I love cherries, and cherry-flavored anything (except cough drops). If you describe a dish, an ingredient, or a drink as being tart and sweet, sign me up. It is my favorite flavor profile, and I can probably blame that on having a Queen Anne cherry tree in my backyard when I was growing up. Once I figured out how to eat around the pits, cherry season was the best season. Except for related gastrointestinal distress, but I digress. (Side note: The Ice Cream Bar, located in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, makes an amazing sour cherry ice cream and sour cherry soda.)
When I saw Kitchen Play was hosting a cherry-themed Progressive Party this month, I might have been a tiny bit excited. The Cherry Marketing Institute is sponsoring, and their site is full of information about the health benefits of cherries. Who knew that they were quite so good for you? Really, this just means I’m drinking to my health!
(I might have also been excited to see that part of the giveaway includes an Anthropologie apron. Be still, my heart.)
All six dishes, of course, prominently feature tart cherries. I am starting with my adaptation of the Tart Cherrytini from uTry.it, which brings together two of my favorite things: cherry juice and fancy (strong!) cocktails. Recipe after the jump.
I halved the original proportions of the recipe for 2 drinks, skipped the sugar-lemon rim, and made a few changes. The result? A tart, slightly sweet drink that will knock your socks off. If it were tequila, this song might be appropriate. If it were ever appropriate.
- Frozen pitted tart cherries (only sweet frozen cherries were available here)
- 1 Meyer lemon
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup tart cherry juice, chilled (I used Cherribundi)
- 1/2 c vodka
- 1/4 c vanilla vodka
- Angostura bitters
- Grated ginger (optional)
Thread 2-3 cherries onto a cocktail pick for each drink. Peel lemon rind twists from each lemon using a channel knife, and set aside.
Juice the lemon and add the juice, with the sugar, cherry juice, and vodkas to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to mix ingredients and strain into two glasses. Top with 3-4 drops bitters, a lemon twist and cherry pick, and a bit of grated ginger, if you like. Enjoy!