What is cherry brandy?
As with almost all fruit brandies, cherry brandy is a cherry-flavored liqueur. It may use brandy as a base spirit but it does not have to.
If something is called "[insert fruit here]" brandy, it is basically a higher proof (approaching 80 proof) liqueur that is not quite as sweet as the equivalent product labeled "[insert fruit here] liqueur".
Cherry brandy is one of the more popular fruit brandies. Most examples you will find are rather hideous including the usual low hanging fruit DeKuyper, Hiram Walker, and Leroux. As usual, Bols makes a more solid product that is labeled "Bols Cherry Brandy Liqueur" - truth in labeling. Bols uses the cherry pits to produce their brandy which adds a slightly nutty flavor to the final product (somewhat like Maraschino but to a lesser degree).
A fascinating cherry brandy is Cherry Heering, a Danish product that is aged in wooden barrels.
Cherry brandy cocktails
Cherries are a popular flavoring in a lot of beverages and cocktails are no different. Two of the most famous cherry brandy based cocktails are the Blood and Sand and the Singapore Sling. While the details of the Singapore Sling are somewhat murky and we see new claims about how the original recipe was constructed, cherry brandy is almost always in the mix.
One way to experiment with cherry brandy cocktails is to try kirsch instead. Kirsch is a cherry eau de vie which means its a distillation of cherry wine with no added sugar or flavorings. It is a more dry, subtler version of cherry brandy. Try replacing cherry brandy with Kirsch and see what you think. You will probably need to add a touch of sweetener to maintain balance in the cocktail.
Have you found a good cherry brandy that we haven't talked about? Let know in the comments.