Drawing on her upbringing in Richmond, Virginia, Kat Foster is flexing a repertoire of passed-down Appalachian kitchen techniques—including pickling, canning and fermentation—to execute complex culinary cocktails at Margot in Brooklyn. The Windowsill Thief, whose name alludes to pilfered pie, is one such example. Central to the recipe is a lacto-fermented cherry syrup—the fermentation process, Foster says, lends the cherries a savory, meaty quality—paired with brown butter–washed rye.
- 1 1/2 ounces brown butter–washed rye (or whiskey of your choice, see Editor’s Note)
- 3/4 ounce palo cortado sherry (or amontillado or oloroso)
- 1/4 ounce lacto-fermented cherry syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- 1/4 ounce Amaro Pasubio
- 1/4 ounce thyme liqueur, preferably G.E. Massenez Garden Party
Garnish: fermented cherry
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, then stir until chilled.
- Strain over a large rock in a rocks glass.
- Garnish with a fermented cherry.
Lacto-Fermented Cherry Syrup
2 pounds fresh cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons (15 grams) kosher salt
2 cups (415 grams) water
1. Halve and pit the cherries. Toss in salt to coat. Add to a glass fermenting jar with a fermentation weight.
2. Cover with the water and seal with an airlock lid. Allow to ferment at room temperature for about 2 days. (You will see bubbles begin to appear in the jar.) After 2 days, move the jar into the refrigerator.
3. After 4 days, the juice in the jar should be ready. Remove as much as you’d like.
4. Weigh the juice, and add an equal amount of white sugar. Combine, stirring over very low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Brown Butter–Washed Rye
15 grams unsalted butter
750 milliliters rye whiskey
1. Put butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently as the butter melts. The butter will begin to bubble and foam; continue stirring. As the foam subsides, you should see the butter turning brown, with toasted milk solids on the bottom. Remove from the heat.
2. Combine the melted brown butter with the whiskey in a resealable container.
3. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in the freezer. The butter will solidify quickly, and after about 2 hours you should be able to remove it from the freezer. Pass the whiskey through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, then bottle and store.