Spirit de Santa Fe Brandy is family distilled by Don Quixote, along with many other tasty products, in Northern New Mexico. Brandy is the result of distilling wine and along with cognac, which is simply brandy from a specific region in France, it’s the most popular companion to a lit cigar.
Don Quixote is proud that their products are all-natural, without added color: “We do not add any chemicals, flavorings, or coloring to our spirits after distillation. At Don Quixote, we give you what God and nature provided us.”
Spirit de Santa Fe Brandy is available at retail in New Mexico and from the distillery for $35 and it’s a tasty, natural, smooth spirit that you’ll enjoy after dinner. Straight, brandy is usually served in a snifter (see photo above), so your hand can warm the spirit slightly as you drink. The most popular brandy cocktail is a Sidecar:
- 2 oz brandy
- 1 oz triple sec (orange liqueur)
- 1 oz lemon juice
- shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- garnish with a lemon wedge or rind
I have an aversion to high fructose corn syrup. I began avoiding it 4 years ago and lost a bunch of weight as a result. One of the final hurdles for my HFCS-avoidance is maraschino cherries. The jars of cherries at the store contain pitted cherries, red dye, and HFCS. I’ve been looking for alternatives, and found a simple recipe to make your own.
- Trader Joe’s Dried Bing Cherries (these are pitted too).
- Brandy of your choosing. I used Pierre Duchene, which is $8 at Trader Joe’s.
- A container.
Combine them so that the cherries are completely submerged, and leave some room because they’ll swell quite a bit.
Ew….but leave them in there for 2 days minimum, and here’s what you get:
Wow! I had to top it off again with brandy as they really swelled up on me. Now the result is a firm cherry, not sweet at all (I’m considering using a little sugar in the jar next time). I’ve used them in Old Fashioneds and they come out great!