Whirling Afghan Cherry Cocktail fans (Katie & Kate)
I was hosting an Afghan dinner party a couple of years ago so it was fitting to serve an Afghan- inspired cocktail. Most people might associate pomegranate juice with Afghanistan but it's cherry juice that I remember drinking as a child. Perhaps that was in part because my mom's cousin had a farm with cherry orchards. She would make cherry jam, cherry syrup, and of course we would get buckets of fresh cherries to munch on. We would mix water with the thick and sweet cherry syrup to make cherry juice. It was heaven. Sometimes I would sneak into to my mom's secret stash of cherry syrup and make myself a couple of extra glasses of the special juice.
I often craved that cherry juice as an adult, but was not about to do as my family did: pitting pounds of cherries, boiling them with sugar for hours to create the lovely syrup. After a along search I found a syrup pretty close to what we used in Afghanistan. The product is called Zergut, Sour Cherry Syrup. I buy it at my favorite Middle Eastern store in San Francisco. I will do a post on them soon, so come back and read it.
That in a nutshell is how Humaira's Whirling Afghan Cherry Cocktail was born. Since then hundreds of friends have enjoyed it at parties. Afghanistan is a Muslim country, and therefore most Afghans don't drink alcohol. I hope this cocktail doesn't offend my Afghan friends and colleagues. Truth be told, the non-alcoholic version is just as delicious so I hope they will try it.
This recipe is for one refreshing cocktail. For parties I usually set out large pitcher of it so guests can serve themselves.
Humaira's Whirling Afghan Cherry Cocktail
1 oz cherry syrup
2 oz, filtered tap water
2 tsp. lime juice
1 1/2 oz of chilled vodka (optional)
3 sprigs of mint
3 pitted cherries
In a tumbler mix mix all the ingredients and stir. Add ice and then give it another stir. It's ready to drink. Serve it with the Spicy Chickpeas that Katie posted earlier in the month. Dont' you want to make one right now?
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