The photo above is the Roasted Cherry & Sage Lemonade Cocktail from the Nutmeg Nanny blog. Sage is a spirit from Art in the Age from Philadelphia that I had the opportunity to preview taste last year. It’s a “garden gin” that uses botanicals like the ones grown in Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Gardens. When I first came across the recipe for this cocktail, I knew I wanted to try it. I invited some friends over for a cocktail party.

Last night my friends showed up with food and wine in hand. They brought white wine, crab soup, Caprese salad, spinach and artichoke dip, lots of good bread, and a chocolate cake. I supplied the cocktail of the evening and a cheese tray.

The Roasted Cherry & Sage Lemonade Cocktail was a hit. The Sage spirit gave it an herby and woodsy quality and the fresh, local cherries added some sweetness. Brandy, the voice behind the Nutmeg Nanny blog, suggested adding a little simple syrup to the drink if the cherries didn’t add enough sweetness. She didn’t think the drink needed it. My friends and I did.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, and many people look for themed food and drink for the holiday. This cocktail is red, it uses local, seasonal fruit, and the spirits are distilled in Philadelphia – seems pretty patriotic to me.

I’m not going to give you all the instructions for the cocktail – you’ll need to click over to the original Roasted Cherry & Sage Lemonade Cocktail recipe to see how to make it, but you’ll need sweet cherries, lemons, Art in the Age Sage, seltzer, and perhaps simple syrup.

A few tips

  • I used 10 oz. glasses to build the drinks in. I bought them at Goodwill just for the occasion. I didn’t have any glasses that seemed right for this drink, and I was able to buy five previously owned glasses for $1.50.
  • If you don’t have Sage, a good gin will work, too, although the flavor will be milder. I tried making one with Bluecoat American Gin (also out of Philadelphia) instead of the Sage just to see how it worked, and it was still a good drink.
  • The drinks take a little while to build. If you know how many you’ll need, it might make sense to start building them before your guests arrive. I think that putting the fresh squeezed lemon and the roasted cherries in each glass within a half hour before the guests arrive would be fine. Then the rest of the ingredients could be added, saving some time and allowing your guests to start enjoying their libation a little sooner.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Nutmeg Nanny's Roasted Cherry & Sage Cocktail is perfect for the 4th of July
Seasonal, local cherries and a spirit made in Philadelphia make this cocktail quite patriotic.