by Maureen Petrosky
This week, I came upon the sweetest bunch of cherries at the market. As is my wont, I took them straight to the shaker, or shall I say jam jars, for some drink inspiration.
Jam jars are my preferred drinking vessel once the weather warms up, and right about now is high time to ditch the fancy stemware for more durable -- and not to mention portable! -- cocktail couture. Jam jars do double duty as glassware and shaker, making for less clean up and charming (not girly) cocktails. I prefer less sweet, more refreshing drinks, so a sour is a perfect pick.
It's easy to make cherry simple syrup, and you can do it in less than 10 minutes with a quick chill over an ice bath. In a pinch you can even substitute maraschino cherry syrup, but as with most ingredients, making it fresh with ripe, in-season fruit will definitely make a tastier toast.
So grab your cherry pitter and jam jars, and toast summer with an ice cold cherry sour.
Sweet and Sour Cherry Vodka Sparkler Recipe
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce room temperature cherry simple syrup (recipe below)
Fresh basil for garnish
In a small jam jar filled with ice, add the vodka, lemon juice and cherry simple syrup. Place the lid on tightly and shake. Remove the lid and fill with club soda.
Garnish with fresh cherries and basil, and enjoy.
Cherry Simple Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup ripe cherries, pitted
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar and cherries until the sugar has completely melted. Using a potato masher, smash the cherries. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and cool over an ice bath.
Note: If you are a flavored vodka drinker, you may substitute vanilla, cherry or whipped cream vodka in place of the traditional for a slightly sweeter cocktail.
Sweet and Sour Cherry Vodka Sparkler Recipe, American Cuisine