The Lose Your Cherry Sour is an interesting drink for a number of different reasons. First and foremost because it’s a very good Sour which is easy to make. Second, because it introduces an element of dryness not present in any classic Sour. This extra layer of depth gives the drink a little special something. And third, it was created by a former student of mine, so neatly illustrates my teaching methods.
The Lose Your Cherry Sour was created by Luke Taylor in the Spring of 2015. Luke is a young Englishman from Cambridge who entered the Food and Beverage trade as a waiter. He decided to make a career of it, and so sought to learn as much as he could about the different aspects of this Industry. This meant gaining experience as a chef and a bartender; as receptionist and behind-the-scenes organizer; and in managerial roles both front and back of house.
Learning the skills needed to work a regular bar is pretty straightforward. But cocktails are a specialized subject. A highly complicated niche within the wider Industry. So he came to me for cocktail training and proved to be a quick and intuitive learner. He took on my methods and made them his own.
He has now set up his own Mobile Bar business – Stirred Up Bars. If you’re looking to hire a bar for an event anywhere in the east of England I highly recommend him.
In early 2015 Luke had taken on the role of Bar Manager for a seasonal outdoor bar setup which only operates in the warmer months. He was looking to write a new menu for the new season to better reflect his standards and views. As such he was playing around with creating new cocktails.
In the months prior to this he had visited New Zealand and somewhere along the line had tried a cocktail based on gin and raspberries. That original had actually been bland and boring, but it gave him the inspiration to try his own version.
He was trying to craft it into a Sour since he had a need for an interesting Sour on his new bar menu. But he was running into a serious problem – like the original it was still a little bland.
The problem was that while gin makes a good basis for a Sour, it needs other flavours to elevate it. See my Sloe Sour Bitch for my own best take on this. But being a soft fruit, raspberries need a certain level of sweetness to properly open up their flavour. The level of sweetness you’re just not going to find in a Sour.
So, as any good student would when he hits a wall, he brought the question to his sensei. I tried it and immediately suggested the addition of Maraschino. The undercutting dryness that this Italian cherry liqueur provides was the key he’d been looking for. It opened up the flavours of both gin and raspberry. But more than that, the dry aspect gave it both an extra layer of depth and an extra layer of appeal. Men now found it just as appealing as women.
As for the name. Well he was my student, and so he understands the importance of a name. “Lose Your Cherry” was as risque a name as he could get away with.
Recipe and Method
The Lose your Cherry Sour is a gin based Sour augmented by fresh raspberries and Maraschino Liqueur. For a reminder of what constitutes a Sour, click here.
The raspberries will need to be muddled, though not much as they are a soft fruit. And the cocktail must be shaken twice to attain the beautiful froth of a Sour.
So, first throw half a dozen raspberries into your Boston glass and muddle them. Then add less than two shots of gin, ~40ml; 10ml Maraschino; the juice of a whole lemon; one egg white; and enough sugar syrup to attain the correct Balance of Sour, ~10-15ml.
Note that we experimented with adding bitters but found that they did not add to the drink but negatively impacted its colour, so we chose to omit them.
Dry shake first to emulsify the egg white. Then wet shake as usual.
The Lose Your Cherry Sour could be double strained and served straight up if desired. But in general we went the standard Sour route and served in a short glass on the rocks.
Garnish with raspberries, and perhaps some lemon zest as well.