Cherry Heering Vintage Bottlings Make a Fashionable Splash During The Manhattan Cocktail Classic
By Francine Cohen Photos Courtesy of Cherry Heering

Fashion designers often reach to the past to inspire the future, while most distillers are busy producing spirits in the past they look forward to sharing with appreciative patrons in the future. Thanks to Cherry Heering ( the two concepts collided most pleasurably during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic ( when vintage 1890 and 1950 bottles of the classic cherry brandy were uncorked to the sounds of jazz age music under the vaulted ceilings of Grand Central Station’s Campbell Apartment ( – formerly the luxurious office and salon of ’20’s mogul John W. Campbell.

Campbell, with his obvious taste for exquisite luxury, would have applauded these two very special pourings. Both had aged to a fine sherry or port-like flavor, pleasing all who were on hand to sip along with the official tasting panel: Jörgen Tilander, owner of the Cherry Heering liqueur brand, Jackson Cannon, famed Boston bar man from Eastern Standard, Akiko Katayama, an established international writer and former Iron Chef judge and Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist and MC/Host of the Cherry Heering liqueur vintage event (

One of the exciting things about exploring the world of spirits is experiencing a variety of expressions, vintages and new products. However, rarely does the chance occur for spirit aficionados to taste something over 100 years old. Adéle Nilsson, CEO of the Xanté & Peter F. Heering Company, was quite delighted that the elixir within the bottles had so beautifully stood the test of time. She commented, “We didn’t know what we would find, but it was wonderful.”

Equally as wonderful for the tasting panel and guests was the opportunity to enjoy each vintage in elegant Orrefors Kosta Boda glassware (

Once Robert Hamilton, sommelier of Porter House New York opened and decanted the bottles, the tasting panel recorded their notes for history focusing on five areas including, mouth feel, stretch on the palette, degree of sweetness, post resonance and overall balance.

The clear favorite was Cherry Heering liqueur vintage, 1890. Tony Abou-Ganim says,
“This vintage is really well kept, providing notes of chocolate and cigar as if they really rolled everything into the whole spirit. It’s deep, more rounded, more impactful and I
was eager to see how long it can be aged and still taste refined – this is my favorite.”