This might sound strange, but cherries make me feel nostalgic. Maybe it’s the cherry tree that grew in the backyard at my dad’s house and how every year we tried—and failed—to harvest cherries before the birds pecked away at them. Well, this year, nobody will beat me to the cherries (that I buy with money from the farmer’s market) and I will use them to make these two nostalgic cherry cocktails, both of which make a special treat without alcohol, too, especially for the kids.

Then they can feel nostalgic for cherries one day, too.

Related: Cherry recipes for every meal, not just dessert.

Cherry Cola: With or Without Bourbon

Cherry mocktail and cocktail recipes: Bourbon Cherry Coke | Heather Christo

I rarely drink soda and with all the artisanal sodas made with real ingredients that I can easily get my hands on in Brooklyn (cue foodie hipster joke), there’s no need for me to sip on the sodas of my youth. Except for Coke. I’m sorry, but sometimes nothing but an ice cold Coca-Cola will do. And when you flavor it with real cherry syrup, well, game over.

This Bourbon Cherry Coke at Heather Christo looks nothing short of amazing and the perfect drink for a summer cookout. As with most of the drinks that I like, it does well as a mocktail. In fact, this might be even better without booze.


Cherry Slushies: With or Without Vodka

Cherry mocktail and cocktail recipes: Boozy Cherry Slushies also delicious without alcohol | Shutterbean

I grew up in New Jersey, land of 7-Eleven’s, a convenience store famous for their Slurpees. It makes me a little queasy to think of how many of the slushie-like, neon-hued drinks I consumed as a youth yet, at the same time, they still sound good. You know, as a concept.

Instead of pulling up at a 7-Eleven (not nearly as fun when there’s no one to hang out with in the parking lot), I think I’ll make own using top-notch ingredients, or at least real ones. This recipe for Boozy Cherry Slushies (above & top) at Shutterbean is calling my name since, of course, cherry was my favorite flavor as a kid. And, just like the cherry cola, this one might be even better without the vodka. Your call.

Quick tip: If you make the slushie, don’t worry about pitting the cherries to make the syrup. Since you discard them anyway, you can leave in the pits and save yourself time.

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