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12.17.13 Brandy Old Fashioned Jam

12.17.13 Brandy Old Fashioned Jam

In the craziness that is the holiday season, one thing I am always trying to figure out is what to make for gifts for my friends. As someone who likes to cook, a food-related item that I can make is always ideal. But for some reason, I can never think of just the right thing to make. And then during a slightly hungover brunch on Sunday, an idea came to me. And what an idea it was.


You see, I was eating some toast that came with an interesting type of jam. Brandy Old Fashioned jam to be exact. And I thought, now this is a genius idea. As you may remember from a previous post, I’ve extolled the virtues of the Brandy Old Fashioned, and even went as far as to call it the quintessential Wisconsin cocktail. So what could make a better Christmas gift than a jar of jam inspired by this most wonderful beverage? Cherry preserves with orange and a hint of brandy and Angostura bitters. Put that on your toast.


And you don’t have to be a Wisconsinite to appreciate this delicious condiment. It’s a great way to get a Brandy Old Fashioned in with your breakfast judgement free. And anyone can agree that that’s a good thing. Honestly, who wouldn’t want a jar of this stuff for Christmas? So get jamming, and your gifts will be done before you know it. Trust me, your friends will thank you.


Brandy Old Fashioned Jam

makes about 4 cups

This time of year, your best bet is frozen cherries. And I most definitely recommend using a mix of both tart and sweet cherries for more depth of flavor.

  • 8 cups pitted cherries
  • ⅔ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 tsp Angostura bitters

1. Place cherries, orange juice, and orange zest in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook until cherries are soft and releasing juice, about 10-15 minutes.

2. Transfer jam to a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend most of the cherries into a smoother consistency.However, I like to leave a few whole cherries in there for added texture. Return blended cherries to medium high heat.

3. Add the sugars and stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil and continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring often, until mixture thickens, about 25-30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the brandy and bitters. Ladle jam into jars and seal tightly. Jam will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

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