It’s Friday, and down here in Dallas it’s a hot one! According to iPhone, we’re topping out at 102, but with my car claiming 105 and my plants jumping ship, I knew we needed to end the week with a sweating glass of a summertime classic. Last week I escaped to the air conditioned inspiration of the rock store, today it’s the shortcut to fun- cocktails! This spiced cherry cola cocktail, our “Hometown Hero,” is an homage to our original hometown hero, Dr. Pepper. Though Dr. Pepper, until surprisingly recently a soda regional to the South, was created in Waco, Tx (and you can read all about it here) it was incorporated in Dallas in the 1920’s and is headquartered here today. In the 1940’s my grandmother lead tours at HQ, always ending with a frosted glass of this unique soda.
Let’s get one thing straight; I did not crack the secret Dr. Pepper formula. Our hometown hero only inspired this icy, rum optional treat, and super fans should not be disappointed when their first sip is not 100% duplication. Wacoites, to preserve the peace, you may also consider this your hometown hero, so crack the rum and let’s start cooking!
Cocktail recipe for two (with mocktail modifications):
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2-1 tsp almond extract, you can add a little into your drink to taste
1 cup cherries, frozen work just fine, I used half frozen, half fresh
10 oz soda water
3-4 oz spiced rum (optional)
Fresh cherries to garnish (if you’re classy)
Heat water and sugar to boil, occasionally stirring to avoid burning.
Add the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, vanilla and almond extract, and cherries and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring and mashing the cherries occasionally.
Remove from heat, strain through a fine sieve (I gently mashed the spiced cherry mush to get all of the juice out) and chill in the refrigerator or freezer until it’s at least room temperature.
Add rum if you’re frisky (I used The Kraken Black Spiced Rum)
Pour over ice and top with soda water, garnish with fresh cherries.
Thank you, Dr. Pepper and Carla Hall, at The Chew, from which this recipe was modified