I used to believe that if I followed a wholesome diet and included certain supplements and super foods that I would ward off disease. If I wanted to reduce my risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes or memory loss all I had to do was have more almonds, salmon, yogurt, berries, soy beans, fiber, red wine, etc. If I didn’t like or have time for these foods, I could get them in pill form — fish oil, probiotics, multi-vitamins, fiber supplements, co-enzyme Q-10, glucosamine-condroitin, and so on. I refer to this as the magic bullet approach. If I had steak for dinner, the cholesterol would be negated by a glass of red wine. What was I thinking? I made a major lifestyle change over three years ago by adopting a plant-based diet and so I don’t focus on supplements or super foods too much. After all, everything I eat now is a super food. I have, however, been looking into the health benefits of cherries, specifically tart cherries and their affect on inflammation and joint pain. I have osteoarthritis in my back and pain in my knees that has been creeping up on my body for decades. According to Drugs.com, sour cherries, because they contain high levels of the active ingredient cyanidin, might be 10 times stronger than aspirin in fighting inflammation without the risk of side effects. If it can’t hurt me and could potentially help me, why not incorporate tart cherries into my diet on a regular basis? I opted to order tart cherry juice as fresh sour cherries are hard to come by even when they’re in season and dried cherries lose some of their health-promoting qualities in the drying process. Not only are cherries good for inflammation, but they are supposed to help with fighting cancer, gout, heart disease, stroke, alzheimers and diabetes. I’ve been drinking a small glass every day. I’ll report back on my progress.
As it happens so often, I get inspiration from trying new food products and this cherry juice is no exception. As soon as I took my first sip I wanted to come up with a cocktail for it. The Cherry Bomb Martini as an occasional kick-back cocktail made with vodka, cherry brandy, tart cherry juice and a splash of orgeat syrup. (Orgeat is a syrup made from almonds that’s also used to make a Mai Tai. It’s tricky to find it in stores, so I made my own a few years ago and it’s still good. Click here for an orgeat recipe.) The cocktail is named after the Cherry Bomb explosive which ranges in size from three-quarters of an inch to one and a half inches in diameter. How can something so small pack such a wallop? I thought about all the healing potential of those tiny tart cherries and thought it fitting to name this cocktail after the explosive cherry bomb. Whether you drink your cherry juice straight up or dressed up, you’re bound to enjoy the healing benefits of this tangy tonic. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
P.S. In the middle of enjoying my Cherry Bomb, I rummaged through the pantry for something to pair it with. I pulled out a bag of Fig-Strawberry cookies that I recently picked up at Costco. Wow! These turned out to be the perfect complement to this sweet-tart of a cocktail.
Cherry Bomb Martini
- 2 parts vodka
- 1 part cherry brandy
- 1 part tart cherry juice
- Splash of orgeat or simple syrup (optional)
Pour all ingredients over cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake and strain into glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry if desired.
27 Feb 2016