Last week, while roaming through the Union Square greenmarket I spotted something that stopped me in my tracks. A giant jewel-like mound of bright red, almost translucent, sour cherries sat beneath a tent. Anyone who's familiar with cherries knows that the arrival of sour cherries means you better get them while you can, because before you know it they'll be out of season and you'll have a whole year to think about what you could've made. I've played that game one too many times, and immediately filled a bag with those little beauties.
Since sour cherries are so fleeting, I wanted to create a simple, summery drink that showed off both their lovely color and flavor. The Caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça, fresh lime, and sugar, is just right. The slightly earthy flavor of the cachaça works to enhance the flavor of the cherries, while the lime cuts through and the sugar brings just enough sweetness to balance the tartness of the cherries and lime.
It's the kind of drink that I'd happily have in hand to celebrate a long weekend. So go ahead, run to your local market and find yourself some sour cherries. You're not going to want to wait a whole year before making this one.
About the author: Kelly Carámbula blogs about her adventures in the kitchen, including a weekly happy hour, on eat make read. She is also the founder and publisher of Remedy Quarterly, an independent food magazine.
- 4 sour cherries, pitted
- 1 half-inch thick slice of fresh lime, cut in half
- 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
- 2 ounces cachaça
- Garnish: 2 pitted sour cherries
In the bottom of the cocktail shaker, muddle the cherries, lime slices, and sugar.
Add the cachaça and fill the shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a serving glass.
Garnish with two sour cherries on a skewer or long toothpick.