This Cherry Gin Rickey is liquid summer. It’s a tart and refreshing summer cocktail with the perfect amount of sweet. You can easily make a large batch, so grab a few friends and get your rickey on. Jump to recipe »
A few times a year, Cameron and I throw a cocktail party. No, not that kind. We make a shitload of hand crafted seasonal cocktails and snacks, take pics for our food stock portfolio, and have friends over to enjoy the bounty. We eat, drink, socialize and laugh our butts off. It’s an absolute blast. And let’s just say it here – with two kids and busy schedules, this is really the only way we’re squeezing in any social time these days. Our most current round included this Cherry Gin Rickey, and it’s basically the perfect late spring, early summer cocktail.
This Cherry Gin Rickey is liquid summer – tart, fizzy, and just sweet enough, not to mention oh so very pretty. Cameron and I like to enjoy a cocktail on Friday evenings, because every parent deserves to toast surviving yet another week, and this guy is going to be having several encores in the coming weeks. Do you have a go-to “survival cocktail”? Tell me about it in the comments!
Cherry Gin Rickey Recipe Notes
First let’s talk about gin selection. Y’all, don’t buy bad gin. This isn’t your college party gin and juice. That stuff was nasty and may have turned you off gin for life (trust me, I know). But this Cherry Gin Rickey is going to change all of that. While there is an added layer of complexity thanks to the cherries, bad gin is still bad gin and your taste buds will thank you for spending a few extra bucks. Here’s the other thing about enjoying a handcrafted cocktail – like food, the aroma is just as important as the flavor. Premium gin is highly aromatic and this is essential to the enjoyment of a great cocktail.
There’s no need to source out rare brands, and your local liquor store should have some terrific options. Hendricks is fab-u-lous here, but if you can’t quite go all the way, Tanqueray is a pretty good choice. For my DC readers, seek out the locally distilled Green Hat Gin. For everything you wanted to know about gin, here’s a great read from Serious Eats.
The base of this cocktail is a cherry syrup made from simple syrup and fresh cherries. Simple syrup is super easy to make – simply combine two parts sugar to one part water in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves, then set aside to cool. It keeps in the fridge for a few months. It’s handy to have around if you’re a hand crafted cocktail fan (or would like to become one).
- 2 c. sugar
- 1 c. filtered water
- ¼ c. simple sugar
- 1 c. fresh cherries, pitted
- 1 c. cherry syrup
- 1 c. gin
- ½ c. lime juice from fresh limes (about 4)
- soda water
- 4 lime wheels, sliced from a fresh lime
- Make the Simple Syrup. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to room temperate. Makes about 1 cup of simple syrup, and keeps in the fridge for several months.
- Make the Cherry Syrup. Combine one cup of fresh, pitted cherries with ¼ cup simple syrup in a blender. Blend on high until the cherries are pulverized. Strain through cheesecloth lined strainer. Makes about 1 cup of cherry syrup.
- Make the Cherry Gin Rickey. Combine the cherry syrup with 1 cup gin and ½ cup lime juice. Stir until incorporated. Divide between four tumblers filled with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wheel and a fresh cherry.