The “regular” South Side is a delightful drink, the Cherry South Side is just as good, perhaps even better. All it takes is the quick addition of some fresh cherries to your smashing mix, and you are good to go. It’s May now, and the cherries are starting to show up in the stores. Grab some when they are here!
I typically make the South Side with Tanqueray’s Rangpur gin, this has such an amazing citrus pop that the lemon and mint come to life. For the Cherry South Side, I wanted to let the cherries, mint, and lemon do most of the talking as they are FRESH. I used Sipsmith, which is easy to find and a great spirit to have for mixed drinks.
The Cherry South Side Gin Cocktail
- 2 Oz. Gin
- .75 Oz. Simple syrup
- .25 Chopped Whole lemon – peel and all!
- 3 Whole Cherries
- 5 Leaves Fresh mint
- Combine all of your ingredients, except the gin, into your cocktail shaker.
- Muddle the snot out of it. Truly smash all of the fruit and mint and syrup together.
- Add your gin and ice to the cocktail shaker.
- Get shaking! Give this one some extra time being shaken about.
- Double strain into your coupe glass.
- Garnish with a fresh mint leaf if you like.
Mixing notes on the Cherry South Side
Please do yourself a favor and use fresh fruit here – not juice! Part of the richness of the flavors come from smashing up the lemon. This releases pulp, juice, and the oil from the lemon peel. Talk about amazing taste!
The same holds true for the cherries and mint. It may be easier for you to pop the seeds out of the cherries before you muddle this one, but double straining will make sure they don’t end up in your drink.
If you want a bit more pulp in your cocktail, single strain with a Hawthorne strainer only. Some of the texture of the fruit and mint will come through. I also think that letting this cocktail sit for several minutes lets’ everything sort of come together, and you get richer flavors.