I blew my own mind with this flavor combination for this Coffee Cherry Smash. I had been thinking about the coffee syrup I had on hand from the previous coffee cocktails, the Breakfast Wakey Wakey and the Coffee Manhattan, and decided I wanted to pair it in a smash. Of all the fresh and frozen fruits I had available, cherries were the best match, although it works surprisingly well with orange as a substitute. I’ll include the recipe for the Coffee Orange version in the notes below.
If this is the first time you’ve joined me for one of my Quarantine Cocktails, here are the previous ones in the series for the smash: The Whiskey Smash, Blackberry Sage Smash and Pineapple Tiki Smash. Here as well are links to the previous cocktails we’ve covered as part of the series. (Quarantine Old Fashioneds (Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), and Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary).
Because it’s not cherry season, I’m using frozen cherries that I defrosted to create the cocktail. The ones I had at hand were sweet cherries, and it make a very sweet, coffee flavored drink. This is not a cocktail that skimps on the coffee flavors and it’s not one for you if you don’t love a sweet cocktail.
However, if you don’t have cherries and opt to do the Coffee Orange Smash variation, it’s not nearly as sweet due to the bitterness released when you muddle the oranges in the bottom of the shaker.
Now, I may have gone overboard just a tad by including coffee syrup as well as coffee liqueur for this smash, but I wanted to really punch up that bitterness because of the sweetness we were going to have coming from the cherries. If you love coffee cocktails this Coffee Cherry Smash will make you roll your eyes back into your head.
It wouldn’t be a smash without some herbs added to it, but we’re going to stick with mint here – purely as a garnish. The aroma of the mint while you sip the drink adds a lightness to it and doesn’t detract from the blend of coffee and cherry you get with each sip.
Coffee Cherry Smash – Smash and Grab
- 6 large pitted sweet cherries
- ½ oz coffee syrup** see recipe below
- ½ oz coffee liqueur
- ½ oz cherry liqueur (I had Cherry Heering. Luxardo Marachino would make it less sweet)
- 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
- Garnish: cherries and a sprig of mint
- Place the cherries and the coffee syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Muddle to release the juices from the cherries. Add the cherry and coffee liqueurs and the whiskey. Fill with ice and shake until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a few cherries and a spring of mint, lightly spanked.
½ orange, with peel, sliced or quartered
½ oz coffee simple syrup
½ oz orange liqueur
½ oz coffee liqueur
2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
Garnish: fresh orange slices and a sprig of mint
Assemble according to directions above. **Coffee syrup: 1 cup strong or cold brew coffee or espresso and 1 cup sugar.
Combine warmed coffee with sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Let cool and refrigerate. Will keep for 2 to 4 weeks. Longer if you add a touch of vodka to the simple syrup.