Yes, yes I did.
Not only do I dislike cloyingly sweet cocktails, I also have a thing for making food that's extra nutritious but still tastes great. I sneak vegetables into your chili and ground pumpkin seeds into your cookies. Now I'm trying to sneak powerful antioxidants into your booze. Somebody stop me!
Actually, don't. This cocktail is delicious! The tart cherry juice takes the edge off the bourbon without completely covering up the flavor or making this cocktail too sweet (it's not too tart, either). It's also extremely simple, easy to make and affordable (if you use affordable bourbon). So why not sneak some antioxidant-rich tart cherry juice into your adult beverage?
Tart cherries have been studied for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect in the body. In particular, tart cherries may help with muscle soreness after exercise and with the symptoms of osteoarthritis and gout (source, source). Tart Cherries may even help you sleep, since they are a natural source of melatonin!
There are some expensive tart cherry juices to be found on the shelves, but I've found a few different brands that work well for this cocktail and are affordable and widely available:
- R.W. Knudsen Organic Just Tart Cherry: this one is my favorite! It has the smoothest, most pleasant flavor and it's organic which means no pesticides were used to grow the cherries. I've seen it available for anywhere from $6 to $8 a bottle, which is $0.25 or less per drink.
- Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice: this also has a wonderful, smooth flavor. Interestingly, it's a combination of tart cherry and apple juice, even though that was not obvious when I compared the flavor. This one costs about the same as the R.W. Knudsen Just Tart Cherry, although it's also available in a 8 oz bottle that can be purchased for as little as $2.15 at Natural Grocers.
- Simple Truth Tart Cherry 100% Juice: I'm sure other large grocery chains also have their own brand of tart cherry juice, but King Soopers is close to me and I found this there, so I'm sharing it with you! It was on sale for only $3.50 per bottle, which is the least expensive by far. It's flavor was my least favorite, but just by a hair.
All of these are good options that are widely available at health food stores or even large grocery stores. Just look for 100% tart cherry juice since it will provide more antioxidants than a juice blend.
Whatever tart cherry juice or bourbon you choose, relax and enjoy your cocktail, because not only are you getting the apparent health benefit from one alcoholic beverage a day, you are consuming a load of powerful antioxidants along with it that may help your joints and muscles feel better. You may even sleep better. All of these benefits from a drink "mixer" that only adds about 4 grams of naturally-occurring sugar to your cocktail. Cheers!
For one drink
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce tart cherry juice
Add the bourbon and tart cherry juice to a tumbler with ice. Give it a quick stir and enjoy!