Cherries are in full force at the market; the only hard part is choosing between deep burgundy Bing cherries and the lightly blushed Royal Anns. To get in the summer spirit, I've been making a sangria-like mixture of the aperitif Lillet Rouge with gin and cherries. A dash of orange bitters (along with an orange twist and a cool splash of seltzer water) rounds out the cocktail to make a flavorful yet easy-drinking summer refreshment.
- 4 bing cherries, pitted
- 3 ounces Lillet Rouge
- 1 ounce gin, such as Hendrick's
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Splash of seltzer water
- Orange twist, about 2 inches
- 1 whole bing cherry, to garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle cherries lightly. Add Lillet Rouge, gin, and bitters. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Pour into a collins glass, including the ice. Top off with a splash of seltzer water.
Squeeze the orange twist over the drink to express citrus oils, then drop into drink. Garnish with a whole cherry.
cocktail shaker, muddler or wooden spoon