Put a creative Italian spin on the classic margarita by incorporating sweet cherries and amaretto liqueur. Muddled cherries provide a burst of summer fruit flavor, while amaretto adds nutty, almond notes that pair perfectly with the tart citrus and tequila. The result is a margarita variation that’s equal parts sweet and refreshing.
Sweet Cherry Italian Margarita
- 5-6 sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 ounces añejo tequila
- 1 ounce amaretto
- 1⁄2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄2 ounce agave nectar
- Lemon wedge and fresh cherry for garnish
- In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the cherry halves until lightly crushed and juices are released. Be careful not to over-muddle.
- Add the tequila, amaretto, lemon juice, and agave nectar. Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds until well chilled and diluted.
- Wet the rim of a rocks glass with a lemon wedge and dip into granulated sugar to coat (optional).
- Strain shaken margarita into the rimmed glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel and fresh cherry.
The sweet cherries provide a nice fruitiness that complements the nutty amaretto beautifully. The lemon adds bright acidity to balance the sweetness. And the añejo tequila offers a subtle smokiness from its barrel aging along with pleasant agave flavor.
Consider salting half the rim instead of sugaring for an added savory contrast. You can also substitute maraschino liqueur or cherry brandy if you don't have amaretto. Just be sure to use ripe, juicy sweet cherries at their peak for optimal flavor infusion.
Sip this Italian-inspired margarita on a sunny patio with antipasto spreads or Italian snacks like stuffed olives or provolone. The touch of amaretto truly sets this summertime margarita apart from the standard version, taking it on a delicious Italian flavor journey.
As always I am open to hear your take and your input. You can reach me at [email protected]