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)
- 1 1/2 ounce Polish nalewka or other cherry brandy/liqueur
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 dash bitters
- Tonic water
- Lime wedge for garnish
Adapted from drinksmixer.com