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Tastemakers: Brownwood Farms Festival Cherry Butter/ Bacardi Torched Cherry

Rick Coates - July 5th, 2010
Brownwood Farms Festival Cherry Butter
Brownwood Farms is celebrating their 65th anniversary this year. When they started in 1945 along the shores of Torch Lake, one of their first products was a cherry butter. Now, to celebrate the National Cherry Festival, Brownwood has launched Festival Cherry Butter.
Typically cherry butter is made with tart cherries but Brownwood decided to mix things up and use Michigan dark sweet cherries, resulting in a smooth and sweet product that spreads well over the morning English muffin or mixed into a smoothie. For a flavorful dessert try as a topping over Moomer’s vanilla ice cream or drizzle it over cheesecake.
‘Festival Cherry Butter’ joins ‘Simply Cherries’ and ‘Cherry Sauce’ in the private label series developed by Brownwood Farms and The National Cherry Festival. Proceeds benefit The National Cherry Festival Foundation, a not for profit organization that provides scholarships and supports other community organizations.
‘Simply Cherries’ combines the two most popular Northern Michigan cherries, Montmorency tart cherries and dark sweet cherries to create a wonderfully diverse topping. ‘Cherry Sauce’ combines the sweetness and texture of Michigan apples with the distinct tartness of Michigan cherries. All three products are available throughout Northern Michigan
In addition to specialty stores throughout the Midwest , these Cherry Festival food products, will be featured each day at the National Cherry Festival. They can be found July 3-10 in the Cherry Farm Market Tent located at the Festival Open Space Park. For details check out or ---Rick Coates

Torched Cherry

The spirits industry, in an effort to keep pace with growing popularity of wine and craftbrews, has put its focus on flavored or infused liquors. It seems to be working and the latest entry into the marketplace, Bacardi Torched Cherry, certainly will help to continue that trend of popularity.
Released this past April, Bacardi Torched Cherry has been making a splash among flavored rum fans. It is made with Barbados cherries and infused with torch plant aloe. Now, with Cherry Festival this week, look for this rum to be all over the place. Okay, so even if Bacardi is not using local cherries, they can’t be faulted for staying true to heritage of rum. After all, rum is a tropical drink and should be made with tropical ingredients.
Bacardi Torched Cherry is smooth and may be enjoyed as a sipper, well chilled (put the bottle in your freezer) in a shot glass. The infusion of the torch plant and cherries creates a tropical fruit explosion on the palate.
Fans of Cherry Coke will love this; just mix one part Torched Cherry with three parts Coke and add ice. Another popular cocktail is the Torchade; simply replace Coke with lemonade. Other possibilities include using cranberry or iced tea. My favorite cocktail with the Bacardi Torched Cherry is the Burnt Berry; this is a spritzer style beverage with one part Torched Cherry, 1.5 parts Sprite and 1.5 parts pomegranate juice.
Typically, I am not a fan of these infused liquors; I like my rums, vodkas, scotch and bourbon in their traditional form, but Bacardi Torched Cherry made a positive impression on my palate. Look for it in your favorite beverage shop and ask for it at restaurants and taverns. Certainly, it will take front row and center with other cherry products this week.---Rick Coates

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