Fresh Cherry Sidecar
A couple of weeks ago I asked folks on Twitter, ‘What should I do next; orange or cherry liqueur?’ The resounding response was for cherry so I went on a Google journey to find the best method for making it as it’s not something I’ve done before. I found several versions and I’m sure they are all great but the one thing I just could not handle? SIX MONTHS? My impatient self struggled with waiting one month for Limoncello yet knew that I still shared that recipe in time for readers and friends to make something to enjoy this summer. It just seemed impossible to consider that I would share the process of making cherry liqueur and say, ‘See you in 6 months for a cocktail.’ So I punted.
I recalled seeing Matt Armendariz make a Cherry Sidecar using fresh cherries and brandy and at the time I wasn’t interested in waiting 5 days but I thought I could handle that now; especially in comparison to 6 months. Matt had made a cherry/brandy liqueur to replace the traditional brandy and orange liqueur in a sidecar. This version using fresh cherries is so perfectly seasonal and the type of cocktail I love; a bit sweet and a bit tart and certainly a lot beautiful!
This was certainly my own ‘Cherrypalooza’ – the cocktail consists of a liqueur that is a combination of brandy infused cherries, a cherry syrup that is made from more fresh cherries and sugar and then garnished using the maraschino cherries I made a couple of months ago that combines cherries and Luxardo liqueur for a much more natural and tasty treat.
Matt’s version was his attempt to recreate a cocktail he enjoyed at Hatfield’s in LA. I’ve not had the Hatfield’s cocktail but I have to say, this was not just a great combination of flavors; it was also an absolutely gorgeous drink. Start now and you can have one next weekend; that’s better than waiting until Christmas for something, right? I’ve done a bit of my own revising; I like it served cold on the rocks and with a sugared rim; that little bit of sugar seemed perfect with the tart bite of the cocktail itself but it’s totally optional; sugar only if you want to!
A Fresh Cherry Sidecar
For the Cherry Brandy:
- 1 pound fresh sweet cherries pitted and halved. Save some pits for the infusion.
- 1 pint bottle brandy
For the Cherry Syrup:
- 1 pound fresh sweet cherries pitted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
For the Cocktail
- ½ oz fresh lime juice
- Sugar for the rim
- Fresh lime slices and maraschino cherries for garnish
To Make the Cherry Brandy:
- Combine the pitted and halved cherries and the brandy in a container. Several recipes I read for making the cherry liqueur indicate adding some of the pits as well so I put in a couple of tablespoons of them too.
- Cover and keep in a cool place for at least 5 days.
To Make the Cherry Syrup:
- Combine the cherries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the syrup through a strainer and remove the solids. Put into a container and store in the refrigerator.
To Make the Cocktail:
- Rub the rim of your glass with a lime slice and dip it into sugar. Put the glasses into the refrigerator or freezer to chill.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and for each cocktail add 1 & 1/2 oz of the cherry brandy, 1/2 oz of the cherry syrup and 1/2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Shake vigorously 10-15 times.
- Fill the chilled glasses with ice and pour the cocktail into the glass.
- Garnish with a lime slice and maraschino cherry.
Keep in mind that cherry pits contain cyanide. Depending on the the type of cherry, a single pit can contain 4-65mg of cyanide. The amount of cyanide for toxicity for a person weighing 135lb is 30-250 mg.
You have to chew the cherry pits though to release any so there’s no harm in including a couple of them in with this liqueur.
amazing drink recipes and make healthy body, my boss thanks to a fresh drink recipes
Wow that looks fabulous! How did you like the lemon drop with vanilla beans tonight? It looked scrumptious, but I didn’t try one.
Great to meet you! Hope we cross paths again soon.
I LOVED that cocktail, as a matter of fact Keegan agreed to give me the recipe so ‘hoping’ I can get it today and recreate it and feature it tomorrow on my Friday cocktails post. So wishing I had another day or two but want to feature the events next week so tomorrow would be perfect. Weren’t they all just wonderful hosts?
Absolutely gorgeous Barb!!! I love how you carried the cherry flavor throughout the cocktail!! I keep thinking this would be the perfect cocktail for 4th of July and wish I had one right now!!
Get some cherries now and get it done for the holiday; it would be perfect in a George Washington/Fourth of July sort of way. Oh and cause it’s cold and amazing!
Nice cocktail Barb – everybody should at least try the cherry brandy, it’s great in so many things! This reminds me, I have Colorado Bing Cherry Brandy from last year in the basement, hey, it’s noon somewhere!
You don’t have to convince me Mick; I’m doing a jar but this quick and dirty version sure made for a great cheery and cherry cocktail!
Barb, this looks so bright and summery – very cheering in the chilly winter weather of the southern hemisphere!
Barb, I’m a sucker for anything cherry. I love it! This looks so pretty, too, like you said. Very summery!
Okay, you are right and I am wrong and one of your fruity cocktails would get me to Denver! I love cherries and this whole concoction is stunning! Really perfect for kicking back, legs up in the summer sunshine.
I can also offer you either an Adirondack chair under an umbrella or the hammock in full shade with a pillow. I’m chuckling…I recall several years ago a couple of girlfriends and I were here having a cocktail or two and two of us ended up in that hammock swinging and I know there was a ‘wheeeee’ in there. 🙂 You game?
Such a lovely picture! I love cherry, cherry anything! This looks wonderful and I so want to make my own maraschino cherries.
The ones I made for the holidays used a jar of cherries; now I want to do my own using fresh cherries. Seems easy enough, just simmer some pitted, sour cherries in maraschino liqueur and then cool and store in the fridge. I fear I would eat the whole thing. 🙂
Everytime I am here you always have a fabulous drink!! Love this. Where you ever a bar tender? You always have these creative drinks.
Thanks so much, I’m seriously glad you enjoy them. Regarding bartending? Never. I have always loved creating fun cocktails for friends so I guess this is just an extension of that love. I never did one every week though! Keeps me on my toes for sure. Already planning today what I”m doing Friday because my lavender is starting to bloom. Yes…lavender!
I love cherries and this looks just wonderful in that glass. You beauty!! It’s not cherry season down under so I might look into limoncello til cherries are here. 🙂
Good idea; though now I’m curious about something made combining the two in a cocktail…hmm…my work is never done! 🙂
love the way you’ve presented this delicious cocktail. Looks inviting. (hint, hint) 🙂
Want one? No hinting required! Just have to cover over. 🙂
Cherrypalooza?? Count me in!! Love this drink, Barb. I could use one of these right now! Gorgeous.
I knew I could count on you Kate! Actually we should have done a CherryPalooza event huh…I love anything from fresh cherries and they are so versatile. Cocktails, sauces, desserts, salads; the perfect fruit in my book.
I can see why you got such a great response for cherries… it’s that time of year. I’m loving all of these elements and I think I may have to recreate this cocktail myself. Looks rockin’
I did err in the making of this cocktail though Brian; I should have doubled the ‘stash.’ Will definitely be doing again before cherry season is over; this is a winner.
That looks fantastic and refreshing! YUM!
It is both; and with fresh fruit, such a great flavor. Love cherry season; now I have a new reason why! 🙂
I think cherry was a perfect choice! Cherries take me back home, in Michigan there are some amazing cherries. As a kid, when traveling around, we always stopped and got some fresh cherries sold on the side of the street in a stand! Ahhhhh…memories!!!! I have always wanted to do cherries soaked in brandy, it sounds amazing!!! Love your sidecar, perfect summer drink! Hugs, Terra
There is a local company that makes small batch whiskey and liqueurs. The ONLY place they will procure their cherries for their sour cherry liqueur is from Michagan; where they lived for a bit. Leopold Brothers…ever heard of them> SO good.
How refreshing! You are right, who doesn’t like a pink cocktail? All the sudden I am very thirsty.
How did these not get made Friday; I had all the fixins ready to go even! I’ll save one for you. 🙂
Gorgeous! I’ve never had a traditional Sidecar but I’m pretty sure that your Cherry Sidecar would go down nice and smooth.
So good. I put some in a water bottle for easy transport upstairs and I had to remind myself more than once…take it easy, this is a cocktail! So good. Come to visit; I’ll line up a whole bunch for you to sample my friend!
A perfect seasonal cocktail, but the WAIT. OY!
Hey this one is ONLY five days! Now 6 months…so not something I could do!