Black Cherry-Mint Cocktail
Severe thunderstorms, amazing lightning shows, bursts of rain, and beating sun. That's the climate of Dallas, Texas. On my last trip out to visit family my Aunt Rosemary and Uncle Tom cooked up a delicious lunch, complete with a pirate themed toy hunt. My nephews, in full pirate gear, enjoyed looking all over the expansive backyard for treasure.
After we located all the booty we sat down to enjoy lunch and refresh with this flavor infused drink. The ones served at lunch were non-alcoholic. A couple months later back at home in California I was deciding what to bring to a Dallas viewing party.
How could I not mix up the very drinks I had in Dallas? My version of the recipe follows, complete with a splash of lime gin. You might have seen this recipe of mine on the L.A. Times. Thank you to Danny Boome too for his kudos! Chef Jamie Gwen also chose this as the Best Summer Cocktail.
1 cup pitted cherries
1/4 cup organic mint leaves for drinks
4 sprigs organic mint leaves for garnish
8 teaspoons organic honey
Zest of two organic limes
1/4 cup juice of organic limes
66 ounces black cherry sparkling water
8 shots lime gin
1. Remove pits of cherries (place paper towel on the cutting board to limit staining).
2. Gently wash all mint leaves.
3. Wash limes.
4. Zest the limes: Place a wide bowl under the grater. Hold each lime one at a time firmly in your less dominant hand. Hold the grater in your dominant hand, carefully zest the green rind of the limes. Rotate the limes as to zest all the way around and to avoid grating the white pith.
5. Roll each lime on a hard surface with the palm of your hand.
6. Place the limes on a plate, place in microwave, cook for 30 to 45 seconds.
7. Carefully remove the limes, slice with a knife, and juice. Remove any seeds.
8. Divide cherries and 1/4 cup mint into four glasses.
9. Gently muddle the mint and cherries in each glass with a muddler or wooden spoon.
10. Pour the lime juice into each glass.
11. Add in the zest into each glass.
12. Add two teaspoons honey to each glass.
13. Add two shots of lime gin to each glass.
14. Fill each glass with clear ice.
15. Add black cherry sparkling water to each glass.
16. Garnish each drink with a sprig of mint.
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Credits: latimes.com, http://www.chefjamie.com/