Grilling season is among us! I have taken out the grill once and, with wine glass in hand, made bison burgers and zucchini chips for dinner on the patio. As I always experiment with ingredients and methods of cooking, I tried grilling fruit for the first time last year and was OBSESSED. Simply cut peaches or nectarines in half and place face down until browned – a little burnt part is a wonderful mix of savory and sweet.
The Jolly Hostess twist this week takes that same savory sweet taste from grilled cherries with the tartness of lemon for a smoky concoction that you’ll drink down with delicious ease. Reminded me of a chilled cherry pie!
2 ounces of cherries (the ones with stones), grilled and blended
1.5 ounces vodka
1 ounce simple syrup
1 wedge lemon
2 dashes bitters
Makes 1 serving; Prep time: 15 mins
Start with your simple syrup. This recipe makes 1 cup, but is good for up to 2 weeks! 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until dissolved. Cool and use as needed (also in my Basil Berry Gin!).
Cut cherries in half and de-stone. If you are making a single drink, you’ll be good with 6-8 cherries. If you are having friends over, I recommend grilling the whole bag because your guests will keep wanting more! You can also cover and fridge for later.
Using a grill pan or an outdoor grill (make sure to put the cherries on skewers so they don’t fall through!), spray with cooking spray and place the cherries face down. Cook for 2-3 mins and flip with tongs. Cook for 2-3 more mins. The smell is divine!
When done, with grill marks like the photo above, let cool for a few minutes. Spoon in food processor or blender and chop/grind until smooth. You will notice some steam and it’s normal.
Add cherry mixture, squeezed lemon wedge, vodka, simple syrup, bitters and ice cubs in martini shaker and shake, shake, shake!
Fill glass and using a lemon wedge, line the rim. Serve.