Minted Cherry Splash

June 26, 2012

Author Notes: For the briefest of time, sour cherries are here! I've been inundated with them, happily so, and today found myself making jam, freezing them, and on and on. I am also awash in fresh mint, its summertime advance making itself known in my garden. What do I often do when I've got a bunch of several items lazing around my kitchen? Mix them.

First I made a perfect mint simple syrup, always a terrific ingredient to have on hand for summertime drinks. Then, for my little boys, I made a treat of sour cherries poached in the mint syrup, then cooled and frozen. They devoured all but a few which I reclaimed in anticipation of making this cocktail.

It's the perfect aperitif, especially if you can enjoy it al fresco. This recipe makes enough to fill 2 coupes (the smaller more traditional size; not the more modern fishbowls) but is easily doubled or more if you want to serve a crowd!

Makes: 2 cocktails


For the mint simple syrup and minty cherries

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup sour cherries, pitted

For the cocktail

  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce vodka (I like Tito's)
  • 1 ounce mint simple syrup
  • 1/4 ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • 4 frozen, minty cherries
In This Recipe


For the mint simple syrup and minty cherries

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and mint leaves and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat and, stirring regularly, cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat, and after 10-15 minutes, strain out the mint leaves. You should have a scant 3/4 c of simply syrup. Remove 1/4 c of the syrup and set the rest aside to cool (on the counter or in the fridge if you won't use it until later).
  2. In the same saucepan, pour the 1/4 c of syrup and the 1 cup of cherries. Heat to a simmer and cook just a few minutes, until cherries are soft but still hold their shape. Cool, strain the cherries and freeze them in a single layer. Reserve the minty cherry juice for another purpose!

For the cocktail

  1. In a cocktail shaker, pour the lemon juice, vodka, mint simple syrup and St. Germain. Add about 8 ice cubes, put the shaker top on and shake vigorously, about 20 times. Strain into two coupe glasses, and garnish with two frozen minty cherries and a mint sprig.
  2. Go outside! Relax! Enjoy!

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