Cocktail of the Week: The Viola


The Viola

The Viola

Sadly, our dear friends Allison and Mark lost their grandmother, Viola, this past December. She had moved into a new apartment in August of last year, where she received a little more assistance when she needed it. As Allison and Mark’s mom, Bethany, and her husband, Harold, were discussing the new place and some of the new items they needed to pick up for Viola (new coffee pot, new TV), she interrupted, asking, “More important than any of this, is there a nice cabinet for the liquor?” Bethany just laughed and said, “You know, we already checked that out when we visited! There’s only one problem: it’s above the refrigerator and Harold is the only one who can reach it. I’m not sure that’s going to work very well. I think you’d have to drag a chair over if you wanted to get at it.” Then Harold said, “Yeah, maybe that’s not such a good plan considering you just fell earlier this week.” Viola replied, “I don’t know…I think reaching for a bottle of Wild Turkey sounds like a good way to go.”

My kind of lady.

Collectively, the Bun and I only talked with Viola a handful of times, but it was obvious to us how much she meant to her family and how much her family meant to her. As she would have wanted, the whole of her clan was celebrating her life in Michigan (her home state) a few weeks ago. We decided that this week’s cocktail should be in her honor. This is a sweet, but spicy take on a Manhattan and an Old-Fashioned, using fresh Michigan cherries and (what else?) Wild Turkey.

Cheers, Vi!

In a metal cocktail shaker, mash together:
7-9 sweet red cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon of sugar (or to taste)
To mash, I find myself using whatever kitchen tool has a long handle and a wide, flat bottom. I think you can buy something specific to this task called a “cocktail muddler,” but if you are like me, you don’t need any extra implements cluttering up your drawers. You can just use a wooden spoon, too. The point is to get the cherries to release as much juice as possible without making a puree. Once the sugar is dissolved, add:
Juice from 1/2 a lime
3/4 cup of Wild Turkey

At this point, you can add a few ice cubes and shake the mixture, or simply stir it together to combine. Strain into rocks glass filled with ice, top with club soda, and garnish with a lime wedge and a sweet (not Maraschino) cherry.

Toast to the good times.

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2 thoughts on “Cocktail of the Week: The Viola

  1. Becky says:

    I may need to make this cocktail just because of the story. I love it! Sounds like she was a special lady.

  2. Sharon Strati says:

    Viola must have been lots of fun, also I love those galsses!! Now for my question, I want to make some short ribs. I saw them at our local Italian/Deli (Charlie’s) and they were called short ribs. I think they are pork, how would I fix them? Please don’t laugh but I am a rookie with this cut of meat, we went with a rib place in Indy with Amy and the girls just after Olivia was born and Dad discovered he liked ribs. Now I want to fix them and don’t know what to do. I think I want to have BBQ sauce on them and fix in the oven, Is this possible. Thanks fo much for any suggestions.

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