Heer´s Another Cherry Liqueur You Should Know on thekitchn.com

Maraschino isn’t the only cherry liqueur on the block. Cherry Heering is another variety boasting a legacy that likewise stretches back more than a century. And the differences between them are striking — starting with their colors.


The Unique Qualities of Cherry Heering
While there are a (small) number of producers of maraschino liqueur, Cherry Heering is both a brand and unique type of cherry liqueur unto itself. The lone producer of Cherry Heering would prefer you call it Heering Cherry Liqueur, but no one really abides by that.

Established in 1818, the liqueur is named for its creator, Peter Heering. It’s Danish in origin (although the juice in my bottle comes from Sweden, according to the label’s fine print) and clocks in at 24 percent ABV, a few points lower in strength than the most common maraschino liqueurs that make it to the U.S.

Getting back to that color, it’s a deep, wine-dark red — in marked contrast to maraschino’s often-transparent clarity. Both its color and low alcohol content point to another important distinction between Cherry Heering and maraschino liqueur: the former results from infusion of fruit in spirits; the latter entails a distillation, a process that yields a clear or nearly clear distillate.

Cherry Heering is made with Danish cherries (several sources note the variety as the Stevens), which are crushed and left to soak in neutral spirits along with a selection of spices. According to drinks writer Paul Clarke, that liquid is then aged in barrels for as long as five years, during which time sugar is added to sweeten the product. By comparison, Cherry Heering is much richer, sweeter, and more viscous of a product than maraschino. There’s a candied, vanilla aspect reminiscent of dessert wine.

Can I Substitute Cherry Heering for Maraschino?
Basically, Cherry Heering isn’t really interchangeable with maraschino, despite their both being cherry liqueurs. And so it’s not surprising that a set of classic cocktails has grown up around Cherry Heering much like those associate with maraschino. Three of the best-known concoctions are the Singapore Sling, a gin drink or equatorial origin; Remember the Maine, a boozy, brown-and-stirred number made with rye whiskey; and the Blood and Sand, one of the rare cocktails that features Scotch whisky.

Do you have any other favorite uses for this unique cherry liqueur?



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The Blood and Sand cocktail is one of the most successful drinks making use of Scotch whisky on Mixology.eu



The Blood and Sand cocktail is one of the most successful drinks making use of Scotch whisky. At the same time it’s a bit of a mystery. Camper English trys to lift the lid on a strange classic.

The Blood and Sand is a cocktail that makes no sense when you see it written: It is equal parts whisky, orange juice, Italian vermouth, and cherry liqueur. It sounds excessively sweet, bland, and fruity, like one of those unbalanced cocktails a public relations firm would invent for National Vermouth Day. However, when shaken and served in a cocktail glass, the combination is quite amazing. It is fresh and juicy, rich yet nuanced, and it can be made masculine and smoky or light and easy depending on the brand of scotch used. And luckily for cocktail nerds, a four ingredient drink provides four different ingredients over which to obsess, independently and also in combination.

Though many early American cocktails were named for successful Broadway actors and plays, the Blood and Sand was named for a famous movie back in the early days of Hollywood. The silent, black-and-white movie Blood and Sand was released in 1922. It stars Rudolph Valentino as the young Spanish boy who becomes a famous bullfighter but is ultimately undone by falling in love with both his childhood sweetheart and also a rich and worldly woman. Since it is a bullfighting movie, you can probably guess the tragic ending. (For those interested in seeing the movie, I recommend the sound-and-color 1941 version staring Tyrone Power as the bullfighter and Rita Hayworth as the temptress.)

Neither version of the movie contains cocktails or any large amount of drinking, so it seems that the cocktail was inspired by the success of the movie. Of the ingredients, only oranges might be Spanish in origin, but both scotch and orange juice could be considered sand-colored, while cherry brandy and Italian vermouth could be considered blood-colored. The first printed recipe for the drink in a book appears to be in The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock in 1930. Though much of the Savoy Cocktail Book was copied from other, earlier cocktail books, the Blood and Sand is one of the rare recipes that appears first in its pages. Cocktail Kingdom owner and vintage cocktail book expert Greg Boehm says the drink was mentioned in “A Cocktail Continentale” from 1926 before the Savoy, but not the recipe.

Blood and Sand Cocktail, from The Savoy Cocktail Book

¼ Orange Juice
¼ Scotch Whisky
¼ Cherry Brandy
¼ Italian Vermouth

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Base Spirit

This drink is most often served with blended scotch whisky, which is a blend of single malt scotch with grain whisky. Chivas, Johnnie Walker, and Dewars are three of the top-selling blended scotches. However, the Blood and Sand benefits from the use of single malt scotch or blended malt scotch, which is a blend of single malts. The more neutral column-distilled grain whiskies in blended scotch do not lend as much flavor and texture to the drink as does a single-malt. At Hide Bar in London, the default scotch used in the drink is the blended malt Monkey Shoulder. Bar owner Paul Mathew (who works in Beijing as a consultant and runs the blog called BloodAndSand.com) says of the scotch, “(it) has a nice full-flavour that carries through the drink. Blends with lots of grain can be a little light for the drink in my opinion. Given the richness of the other ingredients, I like the whisky to be bold enough to remain the backbone of the drink. We prefer a peaty single malt, but the cost is too high to list it with drinks that are a standard price. We usually recommend it as an up-sell though.”

The more expensive option is also to match the customer’s tastes. Mathew continues, “I would recommend the smoky option to someone who likes their whisky and wants something bold, but for another customer who has been drinking gin cocktails or wants an aperitif, a lighter whisky and less full-on vermouth might be a more appropriate introduction to the drink.”

Blood and Sand, by Paul Mathew of Hide Bar and BloodAndSand.com

30 ml Compass Box Peat Monster or Lagavulin 16
20 ml Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth (or 25ml Punt y Mes if not available – it’s a little less rich)
25 ml Cherry Heering
25 ml fresh orange juice, or pink grapefruit for a more sour twist

Shake very hard over the coldest ice you can get your hands on, then single strain into a chilled coupette. I leave off the twist as I find the bitterness unnecessary and a little out of place – others add a flamed orange. A hard shake and single strain are, to me, essential to leave a small film of broken ice shards over the surface of the drink through which it should be gently, but not too slowly consumed.

At Reingold in Berlin, the Blood and Sand is usually served with Auchentoshan 12 year-old single malt scotch, Martini Rosso vermouth, Cherry Heering, and fresh orange juice. However, for a recent special bartender David Wiedemann says they made the drink with the peaty Laphroaig 10-year-old scotch, the robust Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, Cherry Heering, and fresh pink grapefruit juice.
At Lebensstern, also in Berlin, Ricardo Albrecht uses a different smoky scotch in the drink: Ardbeg. Albrecht says, “The drink works with nearly every scotch. We thought about making it a bit different. It turns the whole drink around; gives it more power.”

Blood and Sand, From Ricardo Albrecht of Lebensstern, Berlin

40 ml Ardbeg 10-year
30 ml Carpano Classico Rosso
30 ml Cherry Heering
20 ml Fresh Orange juice

Hard and short shake on dry ice with a small orange zest. No garnish.
Islay scotches like Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Bowmore add a smoky flavor to the drink that pairs surprisingly well with the fruity combination of cherry and orange juice. The smoke flavors in whisky come from peat, a decaying vegetation once burned for heat that is now used to flavor the malted barley that goes into the whisky. Some bartenders are finding their smoke flavors from other sources than peat, however.

In the United States, California in particular, bartenders have access to several brands of excellent mezcal. Top quality mezcal is typically made by placing agave into an earthen pit with hot coals and cooking it for several days. This gives it a smoky flavor not entirely similar to that of peated whiskies, but the resultant mezcal can sometimes be used in recipes that call for smoky scotches.
Bartenders have substituted mezcal for whisky in the Penicillin, Sazerac, Old Fashioned, and of course, the Blood and Sand. At Beretta, a bar in San Francisco, bar manager Ryan Fitzgerald calls the mezcal version of the drink the Arena y Sangre; the Spanish translation of blood and sand.
Fitzgerald says, “It’s a cocktail I’d been trying to get right for awhile. Because of this you’ll see that the recipe is quite different from the original. It’s even got an Italian twist to make it more Beretta-esque,” citing the restaurant’s Italian theme.

“I had to add some bitters and lemon juice to balance it out and brighten everything up. The Visciolo is playing the role of sweet vermouth,” he says.

Arena y Sangre, by Ryan Fitzgerald of Beretta, San Francisco, California

1.5 oz Chichicapa Mezcal1 oz Orange Juice
0.25 oz Lemon Juice
0.75 oz Visciolo (an Italian sour cherry dessert wine)
0.5 oz Cherry Heering
2 dashes orange bitters

Shake, double strain into coupe with flamed orange zest.

A final way bartenders infuse smoke into the Blood and Sand and other cocktails is by smoking the ingredients themselves. Some accomplish this by smoking fruit over a barbecue grill. Other bartenders use oven smokers to smoke fruits in a kitchen setting. After the fruit is smoked, they may muddle the fruits along with alcohol to make bitters and tinctures, or add sugar to make smoky syrups. These preparations provide the opportunities to added smoked bitters or tinctures to the cocktail, or perhaps to make the drink made with smoked cherry syrup and orange liqueur in place of cherry liqueur and orange juice.

The Choice of Orange Juice

Craig Hermann, who blogs at the site ColonelTiki.com, has undertaken a study of orange juice in cocktails. (If you want to know about citrus, ask a tiki geek.) He has found that unlike most citrus juices where fresh is by far a better option, “Freshly squeezed orange juice is in most cases insipid and may well ruin your cocktail.” According to Hermann, this is because many of the oranges available for sale are grown for maximum yield of juice, ease-of-harvest, aesthetics, and shelf life. They are acceptable for eating and have great zest in the peels, but are not good for flavorful juice. The most common orange varieties in the US are “common sweet orange” and the Bahia Navel orange.

Recommended orange varieties include Valencia (from which most orange juice is made), Cara Cara (with a “dark orange color and complex juice flavor”), and Hamlin (“light, flowery orange flavor with undertones of honey” but a thin rind). These oranges come from California, South America, and Florida: Likely there are other varieties available in Europe. When choosing oranges in general, Hermann gives the following guide. “Your chances will improve greatly by looking for these characteristics: location, weight, color. The locality should be your closest (source). The weight should be heavy for its size – it should feel dense. The color should be as close to green as possible. All oranges are green in their native tropics: colder climes and senescence cause the process that lead to the reveal of the orange color. Yes. Oranges are green.”

Of course, not every bar has access to a variety of oranges and other produce as seasons change. Given the option of fresh-squeezed orange juice from watery flavorless oranges and juice from a bottle, the bottled juice may be the better option. But let us not pretend that bottled orange juice is juiced oranges put into a bottle. There are two kinds of orange juice usually available on shelves: Orange juice from concentrate, and not-from-concentrate that is often called “fresh-squeezed.” The not-from-concentrate type is centrifuged to remove the oils, then pasteurized, and usually de-oxygenated to prevent it from spoiling. This removes much of the juice’s flavors, so it is then re-flavored before shipping to stores. Orange juice from concentrate is heated to remove excess water, flavored, and frozen. It is then sold as frozen concentrate or is watered down and bottled. Hermann says he will use processed bottled orange juice products when all he can find is out-of-season oranges, or cannot find (real) fresh orange juice in jugs from a health food store. To recognize the real, fresh orange juice, Hermann says, “Real orange juice goes bad in days, so the (expiration) date should be less than a week or so.”

But not all bartenders use orange juice. The special at Reingold used fresh pink grapefruit juice. Humberto Marques of 1105 in Copenhagen uses persimmons. Marques says, “One day I was in a big fruit shop and I found persimmons (A persimmon is an orange fruit that looks similar to a tomato. There are two varieties of this fruit, one of which is small and round and can be eaten right off the tree, skin and all. The other variety is larger and must be picked and softened then eaten.) I squeezed some in a fruit machine and I mixed it with Auchentoshan Three Wood which has on the nose fruits like raisins, especially dates, and orange peel and on the palate a beautiful balance of dark, syrupy, fruity, maturation flavours and cedary, oily, marshmallow characteristics, along with Cherry Heering and Carpano Antica Formula and 10ml of Grand Marnier to enhance the flavors.” Marques says this drink will go on the menu at 1105 in 2011.

True Blood, by Humberto Marques of 1105, Copenhagen

25 ml Auchentoshan Three Wood scotch whisky
25 ml Cherry Heering
25 ml Carpano Antica Formula vermouth
25 ml Persimmon juice
10 ml Grand Marnier

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. Marques says you can also double the whisky and garnish the drink with a sherry-plumped cherry.

Vermouth and Cherry Brandy

Both the vermouth and the cherry brandy sweeten the Blood and Sand, so most bartenders are cautious of using too much of either ingredient. These are both important elements in the drink, but play more of a supportive role to the scotch and citrus and are usually kept in the background.
In Lebensstern’s Blood and Sand, Albrecht uses Carpano vermouth and Cherry Heering liqueur, both in less quantities than the scotch in the drink. He says he researched other brands though. “I tried some but found our favorites for his drink. The focus was to show the complexity of the Ardbeg, so we used some very good, but not too dominant partners.”

The typical sweet vermouths include Noilly Pratt and Martini & Rossi. Some bartenders substitute Punt y Mes or Dubonnet for sweet vermouth in the Blood and Sand and other cocktails and adjust the recipes to match. Several bartenders interviewed for this story call for Carpano Antica Formula, a robustly flavored vermouth with some chocolate notes, made based on a recipe from 1786. While most brands of vermouth can be used in equal parts to the scotch and other ingredients, Carpano Antica is so powerful it typically must be used in smaller quantities.
Surprisingly, the one ingredient that bartenders change the least often in this cocktail is the cherry brandy. Bartenders almost always use Cherry Heering, which is actually a cherry liqueur. Of the bartenders interviewed for this story, only Beretta’s Fitzgerald uses Visciolo (an Italian sour cherry dessert wine) in addition to Cherry Heering, which he says adds more brightness to the drink.

Other cherry brandies or liqueurs that might be substituted include kirsch (unaged cherry brandy) and other cherry liqueurs including Combier Roi Rene Rouge and ones made by liqueur houses like Bols and Marie Brizard. Despite all the different variations of the drink made with scotch and mezcal, smoked syrups, and a variety of citrus fruits, there are still more vermouths and more cherry ingredients with which to experiment. Despite its classic status dating back to at least 1930, the Blood and Sand is not a drink frozen in time and takes on new forms depending on the bartender in charge.

Beware of Flamed Garnishes

The Blood and Sand is often not garnished, but when so it is typically done with an orange peel. Some bartenders create an orange twist or knot that they drop into the drink. Others make a flamed orange peel by squeezing a coin-sized section of peel toward the cocktail glass and holding a match flame between the peel and the drink. (This is famously depicted on the cover of Dale DeGroff’s Craft of the Cocktail book.)

San Francisco bartender Erik Adkins noted though that many bartenders are using the wrong type of oranges to flame. He says, “It is important to get oranges without wax or paraffin on them. Most oranges sold in grocery stores are treated so that they will have more eye appeal to the consumer. (When flamed) the wax leaves a nasty smelling black streak of burnt oil on the top of the drink. I have seen this in a lot of bars. I have met bartenders whose fingers were stained black from flaming peels.” Adkins continues: “The way we can check our fruit is to flame the peel over a white napkin. If you get a smelly black streak then it has been treated. It is a pretty dramatic effect,” he says.


The Peter F. Heering Sling Award 2014 on four-magazine.com

Peter F. Heering Sling Award – one of the most esteemed cocktail competitions in the world – sees 17 bartender semi finalists compete in London on 26 August for a place at the finals in Berlin later on this year…

Create your own interpretation of the classic cocktail The Singapore Sling, containing Cherry Heering. Name your drink and take a picture. Upload your picture and recipe and send it to the team at Peter F. Heering. If your cocktail is chosen, you could be named the winner of one of the most prestigious cocktail competitions in the world!

This was the brief that led to 44 National Winners around the world, one from each participating country, being told that they had made it through to the Cherry Heering’s prestigious annual competition, The Peter F. Heering Sling Award, on June 9th of this year.

Now that those 44 have been narrowed down to 17, the competition is really heating up. The next stage of the competition will see each of the competitors up for the running of the grand prize of 500 Euros, a stunning new shaker and the glory of being crowned the Global Sling Champion 2014 of the esteemed Peter F. Heering Sling Award.

The 17 “Sling Stars” Global Finalists will be judged in a semi-final in London Aug 26th. Bar legend Simon Difford will lead a prestigious jury panel that will include media, tastemakers and bar experts who will determine the Top 5 Global 2014 Peter F. Heering Sling Award finalists.

Five finalists will then be flown into Berlin in October to compete, live, at BCB Bar Convent Berlin. The winner will be selected by an expert jury and people’s vote.

The Top 17
Country Finalist Sling Cocktail

Armenia | Garnik Sahakyan | Sling’s Era

Australia | Taka Shino | Bamboo Orchid

Belgium | Ásgeir Bergmann Pétursson | The Sling Sling

Brazil | Rafael Mariachi | The Peter’s Dream

Canada | Taoufike Zrafi | The Bittered Sling

Denmark | Nick Kobbernagel Hovind | The Sloe Sling

England | David Hoggan | Sling Your Hook!

Estonia | Sigrid Sarv | O’ Polo Sling

Germany | Monika Katarina Peric | Shum Haw Sling

Hong Kong | Poon Ching Wan | Maroon Sling

Indonesia | Rhys Wilson | Shennong Sling

Italy | Walter Gosso | Julep Slingsake

New Zealand | Venetia Tiarks | The Merchant’s Daughter

Norway | Erik Danilo Wistner Rafto | Rooftop Romance

Poland | Stanislaw Zachariasz | Julep Sling

Singapore | Aron Christian Lobrino Manzanillo | Fables of the East

USA | Jon Kraus | Pepito’s Slingshot

The Hype
You only have to look at Peter F. Heering’s Facebook page to see the wave of excitemenet the competition has created in the world of cocktails and liqueurs. Some of the winners have managed to get their cocktails served all over the globe by some of the world’s greatest mixologists; others have been running Sling Master classes, tasting events and creating postcards with recipes, which are being sent around the world to famous mixologist, who are sharing their cards on Facebook. Log in and prepare to be amazed by all of the buzz the Peter F. Heering Award has created!

About Peter F. Heering
Peter Heering is a luxury, Danish manufacturer of liqueurs, most famous for Heering Cherry Liqueur, a liqueur flavoured with cherries which is often referred to simply as Peter Heering or Cherry Heering in cocktail recipes. Heering Cherry Liqueur, purveyor to the Royal Danish Court and to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, has been produced since 1818. It is sold in more than 100 countries. Heering Cherry Liqueur is an ingredient in many cocktails such as the Singapore Sling, and Blood & Sand. For more about Peter F. Heering’s Sling Awards visit heering.com.


“equinox drinks”—cocktails made in perfectly equal proportions

on winemag.com

Some bartenders call them “equinox drinks”—cocktails made in perfectly equal proportions, derived from the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, when hours of daylight and darkness are evenly divided.

Or, just call them fabulous. These straightforward, versatile cocktails couldn’t be easier to prepare.

The classic cocktail canon includes a wide range of drinks made with equally proportioned ingredients, from the aptly named Fifty-Fifty Martini (equal parts gin and vermouth) to the four-part box step of the Blood & Sand (Scotch, orange juice, sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering). Bartenders continue to create new drinks fitting the “equal parts” template.

“They’re just so easy,” says Florentina Duran, bar supervisor of the LB Tavern in Baltimore.

Not that they’re easy recipes to create, mind you. Duran needed several tries to find the perfect balance for her La Ciudad (recipe below). But they’re easy to make once the recipe is solid—a necessity for Duran, who works at a high-volume bar in the lobby of a hotel.

She’s developed a range of unfussy drinks that can be put together quickly. The strategy works particularly well for parties or ­other gatherings, she says.
Here are a few drinks to try—all with ­ingredients mixed in equal proportions, although a squeeze of citrus here and a splash of bubbles there keep things interesting. >>>


Dansk bartender i global cocktailfinale on Ekstra Bladet.dk

Den danske bartender, Nick Kobbernagel Hovind, fra cocktailbaren Ruby, er én blandt fem finalister i en af verdens største cocktailkonkurrencer

Nick Kobbernagel Hovind repræsenterer Danmark med cocktailen, The Sloe Sling, der bygger på nordiske ingredienser og indeholder kirsebærlikør, Slåen gin og Taffel akvavit.

Cocktailen Singapore Sling er en klassisk cocktail, der serveres på barer verden over, og som bl.a. består af den klassiske kirsebærlikør. Men selv gamle klassikere har brug for fornyelse og derfor afholder Peter F. Heering en af verdens største cocktaildyste, The Sling Award, hvor verdens bedste bartendere får lov til at være kreative og mixe deres egen version af Singapore Sling.

44 lande stillede med hvert deres bud på en kreativ bartender til at starte med, og nu er de fem bedste blevet udvalgt til at dyste i finalen, der afholdes i Berlin 7. til 8. oktober i år.

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