Amateur Cocktail Guy got caught a little exposed last night. Several times a month work intrudes into the cocktail hour. We tea-total those nights and always make sure I can get away if called. A combination of last minute events put me in a bind and I had to call the Amateur Cocktail Friends for some help. Always gracious, they came through without flinching. I owe them a big one, so I went to work in the ACG test kitchen.

Not everything that passes these lips makes it to these pages. Last weeks I stirred up a recipe from the latest issue of Imbibe. They offered a collection of cocktail recipes for holiday parties. One caught my eye – a mix of Bourbon and Cherry Herring. I’ve been a little taken with Cherry Heering after I spent some time in Atlanta this summer tracking down a bottle. I’ve enjoyed it in Blood and Sands, and wanted to try some other drinks that included it. I mixed one up last week and enjoyed it – slowly, over an hour or so.

It’s a liquor drink with no added juice or syrups. Stir it with ice to dilute and chill it a bit, then sip. It’s not bad. Tim Stookey of The Presidio Social Club in San Fransisco developed the drink. He calls it “And to All a Good Night…” In the article he indicates that he wanted “spiciness” in the drink. He nailed it. I think it works great as an aperitif.

As I was trying to figure out how to thank the friends, it struck me that this drink could be mixed up ahead in bigger batches and poured as needed. A little math indicated that a quadruple recipe would fill a 375 ml bottle. My ABC stop today was to pick up a bottle of Maker’s Mark. It cleaned up nicely. Next, I mixed 6 oz Bourbon with 3 oz each Cherry Heering and Tequila. Bitters were added, then back into the bottle. I got a little crafty with Photoshop and turned out new labels.

I’ll deliver in the morning, fingers crossed that they’ll enjoy it-

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