The classic, top shelf cocktail with a new cherry twist! This delicious favourite is quick and easy to make, with fresh or frozen cherries, perfect for entertaining this summer
Cherries really are the perfect summer fruit, so sweet and juicy – they’re perfect to snack on during the hot summer days. I always forget how much I love cherries until the season rolls around and then I can’t get enough of them! I love putting cherries in things, especially when combined with chocolate, but I don’t appreciate the delicious cherry flavour by itself enough. So, imagine my delight when I was walking the dogs in our local, public field and came across a cherry tree – full of ripe, juicy cherries! I was very excited, and after confirming with myself that they were in fact cherries and I wasn’t about to nightlock myself, I picked a nice bag full (leaving plenty for other dog walkers, and the birds!). They were so good just on their own, but I knew I wanted to put them in something where the wild cherry flavour could shine! I must have been on weekend mode, because a cocktail was my first idea! And a cocktail is always the best idea, in my book!
I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a tequila lover, I can’t drink it by itself anymore (in fact the last time I had tequila by itself was when I was 22, with the singer from one of my favourite bands at the time, but that’s a story for a different blog :p), but I adore it in cocktails – margaritas being my usual drink of choice! My all time favourite cocktail, however, is the Long Island Iced Tea – it’s one I try not to drink very often, with the amount of alcohol in just one drink and the ease with which I can drink them, that’s probably a smart move! But, since I had a nice collection of spirits in my kitchen including tequila and some kirsch begging to be used, a Very Cherry Long Island Iced Tea it was going to be. It was about time I made a shaken cocktail too, I bought my cocktail shaker a few months ago but was yet to use it – this cocktail recipe was perfect for it’s debut!
There’s a lot of cherry flavours in this Very Cherry Long Island Iced Tea of course, using fresh cherries, kirsch and cherry coke, but the classic taste of the Long Island Iced Tea still shines through – it’s basically your favourite cocktail, but on a summer holiday! It’s really easy to make too, even if you don’t have a full set of mixologist gadgets and gear, you can still make do – I’ve yet to purchase a muddler or jigger, but you can easily replace them with regular kitchen items, I used a wooden spoon for a muddler (not quite as convenient, but it does the job!) and a regular shot glass to measure out the spirits. While a cocktail shaker is obviously ideal, you can definitely get by without one – as long as you have a nice solid container with a lid, so you can shake up your ingredients properly (you’ll also need a sieve to strain the contents). Then all you need is some ice, your ingredients and a highball glass – and voila, you have your very own homemade Cherry Long Island Iced Tea!
I used fresh cherries in my cocktail, since I’d just picked these beautiful cherries. You could totally use frozen cherries though, make sure you thaw them before putting them in the shaker – however, pop a couple still frozen cherries in your glass along with the ice, for a flavourful and pretty ice cube alternative! You could even use canned cherries I’m willing to wager, as long as they’re tasty enough to eat they’re tasty enough for this cocktail!
- 10-15 cherries (thawed if using frozen)
- 2 lime wedges
- 1 tsp sugar
- 25ml/1oz Kirsch (or cherry liquor)
- 25ml/1oz white rum
- 25ml/1oz gold tequila (silver would work too)
- 25ml/1oz vodka
- 25ml/1oz Cointreau (or triple sec)
- 150ml cherry cola
- Ice and fresh cherries to serve
- Put your cherries and lime wedges in a cocktail shaker, along with the sugar, and muddle to combine and release all the cherry and lime juices.
- Add the spirits, place the lid on the cocktail shaker tightly and shake vigorously, at least 15 shakes.
- Fill two highball glasses with ice, and pour over 75ml cherry cola in each glass.
- Strain the spirit mixture into the glasses, half in each.
- Pop some fresh cherries in the glass and serve with a straw and stirrer.
- Adjust cola amounts to suit your tastes
I will admit, I got a bit (okay, a lot) on the tipsy side testing out this recipe – it was a tough job, but somebody had to do it! My mum was more than happy to be a taste tester too! Even after I’d perfected the final recipe, we had to try it out a few more times – just to be sure 😉 This Cherry Long Island Iced Tea is all kinds of delicious, you really have to try it (over 18s/21s only, dependent on your country, of course!) – in fact, I can’t wait to go restock my spirit supplies so I can make some more! It’s easily customizable to your tastes and what you have on hand, kirsch can sometimes be expensive/difficult to get hold of so feel free to replace it with another cherry liquor or cherry brandy! Use your favourite white rum, tequila and vodkas for the best taste – the better quality, the better your drink will taste. I use Cointreau because it’s easiest for me to get, but triple sec or even grand marnier would work well – or, go crazy and use an orange infused gin, yum!! Gin is traditionally used in a Long Island Iced Tea, I replaced it with Kirsch for the extra cherry boost (plus I didn’t have any gin!).
A Long Island Iced Tea has a much higher alcohol concentration than most highball cocktails as you can probably tell from the ingredients list, with all those spirits and such a small amount of mixer it’s definitely got a kick to it! So this is the part where I tell you to drink responsibility, which isn’t just a line – Long Island Iced Teas are delicious, you don’t want to ruin the fun by making yourself unwell! If you’d like to make your drink a little less strong, just add more coke! Similarly, if you like yours “extra long” just add less coke – that’s the beauty of a homemade cocktail, you can have it your way!
I really hope you liked the recipe, I had a lot of fun developing it! If you try it out, please let me know what you thought in the comments – and don’t forget to tag me in any photos you post when you try my recipes with @GiraffesCanBake (instagram, twitter and facebook!), I’d love to see your versions!
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