The World’s Best Cherry Coke

Unless you have a home bar and know people who drink Manhattans, Old Fashioneds or the occasional Tom Collins, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have any maraschino cherries. Oh, you’ll buy a jar during the holidays or if you’re having a kid’s birthday party, but otherwise maraschinos aren’t a standard kitchen item at all. On the other hand, bartenders have been stocking maraschino cherries next to the stuffed olives since before Prohibition, and in their heyday soda jerks routinely placed them atop sundaes and in sodas, most notably Coca-Cola. In 1985 the Atlanta-based soft drink giant came out with Coca-Cola Cherry, but it has none of the sweet sparkling spontaneity of a real cherry Coke made on the spot.

Don’t be sloppy about it and just throw a cherry in an iced Coke; first and foremost, you should use Coke from a glass bottle. You should also use crushed ice, the compelling reason for this being that you’re going to mix the ice with chopped (unstemmed) cherries to eat with a spoon after you’ve finished the soda. Dribble cherry syrup over the ice before you pour in the Coca-Cola, and if you don’t serve it with a soda straw you’re going to hell sure as Sunday.

2 Replies to “The World’s Best Cherry Coke”

  1. Starting in Junior High, I courted girls over cherry-Pepsis in the booths at Blaylock’s Drugstore on the Oxford square (where Oxford Square Books is now).

  2. I am one who always has cherries in the fridge. I admit they are primarily for Manhattans (yum) But I do occasionally make a cherry Coke. They are never truly satisfying because only a fountain Coke really works.

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