A while back I was at my in-laws and they pulled out a jar of moonshine soaked cherries for me to taste. They had purchased them somewhere or another on one of their rides. Maybe on the way to or from Sturgis? I don’t really remember. Boozy maraschino cherries, kind of a brilliant idea! Unfortunately, the moonshine, as it’s reputation might lead you to expect, tasted astringent, harsh, and, well, like rubbing alcohol. I loved the idea, but not the execution. They were just too harsh for me. I thought to myself it might be fun to try something like this myself, and hopefully make it taste better, and promptly forgot about it.
A few weeks later I got invited to a whiskey tasting for Troy and Sons Whiskey’s, which is just beginning to be distributed in the Denver area. I attended the tasting. I got to meet Troy herself. Yes you read that right, herself. Troy is apparently the first woman to own a whiskey distillery in the United States; and boy is she a gem. Charming, friendly, and an amazing woman. She told us about some of her personal story, including raising two special needs children who were expected not to live past 10 years old. (Both are happy, healthy adults today.) She told us about learning to make moonshine and whiskey, in backcountry North Carolina, and about Troy and Sons as a company and their production methods. I also discovered interestingly enough, moonshine, is in fact whiskey. Also, there is a lot of overlap to whiskey and bourbon, though there are technically specific guidelines to each.
Of course I also tasted these Troy and Sons whiskeys, which have moonshine roots, and much to my delight it was fantastic! Not harsh, astringent, no burn. Actually soft, smooth. This is because, whiskey distilling has three stages of ‘catching’ the head, the heart, and the tails. Basically the head and the tails are garbage. Nasty stuff. The head can contain formaldehyde and other nasty chemicals. The tail is the bad tasting dredges from the mash. The heart is the good stuff you actually want to drink. That’s what Troy and Sons Whiskey is, all heart; they destroy the head and tails after production.
Some of the other whiskeys that have that rubbing alcohol reputation may be made with tails that have been re-distilled, making them safe to drink but, honestly, yucky tasting. Old school backwoods moonshine (the kind that has the terrible reputation, as being dangerous to produce and dangerous to drink) is often made of the head and tails. The good stuff, the heart, is often reserved for personal use and not sold. Understanding all that made it really clear to me why the quality of whiskey varies so much and why Troy and Sons is so good.
Plus I just have to add the Tory and Sons whiskey smells incredibly wonderful. The platinum (my personal fave), smelled like vanilla. Mmm.
So in the middle of this tasting and whiskey production crash course, back into my brain pops the moonshine cherries. I’m thinking, ok, soak some cherries in Troy and Sons Platinum. Now we’re talking. So that’s exactly what I did. Maybe it’s sacrilege to use such fine whiskey for soaking cherries? But I love it. I think you’ll love it too.
Oh, and watch out boozy cherries are something like 80 proof by the time they sit a while, they’ll have the same effects on you as cocktails or shots. Don’t eat cherries and drive. :)
- A jar of maraschino cherries
- A bottle of your favorite Troy and Son’s Whiskey* (I recommend the Platinum.)
- A mason jar
1. Fill the mason jar full with maraschino cherries. (Be sure to drain off the juice they come packaged in.) Pour the whiskey you’ve selected into the mason jar so that all the cherries are submerged. Seal and let sit in the fridge overnight.
*I will note that Troy and Sons could be described more as a regional brand at this point, and may not be available in your area. If this is the case you can substitute another brand, but, make sure it’s quality stuff or your cherries will honestly, stink. If you don’t have Troy and Sons yet, shoot em’ an email and let them know you heard about em’ at Feed Me I’m Hungry and want them in your area!