Don Draper would not be happy with me for making this in large batch form. This pure, original American cocktail was meant to be sipped in the morning, at work. Since that’s not reality for me, I made this large scale form -- and I really like it! We pick fresh sour cherries every spring, freeze them in 4 cup bags for pie -- and lucky for all of us, those also work well in this cocktail. Purist Cocktailers, forgive me, but this is good!
Old FashionedServes 20 (in a 10 oz. rocks glass filled halfway with ice)
¾ cups brown sugar1 ½ t Peychaud’s or Angostura bitters (Angostura are more commonly found in local groceries)6 cups club soda6 cups Bulleit Rye Whiskey3 cups TART whole frozen cherries
Combine brown sugar and bitters with 2 cups of club soda. Stir for a minute to make a slurry, then pour into gallon pitcher. Pour a splash of water into the sugar on the bottom of the cup and whirl around a bit to get every bit of sugar, pour into gallon jug (empty water jug) again. Add 6 cups whiskey.
Just before serving, add remaining 4 cups club soda and 3 cups cherries. Swirl in jug carefully and pour into serving pitcher or bowl. Serve with ice on the side. You might want to have a small glass-size strainer near the drinks, in case people don't prefer cherries in their cocktail (again -- the purists!)
Note: This may not make exactly one gallon, but this much whiskey is ENOUGH.
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