Cherries Jubilee Champagne Cocktail

This week is all about Louisiana inspired desserts. We’ve already discussed the praline and Bananas Foster, and I think it’s time to lighten things up – not all desserts have to be fattening and full of sugar. Some of the best desserts are full of fruit….and liquor….and are of the drinkable variety!

Cherries Jubilee is a popular dessert at Antoine’s in New Orleans. Antoine’s is the oldest family-run restaurant in the country and has invented some classics like Oysters Rockefeller and Eggs Sardou. Similar to  Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee is doused in liquor, set on fire and served over ice cream. Let’s lose the flames and ice cream, and enjoy a sparkling cocktail instead!

Cherries Jubilee Champagne Cocktail

I found this recipe at Drink of the Week, and thought it sounded pretty good. Just a few notes – first, definitely take your time to muddle the cherries well. The contents of the shaker are poured (not strained) into the glass – so you don’t want chunky fruit messing up the texture of the drink. Second, choose a sparkling wine that is on the sweet side – stay away from Brut or Extra Dry. This will help counter the punch of the Bourbon and the bitters, and will compliment the sweet cherries. Third, use decent Bourbon. I had some cheap stuff on hand for the first go around, and I was contemplating nixing this cocktail altogether. Then I made a trip to the liquor store, and bought something off the middle shelf – and now this drink is a festive keeper!

Cherries Jubilee Champagne Cocktail (for 2)

2 Oz. frozen cherries
3 Oz. Bourbon
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Champagne/sparkling wine
Dash of bitters

With a wooden spoon, muddle cherries and Bourbon in a cocktail shaker. Add lemon juice and shake for 1 minute. Pour Bourbon/cherry mix into champagne flutes. Top with champagne and a dash of bitters.

Not only is this drink light and flavorful, it’s pretty too! It would make a perfect addition to any Valentine’s Day date!

Recipe courtesy of Drink of the Week.

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