This gin-based cocktail has many things going for it—a puree of sweet summer cherries, a splash of almond-flavored syrup, and a finish of dry sparkling wine. Served over ice, it’s a cool and refreshing way to get through a hot summer night.
This recipe makes two drinks, but you can easily double or triple it for a group of friends.
What's a Cherry Pop Cocktail?
A Cherry Pop Cocktail is a refreshing combination of pureed fresh sweet cherries, piney gin, bright lemon, and a sweet almond-based syrup called Orgeat.
It’s a take on the gin fizz whose ingredients include gin, lemon juice, and sugar and is topped off with carbonated water.
The family of fizzes has been around since the mid-1800s—the most famous one perhaps being the Ramos Gin Fizz which includes cream and an egg white to make it thick and foamy.
A gin fizz is normally served without ice in a highball glass, but with the cherry purée in this recipe the dilution from the ice really helps to lighten it up.
Cherry Pop Cocktail Snapshot
Almonds and cherries are a match made in culinary heaven. Cherry Clafoutis, a custard-like dessert baked with fresh cherries, is one of the more popular recipes featuring this classic pairing. However, the clever combo works just as well in cocktails as it does in after dinner sweets.
Gin: I used a London dry gin, widely available, to add botanical and citrus notes to the drink.
Orgeat: A sweetened almond syrup, should be easy to find in most liquor stores. It was first consumed by itself as a cordial as early as the 1300s and then rediscovered in the 1940s with the invention of the tiki drink. Use it like simple syrup to sweeten cocktails but with a nutty hit. If you want to try and make Orgeat at home, we have a great recipe!
Prosecco: Prosecco is a dry sparkling wine from Italy. Any dry bubbly will do here—Champagne from France, Cava from Spain—we’re looking to add some effervescence to lighten up the cherry purée.
Cherry Purée: Blitzing pitted cherries in a blender is all you need to do to make a puree for this delicious cocktail. Obviously, the season will dictate the sweetness of the purée.
Frozen cherries will also work if you’re craving a summertime drink in the dark of winter. Just thaw them first (or you’ll end up making more of a slushy) and keep the flavorful liquid.
A cherry pitter does come in handy (and for more than just cherries too. You can use it to pit olives as well.)
A cherry pitter isn’t required to remove the pits, it’s just helpful. You can gently press the cherry on a cutting board with the flat of a chef’s knife to loosen the flesh and wiggle out the pit, or try any number of the ways in this guide to removing cherry pits without a cherry pitter.
Lastly, if your purée sits for a bit before using, give it a stir to reincorporate.
Ways to Garnish Your Cherry Pop Cocktail
If you want something a little different than a cherry garnish with a cherry drink, a simple lemon twist would be pretty. Or use a Y-shaped peeler around the circumference of the lemon to get a long, wide swath of the peel and curl it inside your glass before adding ice.
Need More Cocktails in Your Life? Try These:
Cherry Pop Cocktail
- 3/4 cup (4 ounces) fresh cherries, pitted
- 3 ounces gin
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 ounce orgeat
- 2 ounces prosecco
- For garnish
- Fresh cherries, pitted
Purée the cherries:
Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and purée again for another 30 seconds. You want to get the purée as smooth as possible, though it’s ok if there are small bits. You should get about 3 ounces of purée.
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker:
Add the cherry purée, gin, lemon juice, and orgeat to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, and shake to chill, about 20 seconds.
Serve the cocktail:
Fill 2 rocks glasses halfway with ice. Evenly strain the cocktail into the glasses. Pour 1 ounce of the prosecco on top of each.
Thread 3 cherries on a cocktail pick for each drink and lay the pick on top of the glass or pop it in the drink.