
“The Randolph is known as an all-American, rock-n-roll bar,” Mr. Sidle said. “We wanted to stay true to the idea of an American bartender rather than an Italian barista, so we went back to a 1960s Greenwich Village idea of an American coffee house.”
Each cup is slow-dripped through custom-designed pour-over devices.
Between the pour-overs and the cocktails are “augmented coffees,” which are enhanced with a variety of spices, nuts and other flavoring agents. “We didn’t want to cover up the coffee” with the flavor mixes, said Mr. Sidle. “We wanted to bring out the flavors in the coffee.”
With the soothing Summer Road, the mix of malted milk powder and Oaxacan chocolate is added as a powder to the dry coffee grounds. In other drinks, the flavor spike comes from house-made elixirs, like the Fountainhead, which is supplemented by a blend of sarsaparilla, orange peel and star anise, topped with whipped cream.
All the augmented coffees have something else you wouldn’t expect in a coffee house: salt.
“We kept finding that when we added sweet elements to coffee, it would result in a somewhat tannic note,” said Mr. Sidle. “The salt somehow inhibits that unpleasant sensation.” (Some of the coffee cocktails also contain a pinch of salt.)
After 5 p.m., all the coffee apparatus is packed. So if you’re craving a coffee cocktail, last call is 4:30 p.m.

The Randolph at Broome, 349 Broome Street (Elizabeth Street), NoLIta, (212) 274-0667


Summit Sips Explorations in Mixology – Drink Of The Week: Blood and Sand

Summit Sips

Explorations in Mixology

You just don’t find many cocktails made with Scotch whisky. Perhaps it’s hard to produce combinations that work well together considering the prominent flavors that are typical of any good Scotch. Nevertheless, a few creations have succeeded, and the Blood and Sand is one of them. I’m not saying the world needs more Scotch cocktails. Those of us who enjoy Scotch will say it’s just fine on its own, but not everyone likes to sip spirits neat. Here’s a chance to try something that is pretty rare in the world of mixology.

As uncommon as Scotch cocktails are, you might expect a working recipe to look better on paper, but when you see what’s in this, you wouldn’t expect the combination to work. I have to say that if I set out to create a Scotch cocktail myself, it might take me a while before I would try mixing these ingredients together. Although it didn’t appear in print until the 1930s, the Blood and Sand was apparently created for the premier of the 1922 film of the same name starring Rudolph Valentino. Now, why don’t movies today come with their own cocktail?

Despite being named for a movie, the Blood and Sand is actually a great description for the way this drink looks. After the pour, a thin layer of froth swirls atop the deep red mixture and it sorta looks like blood soaking into the desert dunes. That imagery may be somewhat grotesque, but the drink tastes fantastic.

Blood and Sand
.75 oz Scotch whisky
.75 oz sweet vermouth
.75 oz Cherry Heering
.75 oz orange juice

Add ingredients to a shaker, add ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

The choice of Scotch will greatly affect the flavor and balance of this cocktail. Some Scotch lovers would never sacrifice their single malts to a mixed drink and may opt for a blend, but I think you can get wonderful results with anything. In fact, even with blends, flavors vary wildly. I guess I am saying, don’t limit your version of this cocktail to one Scotch or another. Chances are, if you like the whisky already, it’s going to work nicely here.

Others have written that Cherry Heering is the only cherry brandy worth considering. Who am I to argue since it’s the only cherry brandy I own? Is it crazy to use Carpano Antica Formula vermouth? I don’t see why it could hurt. One more excuse to use Carpano is OK by me. You will definitely want to squeeze fresh orange juice for this (you always use fresh citrus anyway, right?). As with any cocktail, balance is important. It’s possible to mask too much of a Scotch’s flavor with the other ingredients, and that’s what happened to me the first time I used Dewar’s 12-year. Increasing the Scotch is a good option since this drink isn’t very strong anyway. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the proportions. The point is to enjoy your drink.

Finally, garnish with an orange twist, or if you are feeling ambitious, here’s a great opportunity to get a little fancy. Instead of using a channel knife to cut a piece of orange zest, take a regular chef’s knife and slice off a disc from the outside curve of an orange. You want this round chunk of orange peel to be about the size of a fifty-cent piece. Then, strike a match, grab the peel and hold the match about three inches above the edge of the cocktail. With the orange peel pointing toward the flame and over the glass, snap the peel sharply, squeezing a mist of oil through the flame and onto the surface of the drink! Your guests will love this fiery display, and the flamed oils will cover the drink’s surface providing an important finishing touch. Drop the peel into the glass and serve.





See you at Raffles!

Singapore Sling, the romantic signature drink of the Long Bar, at Raffles Hotel in Singapore.
Photo © Steven Grindrod, JE Nilsson and Cheryl M. Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

The Raffles Hotel was established in the Late 19th century and rapidly became a meeting place for the rich adventure seeking class of western men of leisure, British colonial officers and businessmen seeking fame and fortune in the Far East, and to whom “See you at Raffles!” became the signature parting words.

To the general public, Raffles Hotel became famous through literature. Those who could not afford to travel but stayed home, read and dreamt, were swept away by the romantic writings of the greatest authors of their time, the most influential of which was probably Somerset Maugham who actually lived at the hotel and wrote some of his stores in the Palm Court.

In 1987 its importance was recognized by the Singapore authorities by naming it a National Monument, not a small thing in a city where anything older than last year could suddenly be torn down and replaced by something more modern.

Although it started out as something much more modest, the ambience inside the Hotel brings back echoes of colonial splendour with its unique blend of tropical gardens and classical colonial grandeur.

Stories and myths build romance and there are many such surrounding the Raffles Hotel.

Many of Maughams short stories deal with the lives of mostly British colonists in the Far East, and are typically concerned with the emotional toll exacted on the colonists by their isolation. For example one story entitled “Rain”, which charts the moral disintegration of a missionary attempting to convert a Pacific Island prostitute. Maugham himself maintained that many of his stories presented themselves to him in what he heard during his travels, which made him leave behind a long string of angry former hosts. Which, is probably why he eventually found himself writing at a hotel, abuzz with even more rumours from all faraway outposts of the British Empire.

As its literary fame eventually faded away in a world dominated by digital social media, Raffles Hotel remains famous as the place where the Singapore Sling was invented by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon sometimes during the first decades of the 20th century.

Heering on Inside F&B

Cherry Heering Vintage Bottlings Make a Fashionable Splash During The Manhattan Cocktail Classic
By Francine Cohen Photos Courtesy of Cherry Heering

Fashion designers often reach to the past to inspire the future, while most distillers are busy producing spirits in the past they look forward to sharing with appreciative patrons in the future. Thanks to Cherry Heering (www.cherryheering.com) the two concepts collided most pleasurably during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (www.manhattancocktailclassic.com) when vintage 1890 and 1950 bottles of the classic cherry brandy were uncorked to the sounds of jazz age music under the vaulted ceilings of Grand Central Station’s Campbell Apartment (www.hospitalityholdings.com) – formerly the luxurious office and salon of ’20’s mogul John W. Campbell.

Campbell, with his obvious taste for exquisite luxury, would have applauded these two very special pourings. Both had aged to a fine sherry or port-like flavor, pleasing all who were on hand to sip along with the official tasting panel: Jörgen Tilander, owner of the Cherry Heering liqueur brand, Jackson Cannon, famed Boston bar man from Eastern Standard, Akiko Katayama, an established international writer and former Iron Chef judge and Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist and MC/Host of the Cherry Heering liqueur vintage event (www.themodernmixologist.com).

One of the exciting things about exploring the world of spirits is experiencing a variety of expressions, vintages and new products. However, rarely does the chance occur for spirit aficionados to taste something over 100 years old. Adéle Nilsson, CEO of the Xanté & Peter F. Heering Company, was quite delighted that the elixir within the bottles had so beautifully stood the test of time. She commented, “We didn’t know what we would find, but it was wonderful.”

Equally as wonderful for the tasting panel and guests was the opportunity to enjoy each vintage in elegant Orrefors Kosta Boda glassware (www.kostaboda.com).

Once Robert Hamilton, sommelier of Porter House New York opened and decanted the bottles, the tasting panel recorded their notes for history focusing on five areas including, mouth feel, stretch on the palette, degree of sweetness, post resonance and overall balance.

The clear favorite was Cherry Heering liqueur vintage, 1890. Tony Abou-Ganim says,
“This vintage is really well kept, providing notes of chocolate and cigar as if they really rolled everything into the whole spirit. It’s deep, more rounded, more impactful and I
was eager to see how long it can be aged and still taste refined – this is my favorite.”


Heering and the vintage bottle in a Muddled Thought

Cherry Heering Across from Past to Present

This past May a rare occurrence in the spirit world took place at New York’s Campbell Apartments when extremely rare vintages of Cherry Heering, the cherry liqueur made famous being a component of the Blood and Sand and Singapore Sling Cocktails were opened and tasted. These vintages included a bottle remaining from 1890 and 1950. And were opened and compared to a modern day offering.

Including in the individuals selected to taste these vintages were, Jackson Cannon, of Boston’s Eastern Standard; Jörgen Tilander, owner of the Cherry Heering® liqueur ,Akiko Katayama, an established international writer and former Iron Chef judge and Tony Abu Ganim, The Modern Mixologist.

After comparing the two vintages along side the the present day offering of Cherry Heering, the tasting panel’s favorite was the 1890 vintage. Tony Abu Ganim, noted that the additional time the spirit spent in the bottle allowed new flavors of cigar and cocoa to develop.

Will Cherry Heering have another one of these vintage tasting events? Only time will..


Copenhagen cocktail in the New York Times

Copenhagen Cocktail is featured in the the Sunday Times travel section. Read the whole article below. Pictures will come.


Vintage bottle event in the Imbiber

Read the whole article on the Imbibe blog, see link below or read below.

Popping the Cherry Heering

“This was truly a historic and special day for the Peter F. Heering brand and family,” said Adéle Nilsson (left), CEO of the Xanté & Peter F. Heering Company, and official COB (Crush of the Imbiber).

She was referring to a soiree held recently at the Historic Campbell Apartment in New York City at which vintage bottles of Cherry Heering from 1890 & 1950 were unveiled and opened.

Our sources tell us the event was spectacular. The Campbell Apartment was formerly the luxurious office and salon of ’20’s mogul John W. Campbell. A real fancy-pants kinda place. Models were on hand wearing vintage dresses by Lars Wallin, one of Sweden’s foremost haute couture-designers.

The precious bottles of Cherry Heering were opened by Porterhouse New York sommelier, Robert Hamilton, and smapled by a panel that included Tony Abu-Ganim, Akiko Katayama, Jackson Cannon and Jörgen Tilander.

We hear the panel was particularly smitten with the 1890. “This vintage is really well kept, providing notes of chocolate and cigar as if they really rolled everything into the whole spirit,” noted Abu Ganim “It’s deep, more rounded, more impactful and I was eager to see how long it can be aged and still taste refined.”

Guests were served Singapore Slings to kick things off. The event wrapped with a round of Blood & Sands.

Best of all, Adéle Nilsson was there. We heart her.


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