Tom and Cherry

Short days, long nights, cold temperatures, and gray skies definitely call for a cozy cocktail. This one is perfect for sipping in front of the fire while the snow falls outside!

I named this cocktail the Tom and Cherry based on its two primary ingredients: Tom Cat gin and Luxardo cherry liqueur. Of course the name has a cartoon reference too, which I think is fitting given that this drink doesn't really fit into a traditional box. Is it an Old Fashioned? Not quite. A Manhattan? Not really that either. But gosh is it ever awesome!

I know I've talked about both the Tom Cat and the Luxardo on this blog before, but I'm going to do it again because they're both amazing. The Tom Cat is an aged gin made by Caledonia Spirits in Vermont; its unbelievably complex, warming, and comforting. I've used it before in my Ginger Bee's Knees and can't recommend it highly enough. We always have it at home during the fall and winter months.

Luxardo is an Italian cherry liquor, but don't let that description lull you into thinking it's sweet or medicinal. It's actually incredibly deep and earthy, and can act almost like bitters. Get yourself some of this, it's surprisingly versatile! Of course, the Luxardo cherries themselves are also amazing.

This cocktail was a happy accident that occurred one Saturday in the late fall. Dave and I had been outside all day, and came home looking for a warming, comforting happy hour sip. It seemed like a Tom Cat sort of day, and I grabbed the Luxardo to pair it with on a whim. Magic suddenly occurred!

This cocktail is hard to describe. It's floral and herbaceous due to the flavors of the gin, but also has whiskey-like notes thanks to the aging. The Luxardo is bitter, earthy, and complex, making it the perfect complement to the gin. A dash of maple syrup provides a bit of cozy sweetness, and a sprig of sugared rosemary echoes the herbaceousness of the gin. Overall, it's a pretty killer combination.

This drink straddles a few different traditional cocktails. It's vaguely like a Manhattan thanks to the earthy flavors and cherry garnish, sort of like an Old Fashion due to its simplicity, and maybe even a bit like a Negroni based on the combination of gin and something bitter. In my opinion, it has some of the best qualities of each!

I'm pretty sure you should make this right away! We've been loving them this winter, and I think you will too.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

We've been loving cozy fall and winter cocktails! If you're looking for another seasonal one, check out this Thyme Julep.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Barr Hill Tom Cat gin (~2 oz per drink). I'm telling you, this stuff is amazing, please treat yourself to a bottle. You can thank me later.
  • Luxardo liqueur (~0.25 oz per drink)
  • Maple syrup (just a tiny dash)
  • Sprig of sugared rosemary
  • Luxardo cherry
Thoughts About Method
(These are just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Ahead of time, prepare the rosemary. Take a few sprigs of rosemary and submerge them in water, then dust them generously with sugar. Allow them to dry completely.
  2. Place a few ice cubes into a cocktail stirring glass.
  3. Add in the Tom Cat gin, Luxardo liqueur, and a dash of maple syrup.
  4. Give it all a good stir and let it sit for a minute to chill.
  5. Taste it! I like this drink to be very earthy and not very sweet. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more maple syrup.
  6. Serve in a highball glass with a few large ice cubes.
  7. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry and a spring of the sugared rosemary.


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