If you have cherries to spare, please make this soda – it is so sweet and fizzy and refreshing, and it’s a gorgeous clear cherry-red color. Just a little glass feels like a special treat. And it’s even more of a special treat if you add a dash of bourbon and chocolate extract, like we did for this cocktail. The mixture of cherries and bourbon and chocolate feels very Southern and indulgent, a drink for sipping slowly on your porch at twilight, when the heat finally begins to fade.
Cherry-Chocolate Bourbon Soda
- 3/4 c. homemade cherry-vanilla soda (recipe below) or other cherry soda
- 15 drops Taza Mexican chocolate extract
- 1 oz. Bourbon
- Add the soda, chocolate extract, and bourbon to a glass with several ice cubes in it. Stir gently, then serve immediately.
Homemade Cherry Vanilla Soda
Makes 8 cups.
- 2 lbs. of pitted fresh cherries
- 4 limes
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c. water, plus more to fill the bottles
- 9 TBS sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp dry champagne yeast
- Place the cherries, lime juice, and vanilla in a large bowl. Bring the cup of water to a boil, then stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Pour the mixture over the cherries and let macerate for 10 minutes.
- Place the cherries and their liquid in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer, catching the juice in a bowl. Pour the cherry juice through a funnel into a clean 2-liter soda bottle (do not use glass, as it may break under the pressure of the fermentation process). Add water to the bottle to fill almost to the top, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace between the top of the juice and the cap. Taste and add more lime juice, sugar, or vanilla as desired.
- Add the yeast to the bottle. Screw on the cap and shake to distribute the yeast. Let the bottle sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight until the bottle feels rock solid when you press against the sides. This carbonation process usually takes 12 to 48 hours: check the bottle periodically to avoid overcarbonation and a potentially bursted bottle. Once the soda is carbonated, place it in the fridge to slow the carbonation process. Open very slowly over a sink the first time you serve it, to avoid bubble-ups. Serve cold. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.