Sparkling Cherry Limeade

Frugality gave birth to this drink. That and memories of Sonic Drive-In.

After making a cherry pie, I was left with three cups of drained cherry juice.  Additionally, I had a cup of cherry-flavored syrup from an ice cream-making attempt. What to do with my precious liquid, as there was no way I was going to dump it down the drain.

My first thought was to make a Cherry Lemonade, since we have lemons up the wazoo, courtesy of our tree out back.

But, I also had several limes sitting around after nixing a sorbet idea, so a Cherry Limeade started to sound good. Which brought back fond memories of our family's first visit to a Sonic Drive-In somewhere in Utah.

We were fortifying ourselves for the first leg of a long, thousand-mile drive back home after spending three weeks exploring the Southwest. We'd finished our last hike of the trip, one that took us thru the aptly named Fiery Furnace at Arches National Park in 100°+ weather and we were sweltering. Maybe it was the set-up that made that cherry-limeade larger than life, but to this day, I'm still convinced it's the most refreshing drink you could ever have.

And even if you aren't baking a cherry pie or making cherry ice cream, you can still enjoy my riff on Sonic's fabulous beverage. Just buy some cherry juice!

In the recipe below, I've given exact quantities as well as ratios so you can easily adjust the amount of servings. You can even keep some extra syrup on hand in the frig for instant gratification. For a totally authentic rendition, use crushed ice, but if your blender, like ours, is feeble, well, I guess you'll have to settle for a 10 on a scale of 11.

Sparkling Cherry Limeade 
Inspired by Sonic Drive-In's Cherry-Limeade
Serves 4-6

Make a Cherry-Lime Syrup.
In a lidded glass jar, mix together until sugar is dissolved:
1 cup cherry juice (2 parts)
1/2 cup lime juice  (1 part)
1/2 cup sugar (1 part) 

Make the Cherry-Limeade.
In a pitcher combine the Cherry-Lime syrup with:
42 oz seltzer water or club soda (3 parts seltzer to 1 part syrup)
No need to use sparkling mineral water; not only is it generally more expensive than seltzer and club soda, but it's also heavier in minerals which can detract from the cherry flavor.

Serve the Cherry-Limeade:
Fill serving glasses 2/3rds full with crushed ice. Fill glasses with Cherry-Limeade and serve with a lime slice. Enjoy!

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