Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Cherry Bulldog

red-hued Cherry Bulldog cocktail in a cocktail glass, garnished with two skewered cherries
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Gin is a workhorse cocktail ingredient that pairs with all manner of modifiers, from liqueurs and fresh citrus to vermouth. You can see this in classics like the Gimlet and Martini and also in creative originals, as bartenders regularly turn to gin for a drink’s base spirit. But cherries are one companion you don’t often see joining gin in the glass. We’re not talking about cherry liqueurs like maraschino or Herring Cherry—we mean the bright-red fruits that are often employed to top Manhattans and ice cream sundaes.

The Cherry Bulldog cocktail shows that cherries and gin belong together. This recipe by veteran New York bartender Michael Waterhouse features cherries, lime wedges, a star anise pod, demerara sugar, London dry gin and ruby port, plus a cherry garnish, naturally.

Waterhouse specifically calls for fresh Bing cherries, which are large, dark and firm cherries known for their sweet taste. Although one of the most widely cultivated cherry varieties, Bings are a mid-year fruit that are typically available in June and July. So, when the season arrives, take full advantage and stock up. Then you’ll be ready to mix up Cherry Bulldogs at a moment’s notice, and you’ll also have a ready supply of healthy snacks.

The cherries are muddled with the lime wedges, star anise pod and sugar, providing a flavor-packed mixture in the shaker before any of the liquid ingredients go in. The dry gin adds its trademark botanical, juniper-forward punch, while the ruby port lends luscious notes of red fruits and its eye-catching color.

Shaken and strained, the red-hued cocktail pops with cherry notes, citrus and spice, all tempered by the herbal gin and sweet port. When making the drink at home, be sure to double-strain the contents into your glass, as you don’t want any of those gritty bits of star anise impeding your sips.

Ingredients

  • 4 Bing cherries, pitted

  • 2 lime wedges

  • 1 star anise pod

  • 1 teaspoon demerara sugar

  • 2 1/2 ounces London dry gin (such as Bulldog)

  • 1/2 ounce ruby port

  • Garnish: 2 cherries, speared

Steps

  1. In a shaker, muddle the cherries, lime wedges, star anise pod and demerara sugar.

  2. Add the gin and port, fill with ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  3. Double-strain into a cocktail glass.

  4. Garnish with 2 cherries, speared.