Summer Love with a Cherry Vanilla Kiss

Cherries! The quintessential summer fruit that is a staple in many pies, desserts, and other culinary creations. No summer menu is complete without the addition of cherries. Therefore, it is not surprising that the next creation in our quest for seasonal cocktails is a cherry cocktail that pairs beautifully with the vanilla notes in this drink.

Cherries have been around since the Stone Age. No one knows the origin of this small fleshy drupe (stone fruit). Many believe that cherries originated in Asia Minor, in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The ancient Greeks were the first to cultivate this fruit and the Romans were responsible for its expansion. Henry VIII tasted cherries in Flanders (Belgium) and subsequently ordered a cherry orchard to be planted in England. The early settlers brought cherries to America in the 1600s.

The Greek peripatetic philosopher Theophrastus, also known as the father of Botany, was the first to write about cherries in his book Enquiry into Plants (Historia Plantarum) sometime between 350 BC and 287 BC.

Interestingly, a cherry fruit has a different symbolic meaning than its blossom. The fruit has a sensual symbolic meaning that is associated with feminine aspects of sexuality and procreation. It is said to represent fertility and femininity. The cherries ripening on trees are associated with youthful innocence and purity.

Turkey and United States are the biggest producers of Cherries. There are approximately 1200 varieties of Cherries across the world. We can however divide the Cherries into two main Categories: Sweet & Sour:

Sour Cherries (Prunus cerasus) — Great for cooking, with a rich flavour and firm flesh. Mainly used in Juices, Jams, Sauces, and Pastries. The high acid content in the sour cherries is what gives them the tartness. Sour Cherries are further divided into 2 types:

Amarelle — Yellow flesh with clear juice.

  • Montmorency Cherries: The king of sour cherries. It is the most popular and versatile sour cherry. Medium to large in size and is usually found frozen or canned, rather than eaten fresh. Deep red in colour with a distinctive tangy taste.
  • Early Richmond Cherries: Small and bright red in colour that are flavourful, tart, and acidic. Used for making jams and preserves.
  • Meteor Cherries: Large and pale red in colour with mild acidity. Excellent for sauces and pies.

Morello — Red flesh with red juice.

  • Balaton Cherries: Burgundy in colour (both inside and outside) with a sweet-tart taste that is native to Hungary.
  • North Star Cherries: Bright red to mahogany with a juicy tart red flesh.
  • English Morello Cherries: Deep red to black-skinned that is large in size and is tender and juicy. Slightly tart.

Sweet Cherries (Prunus avium)Usually consumed fresh and used in compotes, fruit salads, ice creams, etc.

  • Bing Cherries: Most common type of sweet cherries. Heart-shaped and range from deep red to mahogany in colour. Firm, juicy, and richly sweet.
  • Chelan Cherries: Medium-sized dark red cherries. Almost as sweet as Bing Cherries but milder in taste.
  • Lapins Cherries: Hardy, large, sweet, flavourful, and deep red in colour. Available only for a short period.
  • Rainier Cherries: Larger in size that are yellow with a splash of red. The highest sugar content in the sweet cherries makes them sinfully sweet. Delicate floral flavour.
  • Lambert Cherries: Large-sized bright red in colour that is not as sweet as the other varieties. Great for baking, cooking, or eating straight.
  • Tulare Cherries: Dark red appearance like Bing & Chelan but with a juicy sweet-tart flavour that has a tangy aftertaste. Goes well in a sweet as well as a savoury dish.
  • Royal Anne Cherries: Also known as Queen Anne or Napoleon Cherries are plump, yellow-red coloured cherries that are often mistaken for Rainier Cherries due to their similar appearance and taste. This cherry’s sweet-tart taste makes it great for eating fresh or to use in preserves and canning.

Do Note that Maraschino Cherries are not a cherry variety. They refer to bright red cherries that have been sweetened, dyed, and preserved in brine. The Royal Anne variety of cherries is used to make Maraschino Cherries.

Cherries have higher antioxidants than grapes. oranges, strawberries, and plums put together. They are also high in vitamin A, B, and C as well as potassium and other nutrients. Cherries have numerous health benefits that include boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, being good for the skin, regulating blood pressure, boosting exercise recovery, etc.

Vanilla is a subtle yet stunning spice that belongs to the tropical orchid family. The Vanilla bean is the only edible orchid fruit that is used as a flavouring agent in food and beverages. The flavour is extracted from the beans or pods of the Vanilla Orchid that does not reveal its aroma and flavour until the beans are cured and dried. It is believed to be native to the tropical areas of Mexico and Latin America. The Vanilla orchids were first cultivated by the Totonac people of Mexico. In the 1400s, the Aztecs acquired it when they defeated the Totonacs and were using it to flavour their beverages long before the Spanish conquered the Aztecs. Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador tasted it at the Aztec Emperor Montezuma’s court. He brought it to Europe after overthrowing the Aztec empire in 1519 along with Cacao.

Cherry Vanilla Kiss

Perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.


  • 2 parts Gin
  • 1 part Homemade Cherry Liqueur
  • ¼ part Montenegro
  • 1½ part Lime Juice
  • ½ part Vanilla Syrup
  • 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • 3–4 Cherries
  • Garnish: Coral Tuile and Fresh Cherry


  • Muddle the cherries in a shaker tin.
  • Then add all ingredients to the cocktail shaker.
  • Hard shake and double strain into a Glass.
  • Garnish with a Coral Tuile and Fresh Cherry
  • Drink, Smile, and Repeat.

Tasting Notes: A bright fruity cocktail. Vanilla adds a beautiful aroma to the drink and pairs brilliantly with the fresh summer flavours of cherries. Montenegro balances the sweetness in this cocktail. It also brightens up the cocktail by amping up the herbal notes in tandem with the gin. The aromatic bitters round off the drink perfectly.

Food Pairing:

  • Small Plates: Chicken Yakitori; Sushi; Tempura Prawns; Chicken Wontons; Chicken Tikka; Samosas; Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu Fingers; Yaki Onigiri; Vegetable Spring Rolls; Crispy Polenta Cakes with Mushroom Ragu; Fig and Blue Cheese Bru
  • Greens / Soups: Cream of Pistachio Soup; Seafood Bisque; Smoked Duck Breast and Fig Salad; Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella Salad.
  • Big Plates: Grilled Piri Piri Chicken served with Grilled Corn on the Cob and Coleslaw; Chicken Teriyaki served with Steamed White Rice and Steamed Broccoli; Sticky Chicken with Vegetables Fried Rice Bowl; Chicken Lettuce Wraps; Chicken Burgers with Fries; Pork Tenderloin with Honey Garlic Sauce served with Steamed Green Beans and Lemon Potato Salad; Grilled Lobster in Passion fruit Sauce served with Grilled and Mashed Sweet Potato and Sautéed Beans; Salmon with Brown Butter Almond Sauce served with Steamed Vegetables; Prawn Malai Curry with Steamed Rice; Murg Badam Korma with Tandoori Roti; Tomato, Feta Cheese, and Basil Pizza; Tofu Katsu Curry with Steamed Rice; Creamy Mushroom Pasta; Mushroom Xacuti with Zeera Rice or Butter Pav Buns.
  • Desserts: Chocolate Coffee Cake; Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake; Tiramisu; Chocolate Truffles; Lemon Lavender Macarons; Lemon Tarts; Badam Burfi; Khubani ka Meetha; Crème Brûlée; Peach Cobbler.

Originally published at on June 4, 2021.



I believe that great friends and great memories are made over cocktails. Cocktails should not merely be used to celebrate special occasions, but to elevate an o

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I believe that great friends and great memories are made over cocktails. Cocktails should not merely be used to celebrate special occasions, but to elevate an o