For a person who loves a good cocktail, I tend to do very few posts on the subject. I think perhaps it is time to change that.
I have cherries in mind and I’m not alone. It seems they are all the rage around the food blogging world and for good reason. Although they are popular in other countries, after being in South America I’ve come to strongly identify cherries with the US. Yes, all you lucky people who live in the Michigan and Rainier growing regions of the northwest.
Fortunately cherry trees do grow around Kentucky and Indiana, they are just in limited supply and they tend to be done bearing by early summer. I did pick up a bag from the Farmer’s Market back in May, but now I have to resort to the Bing cherries in the supermarket if I want them. Otherwise, I can go for cherry juice.
A few months ago Cheribundi sent me some samples of tart cherry juice to try. Its arrival motivated me to do some more research about the benefits of tart cherries. My Dad swears by it for reducing inflammation and arthritis. Well, okay, he rarely swears, but you know what I mean.
For tart cherries and health it is all about the anthocyanins, those plant substances that give cherries their deep, dark red color. Tart cherries are linked to a reduction in the inflammation that is related to heart disease and diabetes. These anti-inflammatory properties may also be why many people claim that cherry juice eases their arthritis pain.
For all my runners out there, a study in 2009 found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in faster recovery after marathon running. (I sent my husband this study back in April during our training and after two days the bottle of cherry juice which I had been rationing in our fridge for about a week was gone.)
Tart cherries are beneficial in just about any form – fresh, dried, juice. Just make sure that the dried variety isn’t loaded with sugar or other sweeteners.
The sweet cherries such as Bings which are so plentiful here right now don’t appear to have as much of the antioxidant anthocyanins. However, they still deserve plenty of attention for their health benefits.
After drinking the first bottle of TruCherry, which was very good by the way, I knew I wanted to create something with the second. No rack of lamb with a cherry reduction here, I was thinking cocktail! I decided to combine fresh lime, fresh Bing cherries, tart cherry juice and tequila.
I rimmed the glass with ground Pink Himalayan sea salt which is a new favorite ingredient of mine. Just go easy because a little goes a long way!
Now, I’m not advocating you drink all your cherry juice as a cocktail, but this was one good margarita!
¼ of a fresh lime
3 Bing cherries, pitted
1 oz tequila
2 to 3 oz tart cherry juice
In a cocktail shaker or glass mull the lime and cherries together, extracting as much juice as possible. Pour in the tequila and cherry juice. Add some ice cubes and shake or stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass of your choice. Rim the glass with salt if desired. Makes one drink.
University of Michigan Health System (2008, April 10). Tart Cherries May Reduce Factors Associated With Heart Disease And Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 14, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2008/04/080407114647.htm
Howatson et al. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 2009
Disclosure: Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice was sent to me free of charge. I was not under any obligation to write about it and I did not receive any compensation for doing so nor did any factors influence my opinion.