Spike with vodka or gin to create a refreshing summer beverage — but if you prefer to omit the alcohol entirely, do so.  With or without alcohol, to each guest’s preference when mixing, this is a great addition to your summer beverage options!


2 lbs. fresh or thawed, frozen sour cherries (~1 qt.)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or a reasonable facsimile; try some Newman’s in this concoction or Nantucket Lemonade)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar (superfine, i.e. “bar,” sugar, dissolves exceptionally well)
1 1/2 cups vodka (optional) –added to taste as you make each drink (try some Bombay or Tanqueray Gin for another great taste option)
2 to 3 cups chilled, sparkling water

For garnish:  fresh, sour cherries, with stems

Blend cherries (including pits) in a blender at low speed until skins have broken down enough to brightly color liquid (some of pits will be coarsely chopped).  Pour through a sieve into a 2-quart pitcher; pressing on and discarding solids.  Add lemon juice and sugar (to taste), stirring until sugar is well dissolved.

Pour 3 tablespoons vodka (if using) into each of 8 tall (10-ounce) glasses filled with ice.  Add 1/2 cup cherry lemonade to each and top off with sparkling water.


Sour-cherry lemonade mixture can be made one day ahead and chilled; covered.  Try freezing for a really cool drink!

(Do not double or triple the recipe.  One batch will fill the average blender.)

You can find the above recipe(s) by tapping here on the Home Cookin’ index.


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