The Cherry Pop Cocktail is a delightful and refreshing gin-based beverage that combines the flavors of sweet summer cherries, almond-flavored syrup, and a touch of sparkling wine. Perfect for enjoying during the warmer months or at a gathering with friends, this versatile drink is sure to become a favorite. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the history, ingredients, and variations of this delicious cocktail, as well as provide a step-by-step recipe to help you create the perfect Cherry Pop Cocktail at home.
A Brief History of the Cherry Pop Cocktail
The Cherry Pop Cocktail is a modern take on the classic gin fizz, which has been a popular choice among mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts since the mid-1800s. The gin fizz typically includes gin, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water, creating a refreshing and slightly tart drink. The Cherry Pop Cocktail builds on this foundation by adding the unique flavors of cherry puree and almond-based orgeat syrup to the mix.
The Gin Fizz Family
The gin fizz is part of a broader family of fizz cocktails, which are known for their effervescent and often frothy nature. One of the most famous members of this family is the Ramos Gin Fizz, which incorporates cream and egg whites to create a thicker, foamier texture. While the Cherry Pop Cocktail doesn’t include these elements, it shares the same refreshing quality that makes the fizz family so beloved.
Cherry Pop Cocktail Ingredients
The Cherry Pop Cocktail features a harmonious blend of ingredients that contribute to its bright, flavorful taste. Let’s explore each of these components in more detail:
The foundation of the Cherry Pop Cocktail is a quality gin, such as a London dry gin. This type of gin is widely available and provides a pleasant mix of botanical and citrus notes that complement the other ingredients in the drink.
Orgeat is a sweetened almond syrup that adds a subtle nutty flavor to the Cherry Pop Cocktail. It has a long history, with roots dating back to the 1300s when it was consumed as a cordial. Orgeat experienced a resurgence in popularity during the 1940s with the rise of tiki drinks. Today, it can be found in most liquor stores and used as a sweetening agent in various cocktails.
Cherry puree is the star ingredient in the Cherry Pop Cocktail, providing a burst of fruity flavor and vibrant color. To make the puree, simply blend pitted cherries in a blender. The season will affect the sweetness of the puree, so taste and adjust as needed. Frozen cherries can also be used if fresh cherries are unavailable, but be sure to thaw them first.
Prosecco, a dry sparkling wine from Italy, is used to add effervescence and lighten up the cherry puree in the Cherry Pop Cocktail. Other options include Champagne from France or Cava from Spain – any dry, bubbly wine will work well in this drink.
Tools and Equipment
To make a Cherry Pop Cocktail, you’ll need a few essential bar tools and equipment:
- A blender for making the cherry puree
- A cocktail shaker for mixing the ingredients
- A cherry pitter (optional, but helpful for removing cherry pits)
- A highball glass for serving
Preparing the Cherry Puree
As mentioned earlier, making cherry puree is simple, but it’s important to consider a few factors when preparing this ingredient:
- Use a cherry pitter if possible, as this tool makes it easy to remove pits from fresh cherries. If you don’t have one, you can use the flat side of a chef’s knife to press the cherries on a cutting board and carefully remove the pits.
- If using frozen cherries, be sure to thaw them before blending. This will prevent the puree from becoming too slushy.
- Give the puree a good stir before using it in the cocktail, as it may separate if it sits for a while.
Cherry Pop Cocktail Recipe
Now that we’ve covered the background and ingredients, it’s time to learn how to make a Cherry Pop Cocktail. This recipe makes two drinks, but it can easily be doubled or tripled for larger groups.
- 4 oz gin (London dry gin recommended)
- 2 oz orgeat syrup
- 4 oz cherry puree
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 4 oz Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
- Fresh cherries and lemon twists, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, orgeat syrup, cherry puree, and lemon juice.
- Shake well to mix the ingredients.
- Fill two highball glasses with ice.
- Strain the cocktail mixture evenly into the glasses.
- Top each glass with 2 oz of Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Garnish with fresh cherries and a lemon twist.
Garnishing the Cherry Pop Cocktail
While a cherry garnish is an obvious choice for this drink, there are other options to consider if you want to get creative:
- Use a lemon twist, either placed on top of the drink or curled inside the glass before adding ice.
- Skewer a combination of cherries and lemon slices for a visually appealing garnish.
- Add a sprig of fresh mint for a pop of color and a refreshing aroma.
Cherry Pop Cocktail Variations
The Cherry Pop Cocktail can be easily customized to suit your preferences or the ingredients you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Swap the gin for vodka or another spirit, such as tequila or rum.
- Try using a flavored gin, such as a cherry or citrus-infused variety, for an extra layer of flavor.
- Replace the orgeat syrup with another sweetening agent, such as simple syrup or honey.
- Experiment with different types of sparkling wine, like rosé or a fruitier variety, to change up the flavor profile.
Enjoying Your Cherry Pop Cocktail
Now that you’re well-versed in the art of the Cherry Pop Cocktail, it’s time to enjoy this refreshing and flavorful drink. Whether you’re sipping it poolside, at a summer barbecue, or during a cozy night in, this versatile cocktail is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, mix up a batch, and toast to the delicious combination of cherries, almonds, and bubbles in your Cherry Pop Cocktail. Cheers!