Drinks, Recipes

Friday Happy Hour: Cherries from Heaven


A couple of months ago, a houseguest from Poland brought us a bottle of cherry Nalewka Babuni, which she described as a fruit liqueur. Packaged in a decanter-like square bottle with a handsome polish wood stopper, it has sat, unopened, on our kitchen counter while we have pondered what to do with it.

Having finally done some research, I now know that “nalewka” is the generic Polish word for liqueurs, which have been traditionally made for generations by infusing neutral alcohol with fruit, spices, or herbs. The most well-known brand is Babuni; its nalewki (see, I’m already speaking Polish!) include raspberry, honey, peach and black current, among others, but cherry is especially popular.

In Polish households, nalewka is sipped as a dessert wine. We found it too syrupy sweet on its own, but in this cocktail, the lemon juice and bitters toned down the sweetness to make a very tasty and refreshing drink.

If you don’t have nalewka, you can make the Cherries from Heaven with any cherry liqueur.

As they say in Poland: Na zdrowie! (nah zdroh-vee-eh)

Cherries from Heaven

Yield: Makes 1

  • 1 1/2 ounce Polish nalewka or other cherry brandy/liqueur
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 dash bitters
  • Tonic water
  • Lime wedge for garnish
  • Fill a cocktail shaker half-full with ice, add nalewka, lemon juice, and bitters; shake well.

  • Strain into an ice-filled glass.

  • Add tonic water to fill, stir.

  • Garnish with lime wedge.
  • Notes

    Adapted from drinksmixer.com

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