1 Stone Fruit, 3 Cocktails: Cherries

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
September 12, 2014

It’s stone fruit season! Here’s how to do right by its wonderfulness in cocktail form. Each week this month, we’ve shown you how one fruit can mingle happily with three distinct spirits. We’ve sipped on a few boozy peachesplums, and nectarines. Today: cherries, baby.

Photo credit: Jamie Boudreau, Canon 

Is there really, truly, actually a better stone fruit than the cherry?

Peaches, lovely as they are, can be a mess. Apricots blow hot and cold: Either they’re warm and tender or they’re just so not ready for you. Plums and nectarines, same deal. One week they’re plush and fabulous. Another week, not so much. 

But oh, wow, cherries. When they’re good, they’re so goodAs is true of olives, working around their dark, sweet hearts is worth it to enjoy all that robust sweetness. Cherries make us think of the northwest, land of Bing cherries, its great craft cocktail bars, and how wonderful this particular fruit is with booze.

A quick tweet inquiring about your favorite Seattle bars led us straight to the renowned Jamie Boudreau at Canon. Here are his top three cherry concoctions. 

Cherry Blossom
by Jamie Boudreau
Makes 1 cocktail

This is more of a fall/winter cocktail, which was created to remind me of a childhood candy found in Canada of the same name. Super-complex and dry, with the natural pairing of chocolate and cherry coming together and being carried by the spicy rye.

1¼ oz. rye
¾ oz. kirsch
¼ oz. crème de cacao, such as Tempus Fugit
2 dashes Angostura bitters
brandied cherries, to garnish

Put all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherries.

Photo credit: Jamie BoudreauCanon 

Cherry Fizz
by Jamie Boudreau
Makes 4 cocktails

A perfect drink for a group, this is refreshing enough for warm weather but will happily take you into the fall, with the flavors of dark cherry asserting itself through fresh citrus and aromatic orange blossom water.

4 oz. gin
4 oz. cherry heering 
¼ oz. orange blossom water
3 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ oz. simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio)
4 egg whites
1 oz. whipping cream
1 10-oz. bottle soda water
8 brandied cherries, to garnish (or Maraschino cherries, if not available)

Blend first seven ingredients together using immersion blender (or, alternatively, shake without ice for at least three minutes). Add to large cocktail shaker along with ice and soda. Shake and pour into four fizz or highball glasses. Garnish with cherries.

Photo credit: Alex Van Buren

Mandarin Cherry Smash
by Jamie Boudreau
Makes 1 cocktail

Super-approachable and refreshing, this is a patio sipper made for the dog-days of summer. [Edit note: We tested this one on a patio, as you can see, and agree that it’s bright, tart, and ideally suited to patios. You’re welcome.]

2 oz. mandarin vodka
1 oz. kirsch
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 brandied cherries
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio)
2 brandied cherries, to garnish

Shake all ingredients together with ice, and fine strain into short glass over fresh ice. Garnish with cherries.