Cocktail of the week: Officina OO's spiced cherry – recipe

Let’s hear it for lambrusco as chief sparkler in this cherry and cranberry aperitif

Officina OO’s spiced cherry cooler.
Officina OO’s spiced cherry cooler. Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian
Officina OO’s spiced cherry cooler. Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian
Enzo Mirto

Last modified on Mon 18 Jan 2021 10.38 EST

Because cranberries, and cherry liqueur, aren’t just for Christmas. This drink is also a celebration of that much-misunderstood wine, lambrusco, which, so long as you avoid the over-sweet abominations we’re used to seeing in the UK, is a fizzy wine well worth some of your time. The syrup makes way more than you need, but it keeps well and is also lovely poured over a simple baked cheesecake or any fruit-based dessert.

The spiced cherry

Serves 1
For the spiced syrup (makes 16 serves)
150g fresh cranberries, or frozen and defrosted
60ml orange juice
60ml lemon juice
60ml water
100g sugar
2 star anise
½
cinnamon stick
3 cloves
¼
tbsp black peppercorns
1½cm-thick slice fresh ginger
(there’s no need to peel it)

For the drink
25ml maraschino cherry liqueur – a good-quality one, such as Luxardo, ideally
25ml spiced syrup (see above and method)
125ml lambrusco, well chilled – we use Villa Cialdini’s Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, but similar dry examples can be found at many supermarkets (try Lambrusco Pruno Nero at Waitrose or M&S’s own-label Lambrusco Rosso)

Put all the syrup ingredients in a small to medium-sized saucepan, set it over a gentle heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, so all the flavours blend and the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool to room temperature, then fine strain into a bowl (or into a sterilised jar, where it will keep in the fridge for a month or so).

To build the drink, fill a chilled wine glass with ice, pour in the liqueur and syrup, stir for 30 seconds, until well combined, then top with lambrusco and serve.

• Enzo Mirto, Officina OO, London EC1

• This article was amended on 18 January 2021 to correct the spelling of the author’s surname.

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