The Friday Tipple: Michigan Cherry Beer

Michigan Cherry Beer

We’re feeling fruity, Boozers. Now firmly ensconced in the heart of summer, we find ourselves surrounded on all sides by the freshest of fruits, bursting with their warm juicy goodness. On a hot summer day, lazily swinging in the backyard hammock, there’s nothing we like more than a cold beer laced with the flavors of summer.

Last year we passed a pleasant week or so on the shores of Lake Michigan in the charming hamlet of St. Joseph – St. Joe’s to those in the know – and fell in love with a tasty little Cherry Beer Cocktail which turned out to be little more than a standard PBR laced with maraschino cherry juice straight out of the jar. Just goes to prove that it doesn’t take much to create heaven on earth.

We decided to take this one step further in making our own Michigan Cherry Beer, and, with all due modesty, have heard this described as “Michigan summer in a pint glass” by natives of the Mitten State. We agree. Mix it up wherever you are and dream of sitting lakeside beneath the pine trees.

Michigan Cherry Beer

Chill a light summery lager or ale while you whip up the Whiskey Cherry Syrup that flavors this delicious cocktail. As always, we encourage sourcing ingredients that are local to wherever you are at the moment – this is especially fun when you are on vacation; if you can’t get out of town, you might create a vacation atmosphere by finding beer and whiskey local to the place where you wish you were. Dream on.

1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup whiskey (we used Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye)
1 cup cane sugar
Cold beer (we used the citrusy Shift Pale Lager this time)

Put the cherries, whiskey, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir well. Bring up to a rolling simmer then lower heat and allow to simmer gently until liquid reduces by about a third and has a glossy syrupy texture (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and cool completely; can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chill a tall glass then spoon about two tablespoons of the Whiskey Cherry Syrup into the bottom of the glass, being sure to include a few cherries. Fill the rest of the glass with chilled beer and stir gently with a bar spoon. Garnish with a fresh cherry and enjoy.


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  1. […] Whiskey Cherry Syrup, a jar of which now resides in the fridge from last Friday’s delectable Michigan Cherry Beer, we felt in the mood for riffing off a classic Whiskey Sour. A basic sour mix consists of fresh […]

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