As for Cherry Heering… two words… The Blood & Sand. Okay that’s three. Or maybe four. But it’s worth it.

The Violet Hour was a highlight for me. Over two nights, I had nine drinks at this posh Bucktown/Wicker Park spot, but it was the first hour of the first night that really sticks out. In glancing at the menu, I noticed a drink that used Cherry Heering and egg yolk. Not white. Yolk. I understand that yolks played some role in early variants of a gin fizz among other things, but not in one of the 6 or 8 first-rate cocktail bars that I’ve visited had I seen a contemporary drink that made use of the generally discarded fatty cousin of the egg white. And Cherry Heering? Other than a singapore sling, who the hell uses that as an ingredient, let alone a primary ingredient? The beverage, termed “The Golden Age,” came to me in a tall glass with crushed ice and drank like a cherry milkshake. A few rounds of back and forth with the bartender over the various qualities of the drink, and I was hooked for the next three or four hours… and another two-and-a-half hours the next night.

Drink recipes: Singapore sling on

Drink recipes: Singapore sling

by Betsy Young

Working in the bar of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore as the world approached WWI, Ngiam Tong Boon the barman wanted to create a pink drink for the ladies. He wanted something exotic, cool and refreshing with a tasty punch to it. No one disputes who invented the drink or where it was invented but the original recipe is long gone. Even the Raffles Hotel admits that the drink they serve today is only approaching the original. Here I offer you a recipe that dates back to the 1930’s and always invokes the desire for a second one.

Cocktail Shaker
Cocktail Strainer
1 Collins or sling glass

3 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounces of gin
ounce Cherry Heering
ounce lime juice
ounce Benedictine
ounce Cointreau
2 dashes of angostura bitters
2 dashes of orange bitters
1 orange wedge and maraschino cherry to garnish
2 ounces of soda water

Building the Drink
Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice
Add all ingredients except garnish and soda water
Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds
Fill Collins or sling glass halfway with ice
Strain and pour drink into Collins glass
Top off with soda water and garnish with a flag of orange wedge and cherry

Any dry cherry brandy can be substituted for the Cherry Heering, but it seems to suit this drink best if it can be obtained.

Orange bitters can be a tough one to find but is available online and keeps well

The recipe used is credited to Dale Degroff

Kickstart your party with Thai-inspired cocktail

… In honour of Ong Bak 2 we present the Muay Thai cocktail. The martial art is said to be the “art of the eight limbs” and so this drink, an adaptation of the Singapore Sling, contains eight ingredients. With more than 3 ounces of booze, it certainly packs a punch!


2 dash(es) Angostura Bitters

2 oz. Pineapple Juice

1 1/2 oz. Mekhong Thai Spirit

3/4 oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur

3/4 oz. Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Benedictine

1/2 oz. Cointreau


Combine Mekhong and the rest of the ingredients in a Hurricane Glass. Add Ice and cover with a shaker tin. Shake briefly and vigorously. Top off with dashes of Bitters. Serve long with a straw and garnish with an Orange half wheel. Based on the Singapore Sling.

Card Table Cocktail

Card Table Cocktail
Where it can be found:
N9NE at Palms
Created by: Jack “Sugar” O’Brien
• 1.5 oz. Fig and all-spice infused Ketel One
• 0.75 oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur
• 3 oz. Apple cider
• 0.5 oz. Brown sugar simple syrup
• 0.5 oz. Pomegranate molasses
• 4 dashes Orange bitters
• Squeeze fresh lemon
Method: Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with three Luxardo Cherries and a twist.

When the holiday season rolls around each year, there is a flurry of people looking to bring out their inner-Martha Stewart-Rachael Ray-and-Paula Deen rolled into one. They play a game of one-upmanship as each tries to out-cook, out-decorate and out-host the others on their block or in their office.

And while the most attentive holiday hosts pay close attention to a menu chock full of items like prosciutto-wrapped dates, perfectly-whipped mashed potatoes and pecan pie with a vanilla-wafer crust, all of that hard work can unravel quickly when guests see a selection of drinks that looks as if it was pulled from your college dorm room.

Quite simply, the holidays are not the time to rely on your trusty Crown Royal and Coke recipe. Holiday cocktails are your time to shine beyond the traditional fixings of a seasonal menu. Cocktails give you a chance to wow guests with your intimate knowledge of all things alcoholic, while taking cues from holiday flavors.

Now, you may be asking, “What does this all have to do with Vegas?”  In a city full of people who do nothing but entertain thousands of people daily, mixologists are to the holiday cocktail what Paula Deen is to Southern cooking.

While most of these mixologists work at different properties and had their own drink ideas, all said the same thing when crafting a holiday cocktail: Step outside the box.

“When you’re having a party you always want to cook something crazy,” said Dave Herlong, creative mixologist for N9NE Group at the Palms. “You’re never going to cook what you cook at a party during a regular day after work, you’re going to go all out. So why not do that with the cocktails?

“People go to the normal corner bar every night and have a Jack and Coke. Why not make something fun and a little crazy? You might spend a little extra time, but it’s really going to create that wow factor.”

Another key to holiday cocktails is that you want the drinks to embrace the holiday season. That means flavors that scream festive such as, pomegranate, pumpkin and apple.

“When I was a kid, I used to like apple cider and it always came around this time of the year – October, November, December – so I wanted to make something that was similar to that,” said James Colagrande, a mixologist at Fusion inside the Palazzo when discussing his Lights-Out Apple Cider.

No doubt, most hosts put a lot of effort into their meal planning and don’t want to be bogged down by a tedious alcoholic beverage. That is why a proper plan is essential. With some planning you can pre-make several drinks or, at the very least, the garnishes that provide the eye candy to your creations.

Items like punches are always popular at parties because it usually requires only one preparation. But you can make items like champagne cocktails by adding all the ingredients ahead of time and waiting until the last moment to top it off with the champagne itself so the drinks don’t become flat.

Garnishes can be as simple as adding a swirling orange peel or even some cloves.

“If you’re going to do drinks, batch it out as much as you can,” said Jack “Sugar” O’Brien, a bartender for N9NE Group.

Mixologists are sticklers for using fresh ingredients, which for the everyday person means extra work. But, according to Patricia Richards, mixologist at Wynn/Encore who oversees the cocktail lists for both properties, the effect on the cocktail is well worth it.

“I always work parties at people’s houses and they bring in these jugs (of pre-made mixers) and I’m like, ‘I’ll buy the mixers from now on,’” Richards said. “Because they always buy the biggest and the cheapest and it has an adverse effect on your cocktails. (If) you want that bright, beautiful acidity and those beautiful flavors, you want to go as natural as possible.”

As important as it is to impress during the holidays, the mixologists interviewed in this story said it was equally important to provide guests with some bar staples. That includes whiskey, gin, wine, beer, basically the same items you would be drinking if you weren’t trying to show off in front of your friends.

And as any good bartender would remind you, don’t forget to keep an eye out for your intoxicated friends.

“It’s about serving responsibly and having designated drivers,” Richards said.

To make your holiday cocktail search easier, several of the always-friendly Vegas mixologists shared some of the recipes they will feature at their respective properties.

Bourbon is bold and pairings are tricky


For a recent oyster-themed dinner, Espinosa paired a cherry-maple Manhattan cocktail with an oyster “Rossini” course: poached oyster with cherry-stout gastrique, foie gras and crisped polenta croutons.

It was “kind of a circular flavor profile,” Espinosa said, with caramelized shallots in the sauce echoing caramel notes in the bourbon, and Heering cherry liqueur in the cocktail mirrored in the deep cherry sauce….

Muay Thai on

Muay Thai

Drink Type: Cocktail


1 1/2 oz. Mekhong Thai Spirit
3/4 oz. Lime Juice
3/4 oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur (more Cherry Heering Liqueur drinks)
1/2 oz. Benedictine
1/2 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Pineapple Juice (
2 dash(es) Angostura Bitters


Combine Mekhong and the rest of the ingredients in a Hurricane Glass. Add Ice and cover with a shaker tin. Shake briefly and vigorously. Top off with dashes of Bitters. Serve long with a straw and garnish with an Orange half wheel. Based on the Singapore Sling.

“a bolsy move”

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Bitters (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
(*) Originally, the recipe was crafted with wormwood bitters. To make it more accessible, the recipe was changed to a dash each Angostura and peach.

After the Fernet Branca Barback Games at the Royale, I returned to the Downtown Crossing area and stopped into J.M. Curley. Obviously it was a popular post-games destination since I recognized a handful of people from the event were there catching a nightcap. And there were a few others I did not recognize but knew from where they got their fresh new Fernet hats or shirts. For a drink, I asked bartender Tracy Latimer for A Bolsy Move.

The cocktail offered up a malty aroma with a hint of fruit. The lemon joined the richness of the cherry brandy on the sip, and the swallow showcased the rest of the Cherry Heering flavor along with botanical notes from the Bols Genever and Yellow Chartreuse.

2012 Social Media Dinner at Abigael’s KosherFeast II on

…A bottle of Peter F. Heering Liqueur, from another of our distinguished sponsors, was placed on each table along with Abigael’s array of delicious desserts including molten chocolate cake, warm apple cobbler and fresh fruit fondue. The bottles of Heering Coffee Liqueur were the perfect pairing for these luscious desserts and after dinner coffees. Miniature bottles of both Cherry and Coffee Heering liqueurs were included in the swag bags as well.

7 Ways to Upgrade Your Thanksgiving Feast

4. Booze Up the Relish: Relish is so easy to make — it takes less than 15 minutes and there’s no cooking needed. This adds a nice homemade touch instead of the old cranberry sauce out of a jar.

There are many good recipes out there, but I like to add a bit of liqueur to mine:
• 2 cups raw cranberries
• 1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
• Orange peel from 1/2 orange
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1/4 cup of Cherry Heering
Add the cranberry, orange peel, and apple all to a bladed mixer and chop roughly on pulse.
Pour into a bowl and mix with sugar and Cherry Heering liqueur. Stir and let sit for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Read more:

Manhattan variations: Dique Scott and Smoky Robinson on

When Woodford Reserve Bourbon sponsored the Portland stop on the national Woodford Manhattan Experience competition, fourteen creative bartenders showed up with some impressive variations on the cocktail theme.

Some stayed faithful to the classic theme of the Manhattan; some soared away in different directions. When Dique Scott, Blue Hourbartender, stepped up behind the bar, he made it clear that his intention was to stay close to the classic idea of a Manhattan—whiskey, vermouth, bitters—but he had an idea that he could merge that with another classic variation, the Blood and Sand.

Since a Blood and Sand is a Scotch whisky-based cocktail from the 1920s, the judges were a little puzzled how this merger might be conducted, but Dique was quick to explain he wasn’t pursuing the Scotch angle, but the cherry angle! (Blood and Sand is a combination of Scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry brandy or Cherry Heering, and orange juice.)

Dique’s Smoky Robinson Manhattan stays with a simple formula (and have you noticed most of the classics are rather simple, with few but choice ingredients?) of Woodford Reserve Bourbon as the core of the cocktail,Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth, and Cherry Heering. Stirred, of course.

Cherry Heering, created by Peter Heering in the early 1800s, and the key ingredient in such cocktails as theSingapore Sling and Blood and Sand, was an inspired choice. It added a natural, not artificial, black cherry flavor and color to the cocktail, plumped up the richness and spiciness, and married well with the whiskey.

The liqueur is favored by bartenders for its naturally intense flavors, but also for its texture and added spiciness. It is created by macerating black cherries in pure spirits, adding some tangy spices, then maturing the liqueur in oak casks for five years.

With its cask-induced smokiness, the Cherry Heering added the Smoky to the Smoky Robinson, and Dique’s merger was complete: a Manhattan, a clear and definite whiskey-driven Manhattan that was enhanced, not masked, by the smoky, fruity richness of the Blood and Sand component of Cherry Heering.

The Blue Hour is a great place for either dinner, or simply for hobnobbing at one of the best cocktail bars in town. Or both. Stop by, ask for Dique (even if you pronounce it “DK” he’ll respond), and maybe he’ll mix up a Smoky Robinson Manhattan for you.

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