We have recently persuaded Julian Temperley to bottle his cherries in apple eau de vie in little retail jars called 'Hix Fix Cherries' so that customers can take them home from the restaurant and enjoy a Hix Fix at home – which simply consists of a couple of the cherries in a glass of champagne. I was recently experimenting in Dorset and came up with this new one for our cocktail list as I had a few fresh cherries left over.
For the syrup
350g granulated sugar
1ltr apple juice
For the sour
6 good measures of Somerset Cider Brandy (the 5-year-old is fine for this)
2 egg whites
The juice of 2 lemons
4tsp eau de vie from the cherries
4 cherries in Somerset eau de vie
Put the cherries in a plastic bag and crush them up a bit with a saucepan or rolling pin, then put them in a saucepan with the sugar and apple juice, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then strain them through a fine-meshed sieve, pushing the cherries through with the back of a spoon to get the maximum juice and colour out. You can store this in a bottle in the fridge for unexpected cocktail guests dropping in.
Put the cider brandy in a cocktail shaker with the egg whites, lemon juice and eau de vie, add 200ml of the cherry syrup and shake for about 20 seconds. Pour into serving glasses and add a cherry to each one.