Summer cocktail: cherry bourbon fizz
Our first vagabond week took place in Eugene at Brett’s parents house, enjoying steamy hot Oregon summer days and cloudy, chilly, misty Oregon summer days (oh, Oregon). We rode our bikes along the river and ran on actual trails and had lunch with friends, and breakfast with friends, and (cheap, amazing) beers with friends. We drank Oregon pinot. We went to the Fair. We moved and unpacked and organized all of our earthly belongings, sorting them into “see you next year” and “mobile lifestyle” (aka living out of a car for three months) piles. Then we made that second pile smaller, and smaller, and smaller. We promptly reopened almost every box looking for the camera tripod, which eventually turned up in the backseat of the car. It’s going to be a long year of searching for and moving around our belongings.
And we ate cherries. Cherries, and cherries, and cherries.
Our first evening in Eugene, my in-laws went cherry picking and returned with a particularly fruitful harvest of 35 pounds of ripe, still sun-warmed Bing cherries. (Fruitful. Heh.) I can work my way through a 10 pound bag of oranges in the Southern California wintertime, and I can use up limes like a champion. But Oregon summertime means berries and cherries, and I’ve gotten overwhelmed with all of the things I want to do with them while I have them around.
Really, we mostly ate them straight (and still are – I know for a fact that my father-in-law has a bag of them in his truck at this very moment). Once I actually ate so many while I was pondering what to bake with them that I ended up too full to do anything else. But I also layered them into a chocolate icebox cake and smooshed a few into this slightly fizzy, entirely summery, bright red cocktail. Cherries and bourbon are a pretty natural combination, and the citrus juice and bit of fizz added at the end make it far more light and summery than its Manhattan kin. I drank mine as I rolled out and cut a batch of gnocchi dough for dinner on one of those cooler, cloudier Oregon summer evenings, and thought about which bar tools I might be able to fit into the car. (The “mobile culinary center” pile is growing by the minute.) I’m pretty sure we had cherries for dessert that night, too, and I’m looking forward to more when we get back next week.
Cherry bourbon fizz
Makes 1, but easily scalable
- 4 ripe, juicy cherries (Bings are great, but others work too)
- 1-2 tsp. granulated sugar (can alter for sweetness)
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon or rye (I often favor Maker’s Mark for cocktails – and for everything else – but we work with what we’ve got, these days)
- 1/2 ounce lime juice (lemon works, too)
- Splash of soda
- Muddle 3 of the cherries and the sugar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
- Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Add the bourbon and lime juice, and shake.
- Strain into a cocktail glass with a few cubes of ice. Add the splash of soda and stir gently. Drop in the last cherry as a garnish, and serve.