Orondo Ruby® Cherry Gin and Tonic

When the sun gets hot, nothing beats a cherry gin and tonic at cocktail o’clock! This gorgeous drink looks fancy but is actually very simple to make. Make use of seasonal produce by garnishing your gin and tonic with fresh cherries, berries and basil.

The syrup can be made with any type of cherry, but Orondo Ruby cherries give this gin and tonic a beautiful pale pink color.

Make the syrup ahead of time to give it time to cool.

YIELD: 1 cocktail

Recipe Development and Photography By: Williams-Raines

INGREDIENTS

Cherry gin and tonic

  • 2 fl. oz gin
  • 1 fl. oz Orondo Ruby cherry syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 10 fl. oz tonic water
  • Handful of fresh Orondo Ruby cherries
  • Handful of fresh mixed berries (ie. blueberries, blackberry, raspberries, etc.)
  • Couple of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 lime, cut into a wedge

Cherry syrup

  • 1 cup Orondo Ruby cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

METHOD

  1. Put all of the cherry syrup ingredients in a medium pan, stir, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat a bit and let simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the burner and use a potato masher to squish the cherries and help them release their juice. Stir well.
  4. Put the pan back on the stove and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Being very careful not to burn yourself, strain the cherry syrup through a wire mesh strainer and into a bowl. Press down carefully but firmly on the cherries until all the juice has been released. Discard the skins.
  6. Set syrup aside to cool completely. Do not use hot syrup in your gin and tonic.
  7. Now make the cherry gin and tonic. Start by pouring the gin and cherry syrup into a tall glass.
  8. Add ice cubes and pour in the tonic water.
  9. Garnish with the fresh cherries, berries and basil leaves.
  10. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedge into the drink before dropping the wedge into the glass.
  11. Serve immediately. 

NOTE

* When making multiple cherry gin and tonics, set out all of your glasses and carry out each step across all of them (ie. put the gin in all of the glasses, then add the cherry syrup in all of the glasses, etc.). This way all drinks can be served at the same time and you can sip yours with your guests!

Creamy Summer Salad with Orondo Ruby® Cherries

YIELD: 2 mains/4 starters

Recipe Development and Photography By: Williams-Raines

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)*
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup water (plus extra if required)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 generous pinch of ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 4 cups spring mix or assorted baby greens, packed
  • 2 cups Orondo Ruby cherries, stemmed, halved and pitted
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons basil, chopped

METHOD

  1. Start by making the tahini dressing. Put the tahini and lemon juice in small bowl and whisk until combined.
  2. Pour in the water little by little, whisking between each addition, until all of the water has been incorporated.
  3. Add the salt and pepper and whisk well.
  4. If you find the dressing too thick, add extra water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of the tahini and toss to coat. Add extra sauce if desired and toss again. How much is needed is ultimately a matter of taste. Serve.
  7. Alternatively, for a more elegant presentation, divide the spring mix/baby greens between 2 or 4 plates (depending on whether the salad is being served as a starter or a main).
  8. Evenly divide and sprinkle the cherries and cucumber on top of each plate. Using zigzagging motions, drizzle about a tablespoon of tahini over each salad.
  9. Sprinkle with basil and serve with extra dressing on the side for those who want more.

NOTES:

* Tahini is a sesame seed paste and staple in many cuisines, especially in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It is most notably used as an ingredient in hummus. Tahini can be found in the ethnic food section of many supermarkets. It can also be purchased in ethnic food stores, health food stores and online.

** The dressing recipe will make more than you need for the creamy summer salad with cherries. Leftovers can be used in many ways, for example, to make hummus, drizzle on steamed greens or broccoli, dip crudités or chips in, etc.