.entrydate { display: none; }


Say hello to Jordan through the form or email her at jordieasmith@gmail.com


Portland, OR

Jordan A. Smith is a freelance designer in Portland, OR.


A collection of projects and extracurricular activities I partake in.

cherry vanilla bitters

Jordan Smith

If you're looking for how to make artisan-quality foods that white people like, but don't enjoy surprises being ruined, I'd head over to GOOP right now. Because the theme of this blog post is:

Spoiler: If I'm giving you a gift this holiday, it's probably this.
Spoiler: The recipe only alludes these aren't very time consuming.
Spoiler: These do not spoil so I will probably cry myself into oncoming traffic if I come over and you don't have the ability to make me a cherry-infused cocktail.

In these bullets, I mentioned that the recipe seems like it isn't a time consuming project. True. But it was a royal pain-in-the-buttons to find this recipe originally from Bust Magazine alone. I lost my Oct/Nov copy about four weeks ago and it wasn't until Glue and Glitter wrote about it that my holiday plan was back on track.

The journey I set upon after was one of learning and traipsing around a frozen Minneapolis:

Mason jars are commonly found at grocery and hardware stores. Or at least that's what twitter informed me. I had to go to a combination of three before I found these (at Ace Hardware). They were unfortunately wide mouth, but still cute nonetheless.

I had no idea what a vanilla bean looks like. Turns out they're a little more like the string variety than a pinto. They are also expensive at The Wedge. You'll notice I included an entire star anise into each jar. I had misread the recipe and later fished them out with a spoon, returned a single pod and resealed the jars.

The recipe calls for a "handle" of bourbon. I had the entire staff of Lake Wine & Spirits in heated debate over the exact definition. A man with a pink mohawk came in and cleared it all up: it's the largest bottle (1.75 liter) that usually has a handle. Derrrrr.

I designed the labels with a little help from the talents of local typographic legend Chank Diesel. I used Quimby Mayoral and Condensed Milk to accompany my tiny bow illustration (made of a "J" and "F" for Jordan & Forest, my roommate who helped make these).

I was relying on FedEx to buy new Exacto blades for the purpose of cutting out all of my labels. Alas, that's just something they don't have anymore (sorry ad students). BUT, they do have these new copy machines that take a USB drive and print your stuff on your custom paper. Though, you still need that socially-anxious, hefty bearded man to guide you through the process and now he's ten times as sweaty because he has to jump from copier to copier.


Finally, I included a cherry manhattan recipe card to help stir one's imagination on how to use the bitters.

It takes a full two weeks for the bitters to be ready to consume, so you're out of luck if you want to make these in time for Christmas. But if you start today, you could definitely be enjoying by New Years.

Cherry Vanilla Bitters
from Glue and Glitter (adapted from Bust)

Makes: 12 5 oz. mason jars | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 2 weeks


12 5 oz. mason jars
120 dried cherries
12 star anise pods
12 vanilla beans
1.75 liter of bourbon


  1. Equally divide the dried cherries, star anise pods and vanilla beans amongst the 12 mason jars.
  2. Fill the jars with bourbon. Shake well.
  3. Store the jars at room temperature. Shake every other day for two weeks.

Cherry Manhattan
from Glue and Glitter (adapted from GQ)

Makes: 1 drink


2 oz good rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 tsp cherry vanilla bitters
1 cherry


  1. In a cocktail shaker, shake the rye, vermouth and bitters with crushed ice.
  2. Place the cherry into a rocks glass and strain the cocktail over the cherry.