Every time I watch Guardians of the Galaxy — which has one of my favorite sountracks of all Marvel movies — I get stuck on the Cherry Bomb song. I immediately thought of it as the name of this cocktail inspired by the movie when Melissa’s Produce sent me a box of produce that included a big bag of Tasmanian cherries. This Cherry Bourbon Sour Cocktail recipe is easy, only has a few ingredients, and is my version of a whiskey or bourbon sour, and it’s here just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Now, hear me out — I know there is an amazing cherry bourbon out there already, and we buy that Traverse City brand all the time. Pour some over ice, drop in a fancy cherry and a teaspoon-ish of the juice, give it a stir and bam, you’ve got a super simple sipper. It’s a fave. BUT this Cherry Bomb cocktail is the latest in my Marvel cocktails series, and if you like a good bourbon sour, this is for you.
But first, the cherries. These Tasmanian cherries are a little different than your typical cherry. Their color is more burgundy than red, and they’re sturdy. I tried to push pits out with a straw like I usually do, but it took some effort. You may prefer to use an official cherry pitting tool to minimize the mess and maintain the cherry shape. In this drink though, it won’t matter how they look since the cherries get muddled, so you can cut the cherry in half, grab the pit and drop it in your shaker. No worries if you mangle it.
Tasmanian cherries are also a little more sweet than regular cherries, while still maintaining a good tanginess. The taste does not get overwhelmed by the fresh Meyer lemon juice used in the cocktail, so you can use more cherries if you want to, but I found four was the perfect balance. You can find the cherries at Melissa’s Produce and they’ll ship to your home. A cherry for drinks can be expensive, as anyone who has recenty bought a bottle of Luxardo cherries. If you enjoy a cherry cocktail sometimes, invest in good ones! Jars can be refrigerated to last longer, but fresh cherries like these Tasminas can also be used in other things. You can also infuse bourbon with cherries and make alcoholic cherry drinks even faster! (There are a lot of cherry mocktail recipes out there if you need them!)
Use whatever bourbon you prefer, but don’t go cheap. You’ll want more than one and you won’t want the headache, nor do you want one that’s too sugar-heavy. You also won’t want a bourbon that’s too smokey or one with strong caramel notes. A nice mid-range flavor like Bulleit is ideal, and bonus that it’s neither cheap nor expensive, so I find most bourbon lovers have some in their liquor cabinet.
If you’re concerned about the raw egg white, you can omit it. It isn’t critical to the taste, but I do find I prefer the consistency but not all mixologists use the egg white when you order a sour at a public bar and I still thoroughly enjoy it.
Cherry Bourbon Sour Cocktail
- 4 whole cherries (We use Tasmanian)
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (We use Demerara. Trust me, worth it!)
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice (Meyer is preferable)
- 2 ounces bourbon (We use Bulleit)
Place cherries into cocktail shaker; muddle gently.
Add in simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, bourbon and egg white.
Close shaker and shaked for 15 seconds.
Add ice to shaker; shake another 15 seconds.
Pour over one large cube of ice in bourbon glass.
On Valentine’s day, a cherry cocktail would be a wonderful addition to your romantic evening. I’m thinking a Cherry Bourbon Sour with some chocolate-covered strawberries makes for a great prelude to dinner, right? Or maybe even after. Or both. Who’s with me?