By Hairee Lee.
Pop This Cherry
In last Sunday’s STUFF Boston magazine, Luke ONeil quoted Chris Jamison, co-owner of Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar in Boston, in his article, “Glam glasses”:
“Presentation is everything, from the color scheme and glassware to the overall appearance.”
Maybe it appeals to the maraschino-masochist in me, but this is what makes [Aviation] sexy. It plays a little hard to get at first, but starts to like you after a little while and vice versa.
We thought the same thing when I ran over to Sarah’s in Huron Village for the maraschino cherries remembered at the last minute to garnish Aviation. It was worth the trouble because the cocktail looked fantastic with the red glow from the candied fruit beneath the hazy white cocktail hovering above it.
It looked so good, it was bad. No really, my first taste impression of the cocktail was bad. At first.
I thought maybe I shouldn’t have played with the recipe by omitting the simple syrup, which called for it. The added sweetness would probably have balanced out the strong sour note form the lemon juice although the original recipe created in NYC during the early 20th century didn’t use simple syrup at all.
Something more floral and less cucumber-y than Hendrick’s like Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray would have worked better with the cherry and lemon flavors.
Maybe it was the gin. We used the Hendrick’s Gin left over from Cocktail #9: Pimm’s Cup. And though my gin-loving heart belongs to Hendrick’s, I don’t think it was the right one for this cocktail. Something more floral and less cucumber-y than Hendrick’s like Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray, would have perhaps worked better with the cherry and lemon flavors.
But boy did it look sexy!
The very presence of the cherry garnish lends itself to sexiness. I mean there the idiomatic phrase “pop a cherry”, the scene in Twin Peaks when the sultry Sherilyn Fenn playing Audrey Horne goes to One Eyed Jack’s and ties the stem into a knot in her mouth after popping a cherry into her mouth1, and there are the unoriginal but ever popular photographs of female celebrities shot with one in their mouths like the ones pictured here with Jennifer Aniston, Pamela Anderson, and Megan Fox.
In any case, Jonathan, Nate, and I started to enjoy it more and more with each successive sip. The cocktails grows on you and gets better the more you drink it. Maybe it appeals to the maraschino-masochist in me, but this is what made it sexy for me. It plays a little hard to get at first, but starts to like you after a little while. And vice versa.
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) gin
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) Luxardo Marachino liquere
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Marachino cherry to garnish
- In cocktail shaker, combine lemon juice, gin, and maraschino liqueur.
- Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
- Strain into chilled coupe glass and drop in cherry.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.
Photographs by Nate Brescia.