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“Cheeky Cherry” Gin Cocktail Recipe

Cheeky Cherry Gin Cocktail Recipe

Today is all about cocktails. Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. But I am just dying to share my latest gin cocktail recipe with you. I hope you like gin because I love gin! It’s my favorite liquor, by far. While I do love a good rum, bourbon or tequila every now and again, gin is my go-to. My favorite. So today I will share this love of gin with you so that perhaps you might like gin, too.

I know, I know – some people don’t like gin. That dislike usually stems from them drinking too much gin too young. Typically mixed with horrific things like Dr. Pepper (no really, I know someone who did this). Today we’re not doing any of that craziness. Today we are taking delicious gin and combining it with some great mixers. Sounds like a winning plan, eh?

Cheeky Cherry Gin Cocktail Recipe

And today I’m not just mixing with any old gin. No, today is special. Today’s cocktail features Caorunn gin. It’s a small batch Scottish gin done in the London Dry style. It’s great for mixing. I got acquainted with the folks at Caorunn back this summer during Tales of the Cocktail. Since I was on the media list, I got to hear from many great liquor brands. And some actually sent samples. So yes, I have been holding out on you. I’ve had this bottle of liquor since August. Yes, I know I’m terrible. But I’m making it up to you now with a delicious drink!

But before we get into the actual drink, I’ll tell you a little more about Caorunn. So apparently the Celts have time-honored traditions that involve gin. I didn’t know this, did you? Anyway, Celtic people have traditionally produced clean, crisp gins with long dry finishes. This makes it a fantastic base for a cocktail like a gin and tonic. Or even better – a martini. The drink I’m bringing you today is not really a martini, but it is served “up” so it can be sipped like a martini.

Caorunn London Dry Gin

Caorunn gin is actually produced in Scotland, in the Scottish Highlands Speyside region. It hails from the Balmenach Distillery where they use a proprietary mix of Celtic botanicals, traditional gin botanicals, grain spirits and Scottish water to produce this lovely gin. Did you know that gin is basically flavored vodka? I learned that from Amy Stewart’s Drunken Botanist book when I was doing research for this recipe. So if you don’t like vodka but you like gin, you’re crazy. No, seriously. I’m pretty sure that’s what she said. 😉 ANYWAY, have your cake and eat it, too. Don’t mind me.

So we start this “Cheeky Cherry” cocktail with a base of Caorunn gin. Next we throw in some Pickett’s ginger beer concentrate. This is yet another ingredient I got at Tales of the Cocktail in a tasting room. It makes a fantastic mixer. It’s a delicious concentrate that makes an even more tasty glass of ginger beer (when reconstituted). I’d never tried anything like this but since I needed something spicy for my cocktail, I decided to try it out. It gave me just the spicy edge I needed to offset some of the sweet and tart other ingredients provided.

Pickett's Ginger Beer Concentrate

Where’d the sweet come from? Oh, from a little wickedly delicious thing called Filthy black cherries. Those of you who are familiar with the glorious Luxardo cherries will love these. They’re basically the state-side version of Luxardo cherries. Not quite as amazing as Luxardo cherries, but they’ll substitute just fine in a pinch. Again, another thing I got from Tales of the Cocktail. I believe I picked this up in the media swag room. Which was a-ma-zing! So much free booze and swag. My kind of place. So if you see the Filthy brand of cherries, buy with confidence. They’re worth the investment.

Filthy Black Cherries

So in my research I discovered that a good cocktail should have four components: strong (liquor), weak (mixer or other liquor), sour (usually some type of citrus) and sweet (fruit, syrup, etc). Now of course not every cocktail will fit into this outline. For instance, a Scotch and soda doesn’t fit this bill. But a more complicated cocktail that’s a true mixed drink will benefit from a balance of these four elements. Here I’ve used Caorunn gin as my “strong.” Then I used the ginger beer concentrate as my “weak.” My “sweet” came from the Filthy cherry juice. Finally, my “sour” is from lime juice. I also added a bitter element here: cherry bark vanilla bitters. This is another Tales of the Cocktail find. Seriously, I picked up some good stuff there. All I really had to buy to make this recipe was a couple of limes. I already had everything else from Tales. Score!!

Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

I decided to serve this drink “up” in a coupe glass because that seems to be what all the cool kid mixologists are doing these days. Okay, well that’s like 45% true. I really did it because I liked the simple, clean look of the final drink sans ice. Also, we have some delicate flavors here that melted ice could dilute/destroy. Can’t have that now can we?

Cheeky Cherry Gin Cocktail Recipe

In closing, let me say that I really like Caorunn gin. Truthfully, though, I never met a gin I didn’t like so maybe I’m biased. It’s a bit of a “high end” gin – retails for like $35 (according to this source), but I think it’s well worth the price. Cheap gin is rather rough. A nice, clean dry gin like Caorunn will go down smooth and mix well with pretty much anything. It also makes a great gin and soda (my personal most favorite way to drink gin).

Cheeky Cherry Gin Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1 cocktail

"Cheeky Cherry" Gin Cocktail Recipe

This Cheeky Cherry gin cocktail recipe features Caorunn gin, ginger beer, cherries and a dash of bitters. It's an elegant and delicious mixed drink.


  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces Caorunn gin
  • 3/4 fluid ounce Pickett’s Ginger Beer Concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons juice from Filthy black cherries
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 10 drops Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters
  • Garnish: 3 Filthy black cherries


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add all ingredients except garnish. Shake for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with Filthy cherries

Substitutions, if needed:

  • You can use any London Dry gin if you can't find Caorunn.
  • If you can't find ginger beer concentrate, use a regular ginger beer. Double the volume of ginger beer for best results.
  • You can use Luxardo cherries if Filthy isn't available in your area. As a last resort, you can use maraschino cherries but they are quite inferior to the Luxardo or Filthy style of cherries.
  • If you can't find cherry bark bitters, substitute a comparable fruit or vanilla bitters.

Prep:5 min

Total:5 min

Print Recipe

Disclosure:  Caorunn gave me a free full-sized bottle of their gin. All other products featured in this blog post were given to me at Tales of the Cocktail because I had a media/press badge. Products were provided to Tales of the Cocktail for promotional uses. All opinions expressed here are sincere and my own.

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