Launched in 2012, the company name Cecil & Merl honors the two "sweet-tooth" patriarchs of the founders'—Deborah Williamson and Bryan Calvert—families. Together, Williamson and Calvert began their business with rustic cheesecakes—lemon ricotta, mango, dulce de leche and pumpkin—served from their Prospect Heights, Brooklyn restaurant, James.
Now, in collaboration with mixologist Justin Lane Briggs, Cecil & Merl has bottled up the essence of summer in small-batch Cherry Bitters. Made with all raw, natural ingredients, the results are bright, juicy and aromatic. The Cherry Bitters pairs well with scotch, bourbon, aged tequila, gin and rum—just about everything. We even loved it with plain soda water. Not only for drinks though, in the kitchen at James, Calvert uses the Cherry Bitters in marinades, duck jus and pastry cream for cherry tarts.
If you've already tried our first summer 2013 cocktail, try this Sour Cherry Rickey, created by Briggs and Cecil & Merl to showcase their new product.
Sour Cherry Rickey
2 oz gin
1 oz lime juice
1 barspoon simple syrup
5 dashes C&M Cherry Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake with vigor. Strain into a collins glass, top with soda and garnish with a wheel of lime.
Order a bottle of Cecil & Merl Cherry Bitters for $26 from their website.
Images courtesy of Cecil & Merl