With two boys playing sports and the two of us being active in lots of organizations, our weekends can get rather hectic, especially for our boys who sometimes need a little treat in the afternoon to help them refuel. One of their favorite things to grab is a cherry limeade, the combination of the sweet red maraschino cherry syrup and limeade a refreshing fizzy drink. While this is great for the kids and perfect for an afternoon refreshment, but sometimes you want to have something a little more appropriate for an adult! We decided to make an adult version of cherry limeade that might fit this bill! Using fresh spring cherries with their beautiful sweet and tart red juice, bright herbal gin and a bit of ginger to cut the sweetness, our Ginger Cherry Smash brings the tart sparkling flavors of an adult cherry limeade to your glass!
A lot of folks are intimidated by drinks that use gin because they remember smelling (or tasting) their grandpa’s drink which used the cheapest gin that reminded your of Pine-Sol and socks. Gin these days is entirely different as there has been a revolution in the distilling world and gin offers a wonderful place for distillers to bring better flavors to your glass, making the gins of today definitely not your Grandpa’s gin! Some of our favorites are Hendrick’s, Broker’s or the Botanist. We used Broker’s London Dry Gin in this drink. Broker’s is a great gin for folks who want to step into the world of gin as it is a great citrus sweet gin with a nice dry herbal finish similar to a dry white wine. The bright citrus notes work really well with the limeade, and is a perfect base for our Ginger Cherry Smash.
We start out by muddling (smashing) pitted cherries and some granulated sugar in the bottom of a shaker tin. Adding the granulated sugar in with the cherries helps pull out the juices of the cherries, as well as act as tiny little knives and help break the cherries down. Using the sugar like this is a classic cocktail technique as it adds sweetness with out a lot of dilution that the water in a simple syrup can cause. After the sugar is fully dissolved in the cherry juice, we added in the fresh squeezed lime juice, ginger liqueur and gin. The ginger liqueur helps control the sweetness while adding a spiciness that adds complexity to the drink and works really well with the lime and gin. Topping the mix with crushed ice and a splash of club soda gives the drink a fizzy finish that makes this cocktail quite the refresher!
- 6 cherries, pitted
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz ginger liqueur or 3/4 oz ginger ale
- 1 1/2-2 oz gin (2 oz if not using the ginger liqueur)
- top with club soda if using the ginger liqueur
- lime wedge
- Muddle (mash) cherries and sugar in a shaker. Work until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add lime juice, ginger liqueur, gin.
- Shake with ice.
- Strain into glass with ice, top with ginger ale or club soda.
- Garnish with lime wedge.