This cocktail came about simply because of what I had on hand in my pantry. I was in the mood for a cocktail (usually martinis are my cocktail of choice), and decided that I should be able to scrounge around my house for the ingredients. I zested a couple of lemons earlier in the week and knew I had to use the juice soon. I also had a bag of frozen cherries sitting in the freezer, so I thought I would combine the two. My first thought was to make an “electric” cherry lemonade (aka spiked lemonade). However, then I remembered that I really don’t love sweet cocktails, although I love fruit based cocktails. I find that more often than not, fruit based cocktails end up being sickeningly sweet, so I opted to focus on the cherry and make it “sour cherry” by added fresh lemon juice.
Here is my secret to great cocktails – simple syrup. An easy ingredient, simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil, then cooled. This allows you to add sweetness to cold drinks and assures the dissolving of all the sugar. (This is great in iced tea and fresh lemonade…so sugar reservoir at the bottom of your glass). I find that while I don’t enjoy sweet cocktails, a lot of drinks benefit from a splash of simple syrup. Another great way to get creative with cocktails is to flavor your simple syrups. In this case, I made a cherry simple syrup – and that became the base of the cocktails. I filled each martini glass with a couple of tablespoons of the cherry syrup. I combined my lemon juice and vodka in a martini shaker and then poured the alcohol over the syrup. Even though this cocktail has some sugar in it – don’t expect a sweet drink. The lemon juice really helps to balance the sweet cherries and you end up with a fruity, yet tart creation.
Recipe: Sour Cherry Martini