Need a new summer drink? Here's how to make sparkling cherry limeade with real cherries and a shot of bourbon whiskey. For the grown & sexy only.
Summer calls for ice cold, refreshing fountain drinks. And, if you're of legal drinking age with real-life responsibilities to manage and celebrate, it calls for a spirited fountain drink. That's where my adult cherry limeade cocktail comes in, sis! It has all the flavor and effervescence of fresh cherry limeade with little hit of bourbon. What could be better? Get to scrolling then get to sipping.
If you like easy cherry cocktails, try these recipes, too.
Boozy Cherry Limeade Ingredients
So what is in a cherry limeade, anyway? The ingredients are simple and you probably have most on hand already.
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Lemon Lime Soda
- Maraschino Cherry Syrup
- Sweet Cherries
You can make this cherry limeade with vodka, tequila, or your spirit of choice but it's best with bourbon, in my humble opinion. Even though bourbon pairs well with a variety of seasonal flavors from fresh peaches to juicy berries (check this one out!), a good summer cocktail with whiskey can be hard to come by. We tend to associate dark liquor with warm and cozy drinks but they have the range to satisfy in any season. So my boozy summertime limeade is in good company. Try one of these whiskey drinks for warm weather:
- Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
- Bubbly Bourbon & Blackberries
- Kentucky Bourbon Mule
- Pineapple Whiskey Sipper
Cocktail Tools You Might Need
As far as tools for this recipe, you'll want to have a few on deck. Though not required, they certainly make the process easier. First up is a cherry pitter. I love this one and have used it for years without issue. Try this method for pitting cherries if you don't have one or just cut them in halves and pull out the seeds with your fingers. The last method is messier and less sanitary but if you're the only one drinking and have washed your hands, have at it! Next is a muddler to crush the cherries and lime wedges. If you don't have one, use the back end of a wooden cooking spoon and just a touch more elbow grease. Lastly, I love and recommend my bar spoon for stirring cocktails, especially in highball glasses like this bourbon & cherry limeade calls for. Don't have one? No problem. Use a regular table spoon instead.
Tips for this Recipe
- What kind of soda to use in cherry limeade? These days, fountain style cherry limeade is made with lemon-lime soda. That can be Sprite, 7UP, store brand, or whatever your fave is. If you want to cut some of the sugar and calories, try making limeade with club soda instead.
- Is cherry limeade soda? No, cherry limeade is fizzy and contains soda but is not technically soda itself. You can mix this cocktail with still water instead of bubbly soda if you want to skip the carbonation.
- Can I make cherry limeade with fresh cherries? Short answer: Yes, absolutely! I add a bit of maraschino cherry syrup to this recipe because my association with cherry limeade comes from summer trips to Sonic happy hour and they ain't using fresh cherries there. But the true cherry flavor and deep red color of this cocktail come from fresh muddled cherries.
- Where to find maraschino cherry syrup? Maraschino syrup is sold by the bottle or you can do like I do and use the excess from a jar of preserved maraschino cherries. In a pinch, grenadine can also work.
I hope you get to responsibly indulge and imbibe in a refreshing bourbon cocktail for summer soon and very soon. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this spiked limeade recipe over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Make a Cherry Limeade with Bourbon
Refreshing, fizzy cherry limeade spiked with bourbon whiskey
- 5 cherries pitted
- 1 lime
- ¾ ounce maraschino cherry syrup
- lemon lime soda
- 2 ounces bourbon
Add cherries to a highball glass and use a muddler to carefully crush and release their juices.
Cut lime into 4 wedges. Add one wedge and muddle to release lime juice. Repeat with remaining wedges.
Add ice to glass, followed by bourbon and maraschino cherry syrup then top up with lemon lime soda. Gently stir to combine then enjoy responsibly.