8 Refreshing Cherry Cocktails to Quench Your Summer Thirst

Cherries, with their vibrant red hue and sweet-tart flavor, are a summertime staple that can transform any cocktail into a delightful treat. Whether you prefer a classic or a modern twist, there’s a cherry cocktail out there to suit your taste. Here are eight refreshing cherry cocktails that will add a burst of flavor to your summer gatherings:

1. Sour Cherry Negroni

This iconic cocktail from New York City’s Hawksmoor combines the classic Negroni ingredients of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth with the vibrant flavors of sour cherries. The result is a perfectly balanced cocktail with a beautiful deep red hue and a garnish of cherries for an elegant touch.

2. Smoked Cherry Bounce

For a unique and flavorful twist, try this smoked cherry bounce. Sweet Bing cherries are smoked to perfection, infusing them with a heady, savory aroma. The cherries are then combined with brandy, sugar, and lemon juice to create a vibrant homemade cordial that’s perfect for sipping on its own or adding to cocktails.

3. Sour Cherry Gin Slings

Inspired by the classic Singapore Sling, this sweet-tart concoction combines gin, sour cherry syrup, and sparkling water for a refreshing and flavorful cocktail. The homemade sour cherry syrup adds a vibrant red color and a burst of cherry flavor, making this cocktail a perfect choice for summer parties.

4. Sour Cherry Mezcal Margarita

This fruity spin on the classic margarita combines smoky mezcal, citrusy Cointreau, and sweet-tart cherry puree for a vibrant red drink that’s perfect for late-summer sipping. The roasted cherry puree adds a delicious depth of flavor, making this margarita a standout among the crowd.

5. Sakura Martini

This elegant and modern take on the saketini combines aged genshu sake and gin with Maraska Maraschino Cherry Liqueur for a sophisticated and flavorful cocktail. The Maraska cherries add a subtle sweetness and a hint of floral notes, creating a well-balanced and visually stunning drink.

6. Sour Cherry-Yuzu Bellinis

For a refreshing and effervescent cocktail, try these sour cherry-yuzu bellinis. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s creation combines sour cherries, yuzu juice, and sparkling wine for a light and flavorful cocktail that’s perfect for brunch or any special occasion.

7. Marasca Fizz

This sparkly cocktail is a delightful combination of cherry liqueur, Angostura bitters, brown sugar, and maraschino cherries, topped with Champagne for a touch of elegance. The cherry liqueur adds a rich sweetness, while the bitters and brown sugar provide a subtle complexity.

8. Cherry Red

For a non-alcoholic option that’s just as delicious as its boozy counterparts, try the Cherry Red. This sweet, tart, and slightly spicy cocktail combines cherry juice, lime juice, agave syrup, and sparkling water for a refreshing and flavorful drink that’s perfect for any occasion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best cherries to use in cherry cocktails?
A: For the best flavor, use fresh, ripe cherries whenever possible. Bing cherries are a popular choice for their sweet and juicy flavor, but you can also use Rainier cherries or any other variety you prefer.

Q: Can I use frozen cherries in cherry cocktails?
A: Yes, you can use frozen cherries in cherry cocktails. Just be sure to thaw them before using and adjust the amount of ice you add to your cocktail accordingly.

Q: What are some other ingredients that pair well with cherries in cocktails?
A: Cherries pair well with a variety of ingredients, including citrus fruits, herbs, and spices. Some popular combinations include cherry and lime, cherry and mint, and cherry and cinnamon.

Q: Can I make cherry cocktails ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can make cherry cocktails ahead of time. Just be sure to store them in the refrigerator and shake or stir them well before serving.

What Do Cherries Pair Well With

Sweet and tart cherries work well in a variety of savory and baking recipes. These juicy, sweet fruits pair well with a wide variety of culinary ingredients.

The list of foods that pair well with them is provided here.

Fruits and Vegetables

Watermelon, oranges, peaches, nectarine, plums, lime, lemon, coconut, apricot, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, green beans, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, cranberries, bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, scallions, mushrooms, radish, pineapple, quince, and spinach


Almond, hazelnut, walnut, pecan, pistachio, raisins

Herbs and Spices

Black pepper, nutmeg, saffron, anise, ginger, allspice, clove, mint, coriander/cilantro, cinnamon, sage, basil, thyme, and

Protein and Dairy

ice cream, sausage, fontina, eggs, egg white, ricotta, chickpeas, mascarpone cheese, crème fraîche, goat cheese, lamb, pork, tenderloin, foie gras, camembert, cheddar cheese, bacon, chicken, duck, cream, butter, milk, cream cheese


Coffee, granola, rosewater, oats, oatmeal, balsamic vinegar, marshmallows, brown rice, farro, pasta, Armagnac, cassis, kirsch, rum, sweet vermouth, chia seeds, vanilla, sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, and chocolate (dark, white).

what mixes well with cherries

Herbs and spices that complement the flavor profile of cherries include black pepper, cinnamon, sage, basil, thyme, mint, coriander/cilantro, nutmeg, saffron, anise, ginger, allspice, and clove.

They pair well with goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, fontina, ricotta, and crème fraiche.

Sweet or tart cherries pair well with lamb, pork, tenderloin, foie gras, bacon, chicken, duck, beef, ham, and sausage.

They go nicely with amaretto, bourbon, brandy, crème de cassis, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, sweet vermouth, red wine, vodka, Armagnac, and cassis.

What Do Cherries Taste Like

Cherries, like peaches, plums, and nectarines, are drupes, or stone fruit. That means they contain a pit with seeds inside them.

Their flavor ranges from tart to sweet because they are available in numerous varieties. Cherries have a thin outer layer and are firm, juicy, and fleshy on the inside. When you bite into them, all of their flavors explode.

The sweeter-tasting Bing, Lapins, and Lambert cherries range in color from deep mahogany to dark red. The sweetness of sweet cherries is so strong that you can eat them right away. The darker the color, the sweeter it is in flavors.

Chelan, Rainier, and Tulare cherries are tart and used in baking goods. They are healthy and packed with nutrients. Rich in vitamin C, fiber, and many more.

CHERRY BOURBON SMASH || Bourbon cocktail

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