This adult Cheerwine cocktail is quick and easy, and if you have a reasonably stocked liquor cabinet, you probably have what you need to make it right now.
Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of Cheerwine. I’ve honestly been surprised recently at how many people I’ve talked to that have no idea what Cheerwine is. Granted, these friends aren’t from around here, and Cheerwine is a decidedly Southern soda…so Cheerwine is to the South what Moxie is to the Northeast (have you ever had Moxie? It’s an acquired taste, but I love it).
Actually, Cheerwine has only been back in this area for a few years. I remember being obsessed with it as a kid, when the commercials boasted a teenage girl who talked like a Valley girl and wore clothes that my eighties elementary-aged self thought were so cool. My friends and I all loved it, and then…it disappeared. I didn’t even know it still existed until I went to North Carolina for a conference in my twenties and saw Cheerwine everywhere. Then, a couple of years ago, it reappeared.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soda. It’s pretty sweet (as sodas go, of course) but pretty tasty when you’re feeling like a sugar overload. I don’t buy it often, as it has caffeine (Philip doesn’t drink caffeine) and, er, high fructose corn syrup. And let me warn you, don’t trust a recipe that tells you to boil Cheerwine for an hour until it turns into a thick syrup (Really. Don’t. You will regret it and you will waste a bottle of Cheerwine).
Philip and I visited Asheville, North Carolina in October while I was on Fall break. We ate dinner one night at a restaurant called Bonfire Barbecue. The food was great – I had an awesome smoked turkey and pimento cheese sandwich – and, while the place was definitely not empty, being away from downtown gave it the advantage of not being completely packed out with people. The thing that really stuck in my head, though, was the Adult Cheerwine cocktail. Coke, whiskey, amaretto, and grenadine…adult Cheerwine popped right off the page at me and I knew I had to try it. It was perfect, and tasted more like actual Cheerwine than I could have imagined (by the way, did you know that most “cherry-flavored” things are actually almond-flavored???).
I decided that I needed to recreate the adult Cheerwine cocktail, and, of course, share it with you. I mean, it’s so easy, and it doesn’t require any unusual, crazy ingredients. That is, if you have a reasonably stocked liquor cabinet, there’s a good chance that you have what you need to make this Cheerwine cocktail.
So what are you waiting for? There’s online shopping to be done and this adult Cheerwine cocktail will make for fun sipping while you shop!
Yield: 1 cocktail
5 minPrep Time:
5 minTotal Time:
- 1 ounce whiskey (I used Chattanooga Whiskey )
- 1 ounce amaretto
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- Coke or other cola (I used Mexican Coke, which does not contain high fructose corn syrup)
- maraschino cherries and/or pomegranate arils, for garnish
- Fill a 12-ounce glass halfway with ice. Pour in the whiskey, amaretto, and grenadine. Top the glass with the cola and stir to combine. Garnish with cherries and pomegranate arils, if desired. Serve immediately.
Pomegranate arils may seem like an odd garnish here, but grenadine is actually pomegranate flavored, not cherry-flavored! You can extract the arils from the pomegranate yourself - just cut the pomegranate in half and firmly slap each half with a wooden spoon over a bowl. OR, just buy a cup of prepackaged arils in the produce section of your grocery store.