Good news, everyone! I made this drink on a Wednesday afternoon after therapy instead of on a Thursday morning; I feel so accomplished. I also have to take Linus to the vet Thursday morning (he’s fine!), so necessity is the mother of invention. Or rather, necessity is the mother of invention when you’re on a deadline.
This month’s cocktail is inspired by Kristen Proby’s Savor You! Do read Elyse’s review because (as always) it’s fantastic. This is part of the Fusion series, which I highly recommend if you enjoy female friendships and yummy food descriptions.
A lot of thought went into making this drink and by “thought,” I mean a stream of conscious weirdness. I really loved Mia in this book and all of her Italian firebrand glory! Her personality reminded me of this drink that’s a mix of red wine and coke. It makes a lot of appearances in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, which (if you haven’t seen) has a revolving cast of wealthy Italian women. Now, my Italian American boyfriend has never heard of this drink. But, my Italian American roommate, who was born in Jersey, has. She also mentioned it’s popular in Spanish cultures as well. For the sake of my reasoning, we’re going to say that my roommate is correct in her knowledge and thus coke and red wine is a thing.
That’s where the seed was planted.
I’m not a big red wine drinker. I like my wine sweet and filled with ice, like a pleb. Back when I had ceramic brackets on my braces over a year ago, red wine would also stain my teeth. Enter Razzamotti Amaro! It’s not a wine, but it has a deep cherry taste with notes of licorice.
Mia is also a bit of a workaholic and for whatever reason, I associate workaholics with Coca-Cola. I’ve had many a frenetic boss who would chug Coke, Diet Cokes, Coke Zeros, etc. With the soda and the Amaro, the drink would be pretty sweet. I’ve cut out soda for the most part in my life, making it very hard for me to finish a whole can. I promise there’s a parallel to the book because while Savor You has its fun moments, there is some painful history between Mia and the hero Cam.
What goes well with cherries and can add some sour to balance the sweet?
I’m also a sucker for a cherry limeade. In the end, we have a drink that’s bubbly and syrupy sweet, but has some spicy notes of licorice and a kick of lime. It’s probably my most adventurous drink given the Amaro and it makes me wish it were warm enough to lie out on a towel while sipping it from a fancy straw. I’m calling it PTO or Paid Time Off, something Mia desperately needs and that you’re going to want more of.
As an additional bonus, the team at William Morrow Paperbacks is giving away an ARC to one (1) lucky winner!
Luxardo cherries (optional)
8 oz. cherry cola
2 oz. Amaro
Juice of 1 lime
- Real easy peezy! Put everything into a glass with ice.
- Give it a little stir!
Modifications and notes:
- I chose Cherry Coke, though you’re free to use whatever cherry cola brand you prefer.
- Luxardo cherries are so delicious and I look for any excuse to use them. In this recipe, they’re completely optional. I put a tablespoon of the syrup into the drink, along with a few cherries, just for fun!
- If you haven’t had Razzamotti Amaro before, it’s an Italian digestif. To me, it tastes very much like black cherry licorice (black licorice, not red). If you hate the taste of black licorice, skip this one. A good substitute would be Luxardo Cherry Liqueur, or Kirsch.
- I like the lime because it helps cut the sugary sweetness. Add more if you want to increase the tartness!
- If you like the cute little coke bottle and adorable straw, hit up Michael’s! I purchased both for $3 and change.
- I hope Savage Garden’s “Cherry Cola” is also now stuck in your head like it is in mine.
Ready for the giveaway? To enter, tell us about your favorite meal! Does nothing beat a silky slice of NY cheesecake? Or do you love a juice, medium rare steak with melty compound butter? Let us know!
Standard disclaimers apply: We are not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to US residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18. Please wear proper attire in the kitchen as we don’t recommend going shirtless near an open flame. Take your dang pots and pans out of the oven before preheating. And as my mom would say, your shirt is not a napkin! Comments will close Sunday April 29, 2018 around noon ET, and a winner will be announced shortly thereafter.