I’ve been whipping up cocktails basically every week this summer. Until this cherry lemonade cooler, the highlights have been this one and this one. Summer cocktails are simply the best. Don’t get me wrong, fall cocktails will have their time to shine (because the fun can’t just stop in September), but the fresh sweet and tart flavors that you can get from all that gorgeous summer fruit is irreplaceable.
This cherry lemonade cooler transports you to a beautiful place. That place (either mentally or physically) should be under a palm tree next to the pool, or barefoot in a garden at twilight. The bold cherry flavor shines thrice in this cocktail – in the simple syrup, muddled into your glass, and as a snack/garnish… You know how I love it when my drinks come with SNACKS.
I like my cocktails on the tart side, so I went heavy-handed on the fresh lemons, and sweetened it up with the cherry simple syrup. I love the flavor of gin in this cocktail, but you could easily replace it with vodka if the mood strikes. You could also successfully replace the fresh cherries with fresh strawberries or raspberries (I understand that not everyone has “cherry-pitter” at the top of their kitchen wish list…but you totally should).
In summary, this cocktail is summer in a glass. It’s your childhood lemonade stand all grown up. Get on this cocktail. Like today. Ok, I’ll give you till the end of the week.
Here’s how it’s done:
Cherry Lemonade Cooler
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
For the cocktail:
- 3/4 cup cherry syrup
- 1 cup gin
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water (sparkling if you’re feeling fancy)
P.S. – I totally recommend starting with a double batch of syrup, because you’re totally going to want more tomorrow, and if you have people over, these babies go in a hurry! Also check out other fun recipes over at Fiesta Friday