Summertime is a dream for this foodie. All the fresh fruits and veggies in season just can’t be beat. Right about now I’m enjoying the bounty so much that I keep wondering how we ever survive fall and winter. (Then I remember chili, soups, and pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, and I feel a little better…) Of all the summer fruits, cherries are forever my favorite. I buy at least one bag and maybe more every week, and we plow right through them. Most of the time we eat them straight but this summer I’ve been making more of an effort to cook and bake with them. And also, make drinks with them. This particular cocktail actually helps achieve two of my summer goals at once – to do more with cherries, and to make more flavored margaritas. It’s no surprise that the combination two of my favorites – cherries and margaritas – was a big winner with me. The only drawback to the recipe as it is written is that it only serves one. I never make drinks for just myself. The version below is as written, to serve one, but if you want to multiply it just make it in a pitcher with a lid to strain out the cherries and ice cubes. Be sure to try them before cherry season fades away!
Fresh Cherry Margaritas
Yield: 1 serving
12 fresh sweet cherries, pitted
2½ tbsp. tequila
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1½ tbsp. (or more) simple syrup
1 tbsp. maraschino cherry liqueur (or maraschino juice)
1 fresh cherry with stem, for garnish
Put the cherries in a cocktail shaker. Mash them with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon until well crushed, about 1 minute. Add the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and 8 large ice cubes. Cover the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Immediately strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with the fresh cherry.
Source: adapted from Fine Cooking, June/July 2010