Your summer cocktail menu isn't complete without this fresh cherry margarita! Bursting with ripe cherry flavor and tart citrus in every sip, this summery margarita is your perfect refreshing cocktail cooler.
With summer in full swing, I'm taking advantage of cherry season. Of course, for me, that means plenty of cocktails, like my favorite cherry bourbon smash, cherry-orange Kentucky mule, cherry vodka sparkler and bourbon cherry limeade. And, sure, that right there is one solid cherry cocktail menu, but you can never have enough drink options in your life. Let's add this fruity margarita to the list, shall we?
Besides, look how pretty it is! We feast with our eyes, so I can't imagine a more swoon-worthy cocktail to serve to family and friends.
Before we start mixing, let's make sure our ingredients are in order. Here's everything we need to make this fresh cherry cocktail.
- Reposado tequila
- Luxardo cherry liqueur
- Simple syrup
- Fresh lime juice
- Coarse sea salt
When it comes to tequila, I'm always a big proponent of reposado tequila over blanco tequila, but that's especially true with these cherry margaritas. Reposado spends some time aging in oak barrels while blanco skips the aging process. That oaked flavor works beautifully with cherries. While you can use blanco tequila, I find reposado makes a more complex cocktail.
You might have noticed I specified Luxardo cherry liqueur rather than plain, old cherry liqueur. Luxardo cherry liqueur is distilled with the leaves, pits, stems and skins of marasca cherries, which gives it a rich almond-like flavor. Like the tequila, you can use another type of cherry liqueur in a pinch, but I highly recommend using the Luxardo variety if possible.
How to Make
With our ingredients ready, it's time to start mixing. We grab a cocktail shaker and throw in a handful of stemmed and seeded cherries with our fresh lime juice.
I pit a lot of cherries during the summer, so I use this handy cherry pitter. We can also use a chopstick to push the seed out or slice the cherry open to remove the seed, which is a bit messy, so make sure you do this on a surface that doesn't stain. I also suggest first rolling the lime on the counter under the palm of your hand a few times and using a lime juicer to get as much juice as possible.
Now we muddle together the cherries and lime juice until the fruit mostly breaks down. If you don't have a muddler, a sturdy wooden spoon works in its place. From here, we add our tequila, Luxardo cherry liqueur and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker with a handful of ice and give it a good shake for 15-30 seconds.
Like a salted rim? To do this, we spread coarse sea salt onto a small plate, run a lime slice along the rim of the serving glass and then swirl the glass into the salt.
With our salted rim ready, we trade the cocktail shaker top for a cocktail strainer and pour into an ice-filled glass. Now sip and enjoy, preferably on a cozy patio with good company.
Chocolate and cherries were meant for each other, and I can't think of a more perfect pairing than my chocolate-covered cherry cheesecake. Besides each bite bursting with chocolate-cherry goodness, I love how the citrusy margarita plays off the tangy cheesecake filling. My frozen chocolate-cherry mousse pie is another delicious option and super refreshing for summer.
I hope you make the most of these warm days with this fresh cherry margarita. Please let me know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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Fresh Cherry Margarita
- Cocktail shaker
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Handheld lime juicer
- 6 fresh cherries stemmed and pitted
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice about 1 lime
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 1 ounce Luxardo cherry liqueur
- 1 ounce simple syrup preferably homemade
- Coarse sea salt for garnish, optional
- Lime slices for garnish, optional
- Additional cherries for garnish, optional
- In a cocktail shaker, add the fresh cherries and lime juice. Muddle until the cherries mostly break down.
- Add the tequila, Luxardo cherry liqueur, simple syrup and ice. Put the cocktail shaker top on and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
- If desired, run a lime slice along the rim of your serving glass. Pour coarse sea salt onto a small plate and swirl the moistened rim in the salt. Add ice to the serving glass.
- Replace the cocktail shaker top with a cocktail strainer. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a lime slice and fresh cherries if desired. Enjoy!
- If making your own simple syrup, which is recommended, add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several weeks.
- For full tips, please see blog post.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.