Begin by spicing cherries: Loosely fill a jar with fresh cherries. (Frozen will do nicely.) Cover with equal parts brandy and Maraschino. Season with your favorite spices. Marianne uses cinnamon, star anise, and fresh grated ginger. Close the jar and let it sit for a week or so.
The cherries can be used for garnish in various drinks, such as the Manhattan. The juice is essential to the Little Narnia.
Now we're ready to make a Little Narnia!
Little Narnia Cocktail
2 1/2 oz. Gin
1 1/2 oz. Spiced Cherry Juice
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
1 dash Cherry Bitters
Spiced Cherry for garnish
The result, as you can see, is a colorful drink particularly suited for sipping outside in late spring or early summer. It's fruity and spicy but not syrupy. As its co-inventor, I am of course biased. But I think it's a delightful tipple.
Above: Marianne about to enjoy a Little Narnia in Little Narnia. Like all the best cocktails, the Little Narnia is not proprietary. if you like it, feel free to share the recipe.