A refreshing summer cherry limeade...with booze!

Even though tonight I'm sitting here with the windows open enjoying a nice breeze and temps in the low 70s—low 20s if you use the less precise space points that most of the world uses—this has been an overly warm summer here in Minnesota. Multiple instances of 110°+ (40°+ LSSP) heat index has driven me indoors for a good portion of the summer.

Now, I'm not one to complain about heat. Legitimate chances of snow 9-10 months out of the year will do that to you after 40-plus years of dealing with it. No, but that doesn't mean I don't want to enjoy a nice refreshing drink when the heat proves to be a little too much to handle (or sometimes even when it doesn't). And it just so happens that I stumbled across just such a refreshing drink while making this year's batch of Orange-Spiced Cocktail Cherries. It's really simple actually. I just mixed equal amounts of the syrup and lime juice and topped with soda water. But since much of the country has ripe cherries in the store at the moment and probably also has a few more months of lemonade weather, I thought it might be nice to share the recipe. And the recipe you'll need to make the recipe.

Arok's Cherry Limeade

  • 2 oz Orange Spiced Cherry Syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (use less if it gets too tart or add some sugar...I like it tart though)
  • 1 oz 100° proof bourbon (or higher, if you'd like)
  • Ice
  • Soda water

Pour all your ingredients, except soda water, over ice. Top with soda water. Take a photo if you are the type, then stir and sip this tart cherry goodness.

Arok's Orange Spiced Cherry Syrup

Syrup Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherry puree (puree pitted sweet cherries in a blender, run it through a fine mesh screen sieve, discard the solids)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups sugar

Syrup Spices

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon chunks (crushed cinnamon sticks)
  • 2 tbsp Juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp whole Allspice 
  • 2 whole Star Anise (broken up slightly)

Syrup Sprits

  • 6 fluid ounce Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao 
  • 3.5 fluid ounce new make rye (I used Buffalo Trace)
  • 9.5 fluid ounce Bourbon (I used Knob Creek)

In a medium saucepan, combine the cherry juice, water, sugar and the spices and bring almost to a boil. (If you want to avoid straining it later, tie the spices up loosely in a piece of cheesecloth so you can fish them out). Once the mixture is at a simmer, let it simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the spices. 

Allow the cherry juice to cool to at least below 160 degrees (don’t want that alcohol boiling off), remove the spices, add your spirits and stir. 

At this point, you can bottle it and refrigerate. It made just under a quart and a half of syrup. My math says that with the spirits I used the proof of this syrup is roughly 40° proof, so it should keep a little while. But your proof will vary depending on the proof of the spirits you use.

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