#HotSummerEats With a Cherry on Top

Welcome to the my first post in the #HotSummerEats blogging event. This is my third time participating in an event like this (#10DaysofTailgate and #TripleSBites were previous events), and each time it gets more fun and the prize package gets event better (thanks to our amazing sponsors!). 

I do not think there is a better way to start of summer than with a cocktail.  I was lucky enough to get a copy Summer Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacas from Quirk Books.  I previously posted two recipes from this amazing cookbook called I Love Paris and The Lazarus. I was so excited to try the different recipes in this book and what I really enjoyed the most was making the different syrups for the various cocktails. Summer Cocktails is chalked full of different syrup recipes, and since I had great luck with the lavender syrup I decided to try my hand at the cherry-vanilla syrup. 

decided to make a traditional Cuba Libre and used the suggested cherry-vanilla syrup to create the drink, With a Cherry on Top (such a great name!).  Since the syrup recipe called for fresh cherries, I had an opportunity to try out my new cherry pitter from Casabella. I have tried a few different cherry pitters over the past few years, but I can say that this one is my favorite. I live about 40 minutes from Door County, and cherry season is huge! I usually end up spending hours pitting tart cherries in the summer, and having a good pitter is very important! One issue I find with pitters is that the cherry gets off centered easily, but I did not have this problem with Casabella's pitter. The design reminded me of a pen that you can click with your thumb and it allowed the seed to pop out easily almost every time- great for efficiency and tired fingers! 

The cherry syrup is really easy to prepare, and the drink comes together in a snap once you have all your ingredients together. The syrup also works great with plain coca-cola or in seltzer water if you have someone who doesn't drink or a little mouth who wants to try a sip. 

I can't wait to share more delicious recipes and great products from our sponsors this week (both products mentioned above are in the prize pack)! Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below (or click here to learn more about the prize pack!) and check out my fellow blogger's delicious recipes! 


2 ounces rum of choice (dark, gold or white will work)
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 ounce Cherry-Vanilla Syrup (see recipe below)


Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour rum over ice followed by the lime juice and cherry-vanilla syrup. Finish with Coca-Cola. Garnish with a lime if desired.

Cherry-Vanilla Syrup:
Pulse 3 cups of pitted fresh cherries (frozen will work too), 1 cup granulated sugar and seeds from 2 vanilla bean pods in a food processor until the cherries are completely broken down.  Combine cherry mixture with 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring the cherry mixture to a boil, reduce heat a slightly simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature, strain and discard the solids. Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Store in an airtight container up to one month. 

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Disclaimer - Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny's, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Cheffor providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own.

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