I know that black cherry vodka seems like an obscure thing to have, and regular old vodka can certainly be substituted, but the subtle cherry and vanilla notes add a cohesive dimension to this drink. This cocktail is great to have on hand for guests as the cherries can be soaking away for hours before friends arrive.
- 1 cup simple syrup*
- 1½ pounds ripe but firm bing cherries
- 4 limes
- ¼ cup red wine syrup, grenadine or additional simple syrup
- 1 cup Effen Black Cherry Vodka
- Lime flavored sparkling water
There was a sad period of my life when I didn't have the super efficient OXO Cherry/Olive Pitter. If you don't have one, step away from this recipe and go remedy your situation before continuing.
Pit the cherries and pull them in half as you go along, placing them in a medium-sized bowl. Zest one of the limes into the bowl over the cherries, and then juice all 4 limes into the same bowl. Add the simple syrup, red wine syrup, and the vodka. Stir together and taste. Feel free to add more simple or red wine syrup if so desired. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
Fill a highball glass halfway with the cherry mixture, add some ice, and top with the sparkling water. Give it a good but careful stir and garnish with a couple fresh mint sprigs and a spoon, for the cherries.
* For about 2 cups of simple syrup, stir together one cup sugar and one cup water in a saucepan. Let boil until the sugar is dissolved and then chill until very cold. The syrup will keep, covered in the fridge for at least a month.
Adapted from a recipe from Martha Stewart Living.