Summer officially started over the weekend. Not sure how. Well, technically I know how…the whole yearly orbit around the sun thing. What I mean is HOW is it already summer??? I know you know what I mean. Since the wedding our life has been kind of a blur. First crazy cocker spaniel getting sick. Then our sudden needing to move houses. Me getting injured. Then (if you follow me on Instagram) Vegas. MDP had to go for work and since we sort of had to spend every last bit of any money we had to move we decided to make Vegas our honeymoon. I’ll do some post about it coming up as there was so great food (when MDP was at his conference I was exploring the Vegas food scene). And Bam I went up for air and it was summer!
No summer is complete without a cocktail…unless you are a child. Last year I was all about peach…both in my Peach Moonshine Refresher and my Peachy Keen Cooler. This year I’m all about the cherry. Sunday we went to a different Farmers Market. Since moving cities we needed to find a new one. I like this one better than our old one…much larger and it’s on the marina which is fun. Several of the stands had cherries. It’s Rainier cherry time around these parts. I literally buy mine from a woman who every year sells them from a van in the same spot for a few weeks. But there was a sign reading Strawberry Rainier cherries. I was like hmmm, “is this really a thing?” I asked the guy. Yes, he says, just recently. They had cherries out to sample and I immediately fell in love. They are red in color unlike the regular Rainier cherry and are on the sweeter side. Love them. Love them. Love them.
The hard part for me when I get really wonderful fruit is that I don’t want to put it in baked goods half the time as I want to taste them as fresh. But I do tend to get tired of just eating a bowl of fruit. I once at a ½ flat of raspberries when I was younger and couldn’t eat them again for years. So I got the idea for a cocktail. Was thinking mojito but I’m more of a vodka than rum girl. I found a Rainier Cherry Muddler from Sprouted Kitchen (if you don’t own her cookbook The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods you should FYI) and decided to adapt it. This is so my summer cocktail this year. So refreshing. I love the fresh cherry in it. Feel free to use whatever cherries you can find as I realize not everyone lives near me and are not going to be able to find these amazing cherries. I will only be able to get them for about a month as it is.
So welcome summer…cheers to year…or maybe that’s cherries to you.
- 6-8 Strawberry Rainier Cherries (or cherry of your choice)
- Few leaves of mint, cut in ribbons or chiffonade if you want to sound snobby
- 1 TBSP honey
- 2 oz. vodka
- Juice of ½ lime
- Crushed Ice
- Sparkling water (or Sprite if you want it sweeter)
- Pit and halve the cherries. I tried to use a pitter but the cherry pits were so large it didn’t work. :)
- Put the cherries, mint leaves, and honey in a glass (or pitcher if making more than one), and muddle it with a muddling tool, or the bottom of a wooden spoon, or what I used which was a mini tart tapper.
- Go full on Red Ross (Friends reference) or hockey on the cherries and mint to fully get them to release their juice and oils.
- Drop a few cherry pieces and extra mint at the bottom of a clean (well you would hope) glass and fill with 3/4 full with crushed ice.
- Add the vodka, lime juice, and muddled cherry mix and fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water.
- If you can’t find Strawberry Rainier cherries, which is a real possibility since they are probably only here in WA State, go ahead and try a Bing.
- Enjoy. I’ve already decided this is my go to Summer cocktail for 2014.