A few weekends ago, Jack and I had an impromptu date night when our oldest daughter Courtney invited our little one to a sleepover at her house. We jumped at the chance for dinner and a movie and ended up eating at a local restaurant called the Rye Tavern – a quaint restaurant (originally a tavern built in 1792) with really terrific food and surrounded by majestic pine trees. It was a perfect summer night dining out on the patio.
That night, Jack ordered a wonderful cocktail off the specials menu made with spiced rum and Amarena cherries, a small, dark-colored cherry grown in the Bologna and Modena regions of Italy. It was a really delicious (and different!) cocktail – sweet, spicy and citrusy all at the same time and very refreshing – and after ordering his second of the night, Jack vowed to try to recreate it at home!
You can actually find Amarena Cherries here, but we made our Fresh Cherry and Spice Rum Cocktail using the more common Bing cherries that are in season right now and available at most local supermarkets. Jack made a syrup from the cherries and mixed it with mint, pink grapefruit juice and some good quality spiced rum. So even though our cocktail is not an exact recreation of the one that Jack had at the Rye Tavern – this fresh cherry and spiced rum cocktail is very, very good!
When serving this Fresh Cherry and Spice Rum Cocktail, try to layer each liquid in the glass so you can see the gorgeous colors of each ingredient, and then stir to combine just before drinking. Cheers!
*Please drink responsibly.Print
This recipe makes enough cherry syrup for 6 14-ounce cocktails. If you wish to make smaller sized cocktails, the proportions are 2 parts cherry liquid, 2 parts grapefruit juice and 1-2 parts rum depending on how strong you like it.
- 1 ½ pounds fresh Bing cherries
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup fresh mint roughly cut
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups unsweetened 100% pure pink grapefruit juice
- 18 fluid ounces good quality Spiced Rum (we used Captain Morgan 100)
- Additional fresh mint for crushing and garnish
- Stem cherries but not pit the cherries.
- In a medium to large pan, placed stemmed cherries, sugar, mint and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a fast simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove six cherries for garnish and set aside. With a potato masher, mash the remaining cherries. Continue to cook for ten more minutes. Strain, mashing as much liquid from the pulp as possible and discard the solids. You should be left with about three cups of liquid. Cool this mixture completely.
- In a cocktail glass, place a few mint sprigs with a little crushed ice and mash with a wooden pestle or the back of a wooden spoon. You are trying to release some of the oils from the mint. Fill the rest of the glass with cubed ice. Add four ounces of the cherry liquid. Add four ounces of the bottled grapefruit juice but pour over the back of a spoon so the two liquids stay separated and three ounces of spiced rum poured over a spoon again to keep the three liquids separate for visual appeal. (Add more rum if you like it strong).
- Garnish with one of the reserved cooked and cooled cherries, top with a mint sprig and place a straw or cocktail stirrer into the glass. The guest drinking the cocktail will mix the contents with the straw or stirrer.
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