This post marks a half-year of weekly cocktails at Putney Farm. And while it seems like a lot, there are so many more places to go with cocktails. We are certainly enjoying ourselves and hopefully our readers like the drinks, or at least the conversation (we know not everyone loves every drink). And with the “conversation” in mind, one of our blogging friends Viveka from My Guilty Pleasures mentioned she likes Vodka and Cherry Heering, so we decided to look for a cocktail with both ingredients. And as it turns out, a little research led us to the Polynesian Cocktail.
The Polynesian combines vodka, Cherry Heering and lime juice. And some recipes include a little powdered or superfine sugar. It is easy to make and you can serve this cocktail “up” in a cocktail glass or on the rocks, it works either way. The flavor of the Polynesian comes across as cherry-limeade with a kick, and we are fans of cherry-limeade. This is a very easy drink to like.
If you are unfamiliar with Cherry Heering, it is a Danish cherry liqueur, and in the opinion of many booze aficionados, one of the best fruit-based liqueurs in the world. Made from crushed cherries combined with neutral spirits and spices, and then aged in wood barrels, Cherry Heering has deep, developed flavors that work wonders in cocktails (and desserts). It’s been around with basically the same recipe since 1818, so you know it’s pretty good. And after Orange Liqueur, if you have one fruit liqueur in your bar, we suggest Cherry Heering. It works in all sorts of combinations, most famously the Singapore Sling and the Blood and Sand. But if you want to experiment, Cherry Heering is a very fun ingredient that blends well with both light and dark spirits.
And this gets us to the vodka. Some cocktail enthusiasts and mixologists/bartenders have issues with vodka. It has no (or very little) flavor by design and is sometimes a bit heavily marketed and abused (see: Whipped Cream Vodka). But we like vodka in drinks when we want the kick and slight heat of the booze but don’t want to outshine fruit flavors. Carolyn is a true fan of Lemondrops, and I like the vodka/gin mix in a Vesper. And regardless of any cultural over-exposure, a good Cosmo is a fine drink and a crowd-pleaser. And the cold, hard blast of a vodka martini is still a good thing every once in a while. Sometimes we think of the anti-vodka crowd as the cocktail equivalent of the ABC (anything but chardonnay) “movement” in wine. Yes its popular, yes there are other fine spirits, but it has its merits. We will relax and enjoy vodka for what it is. And in a drink like the Polynesian, where you want the lime and Cherry Heering to lead the drink, vodka is the perfect spirit.
As for why this drink is called the Polynesian, we have no idea, and some internet and cocktail book research didn’t help. There is nothing Polynesian about it…other than maybe the color and that it’s a good warm-weather sip. But who cares? A good cocktail is a good cocktail. Especially when shared with friends. Viveka, we hope you like it!
The Polynesian Cocktail:
- 1 and 1/2 oz. vodka
- 3/4 oz. Cherry Heering (or cherry brandy, in a pinch)
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon superfine or powdered sugar (optional, we omit)
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flute or coupe’. Serve.
- Combine all the ingredients in a highball glass with ice. Stir and serve.
- DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Cherry Liqueur (drinks.seriouseats.com)
- Weekly Cocktail #23: The Daiquiri (putneyfarm.com)
- Bonus Cocktail (and “Mocktail”): The Watermelon-Drop (putneyfarm.com)