This edition of Cocktail Friday is coming to you live from Skiathos, Greece. Yes folks, I am actually on holiday. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the sea is sparkling invitingly in the distance and the cicadas are singing madly. Despite coming here every summer since I was a little kid, the joy of returning to our little house on Xanemos hill never fades.
Nowadays it’s the children that dictate the daily schedule – visiting one of the many beautiful beaches and swimming twice daily. When they finally drop exhausted into their beds it’s time for the adults to indulge in a little cocktail drinking and star gazing – far away from the city lights the night sky is a source of endless fascination. There’s something magical about sitting on the porch with a cold drink listening to the cricket symphony – they take over singing duties from the cicadas at dusk – and spotting constellations.
This cocktail is perfect for hot summer evenings: super-refreshing, simple, a little sweet, and popular with everyone. Cherries and cola are a proven match (although I don’t actually like Cherry Cola) – add Bourbon and a splash of Cherry Brandy and you are on to a real winner. If you don’t happen to have the cherry brandy, the cocktail works well without it too. And if you find cola a little too sweet, you can use soda water or ginger beer to top up instead. This works well as a party drink too – double or triple the quantities and make a big jug to serve a crowd. Don’t add the ice until the last minute however, otherwise the cocktail will be too diluted.
- 6 ripe black cherries, pitted
- 60ml | 2oz bourbon
- 30ml | 1oz cherry brandy
- Juice of half a lime plus wedges to serve
- cold cola to top up (or ginger beer, soda water)
- Put the cherries, bourbon, cherry brandy and lime juice in your cocktail shaker (or a large glass will do). Muddle the cherries with a muddling spoon or the end of a rolling pin.
- Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
- Fill two rocks glasses with plenty of ice. Strain the cocktail over the ice, dividing between the glasses.
- Top up with cola and serve with a wedge of lime. Serve immediately.