Fresh Cherry Sidecar

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!

Fresh Cherry Sidecar

Fresh Cherry Sidecar

A Fresh Cherry Sidecar

This cocktail is filled with the flavor is fresh cherries and is just gorgeous to boot!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1


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.


Prep time includes the time to pit the cherries. I use a cherry pitter; it still takes some time but does make much quicker work of the process.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Similar Posts


  1. 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.

    1. Hi Daria!

      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?

  2. 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!!

    1. 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!

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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?

  5. Such a lovely picture! I love cherry, cherry anything! This looks wonderful and I so want to make my own maraschino cherries.

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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!

    1. Good idea; though now I’m curious about something made combining the two in a cocktail…hmm…my work is never done! 🙂

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. It is both; and with fresh fruit, such a great flavor. Love cherry season; now I have a new reason why! 🙂

  6. 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

    1. 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.

    1. How did these not get made Friday; I had all the fixins ready to go even! I’ll save one for you. 🙂

  7. Gorgeous! I’ve never had a traditional Sidecar but I’m pretty sure that your Cherry Sidecar would go down nice and smooth.

    1. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.