This Cherry and Ginger cocktail may look simple, but it's packed with flavor. It's made with liqueur instead of fresh cherry juice, so you can make it year-round! Just throw in a maraschino cherry (preferably Luxardo!) instead of the fresh cherry garnish.
This recipe was really made for the fall months, since I wanted to incorporate the warm flavors of ginger and rum. But, honestly, it's great for any time of year! The acidity from the lemon gives it a brightness and rounds out the drink.
This is one of those cocktails with a bunch of different ingredients that magically all work together! Here's what you'll need:
- Vodka infused with fresh ginger (see the next section for instructions)
- Dark rum
- Cherry Heering liqueur
- Amaro Nonino
- sweet vermouth
- fresh lemon
- simple syrup
Making the Ginger Infusion
Making an infusion is a pretty simple thing, but it does take some time and planning. For the ginger infusion used in this drink, you'll need a bulb of fresh ginger and some vodka. You could even use rum or whiskey as the base of the infusion, and it would work great too.
Clean the skin off of the ginger and cut it up into chunks. (You could grate it, which may make the infusion work faster, but it will also make for a messier cleanup.) Add the ginger chunks into a mason jar or other glass container that seals well, and pour in enough of the vodka to cover the ginger.
Let it sit at room temperature for a few days or even up to a week or two, shaking occasionally. You can taste the infusion to see when it's strong enough for you -- just use a bar spoon to take a little bit of the liquid, mix it with a drop or two of water and taste to see if it's ready.
Once it's ready, just use a strainer to strain the liquid into a glass bottle or other container. It'll be shelf stable, so you can keep it around for lots of other cocktails too.
Making the Cherry Ginger Cocktail
Although there are a bunch of ingredients in this cocktail, it's pretty straightforward to make. Start by gathering together all of the ingredients you'll need. Then, use your jigger to measure out each ingredient and add it to the cocktail shaker.
Add in the freshly squeezed lemon juice, ginger-infused vodka, rum, Cherry Heering, Amaro Nonino, vermouth and simple syrup.
Once everything is added to the shaker, add ice and shake it for about 15-20 shakes. This will dilute and chill the drink perfectly. Then, just strain the liquid into the serving glass, and add your garnish.
Hint: I used a Nick and Nora glass here, since it's being served up, without ice.
Variations and Substitutions
If you're serving this drink on a hot day, it's easily adaptable to being served over ice. Just fill your large serving glass with ice before shaking the cocktail. Shake, strain over the ice, and top with a couple of ounces of seltzer. Give it a quick stir before serving.
If you don't have one of the ingredients, you may be able to substitute something you have on hand. It won't quite be the same, but if you stick to the same kind of flavors, you might end up with something wonderful! Here are some examples of substitutions you could make:
- Substitute whiskey for the dark rum
- Use plain vodka plus a little ginger juice (I really like this juice from The Ginger People) instead of making an infusion
- Use Maraschino Liqueur instead of Cherry Heering (Note: Maraschino Liqueur tends to have more alcohol, so reduce the amount accordingly)
- Use a different amaro instead of Amaro Nonino (Note: try to use one with more caramel/warm flavors, rather than a more citrusy amaro like Campari)
This cocktail will be the easiest to make if you have the following tools on hand:
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail strainer
- Jigger to measure the liquid, preferably with marks for the smaller amounts
- Cocktail pick to use as a skewer for the cherry
- Cocktail serving glass
My top choice for cocktail tools is the A Bar Above brand. They are top quality, dishwasher safe and come in several colors (silver, copper and gold -- my fave!) You can use my discount code, LKDrinks, for 10% off your purchase from their website.
Make sure you know how many ounces your serving glass holds before pouring in the drink! If you're not sure, you can check by using water and a measuring cup. Fill the glass with water and pour it into the measuring cup to check the volume. This drink is 4 ounces in volume after it's shaken with ice, so make sure your glass is at least 4 ounces.
Cherry and Ginger Cocktail
- Serving glass
- Cocktail pick for the cherry garnish (optional)
- Add the ginger infusion, rum, Cherry Heering, Amaro Nonino, sweet vermouth, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker.1 oz ginger infusion, ½ oz dark rum, ¼ oz Cherry Heering, ¼ oz Amaro Nonino, ¼ oz sweet vermouth, ½ oz lemon juice, ¼ oz simple syrup
- Add ice to the shaker and shake firmly, about 15-20 times. This will dilute and chill the mixture.
- Strain the mixture into your cocktail glass.
- Skewer the cherry onto a cocktail pick and rest it on the side of your serving glass.1 cherry
- Serve immediately.