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Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons is filled lore, facts, and recipes. You’ve seen bitters in stores but now there literally is a blizzard of different bitters flavors out there for you to try. Bitters the book has ideas for using and making bitters, and other things too. Like cherry syrup.

I blogged a couple of days ago about how to make and use that cherry syrup. Brad makes a cocktail he calls a Coxsackie Smash in honor of some Upstate friends combining cherry syrup and bourbon. I made his smash and it was good. But, ah, there’s always a but.

But, I found his proportions [2 ounces of bourbon to ¾ ounces of syrup] yielded a drink that was distinctly a bourbon-dominant beverage. I wanted a drink with no dominant single note. Not bourbon, not cherry. I experimented with proportions and found the combination below to be perfect.

I leave it to you to experiment and generate your own favorite proportions. In his drink, Brad adds sour cherries and muddles them into the cherry syrup. Me, I just use lots of cherry syrup.

Brian’s Cherry and Bourbon Celebration

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 1 lime wedge
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • 2 ounces of cherry syrup
  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • Ice cubes and cracked ice, too


In a cocktail shaker, put the lime wedge, mint, and syrup. Muddle until the leaves are well smashed and you have aroma ascending to your nose.

Add the bourbon and ice cubes. Shake until strikingly cold. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Add cracked ice.

Adorn, if you wish, with some whole cherries or mint leaves, or perhaps a citrus twist.

Source: inspired from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

Photo Credits: Canon T2i, 18-55mm lens at F/2.8, 1/20th second at ISO 3200