Looking for something a little special for the 14th? A dark, luscious liqueur with an all-natural black cherry taste, Cherry Heering pairs with chocolate as beautifully as it does Champagne, making it a sweet choice for Valentine's Day.
Still made today from the original 1818 recipe, this old Danish favorite has been enjoying a bit of a cocktailian revival lately. Although it's best known for its supporting roles in the Singapore Sling and the scotch-based cocktail, Blood and Sand (as well as a veritable Kama Sutra of modern recipes), Cherry Heering's dark, rich, stone-fruit flavor is complex enough to be enjoyed all on its own. Here are two simple Valentine-friendly ways to make the most of this classic cordial's natural black cherry taste:
Chilled, With Dark Chocolate
Chocolate and cherries are a truly great - and deservedly classic - combination. In this case, the rich, dark flavor of Cherry Heering plays especially well with dark chocolate: bittersweet on bittersweet.
Sipped straight, this liqueur is best served chilled, though, so I tested it out two ways: on the rocks (top photo) and straight up, poured into a cordial glass and popped in the freezer for a couple of hours (photo directly below).
I personally found the liqueur quite tasty on the rocks, but enjoyed it less as the ice melted (maybe I just needed to be quicker about it). The freezer method worked out better though: icy cold (though not frozen), with no watery dilution. I tried it with a small piece of dark chocolate, and imagined how delicious it would be with a chocolatey dessert - preferably a piping hot one. (For some tempting ideas, see Faith's gallery from earlier this week here.)
With Champagne - and Other Sparkling Wines
Cherry Heering also mixes nicely with Champagne and other sparklers, as a kind of a twist on the Kir Royale, with the black cherry flavor standing in for blackcurrant. So moving backwards in this imaginary V-Day meal, a Champagne cocktail of this kind would make a nice pre-dinner drink: clean and dry, with a distinctive cherry taste.
Champagne Imperial (adapted from the Heering website)
makes one drink
2/3 ounce Cherry Heering (aka Peter Heering Cherry Liqueur)
Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, or other sparkling wine (I used Cristalino Brut, a Cava in the $6-$9 range)
Pour Cherry Heering into a Champagne flute and slowly top up with chilled sparkling wine.
Do you have any special drinks planned for Valentine's Day?
Related: Creme de Violette and Blue Moon Cocktails
(Images: Nora Maynard)