Drink of the Week: Smoked Cherries

By Paul Nelson

I don’t consider myself much of a mixologist. I don’t have the time to really get into it, and I can’t geek out on the science side of culinary or cocktail creations. I remain convinced that food and drink should be good, but there is a vague line that varies from person to person where appreciation of God’s good gifts turns into idolatry or vanity.

But I’m also thrifty and like to make use of what I have. A few years ago a kind parishioner gave me a bottle of Patron XO Cafe, a mixture of tequila with chocolate and coffee flavors. It’s delicious, but I don’t have call to use it very often. But on a recent evening I decided that it deserved to be enjoyed and I put together this little concoction I’m calling Smoked Cherries.

  • 1 oz mezcal
  • 2 oz Patron XO Cafe
  • Cherry juice

Mix or stir the mezcal and the Patron/other together and pour over ice in an old-fashioned or other short glass. Top with cherry juice and stir.

The mezcal provides the smoke for this drink, sweetened with the chocolate/coffee flavors of the Patron XO Cafe. If you want a less intense smoky effect, I suggest a decent blended Scotch instead of the mezcal. You could also swap out Kahlua or another coffee/chocolate kind of liquor for the Patron XO Cafe. I like Trader Joe’s Cherry Juice that retains a bit of tartness to it so as not to make the drink too sweet overall. Enjoy!