Kick off summertime with a batch of cherry red Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies. Make ice cubes from this famous, 100-year-old North Carolina soda and blend them with your favorite American whiskey for a true patriotic treat.
Whenever I have friends and family visiting me in North Carolina, there are a few “absolutely must-dos.”
Surprise! Most of them are food related.
But as far as food goes, there are some definite musts:
There’s our famous pork barbecue, and an introduction to our barbecue sauces: vinegar (“Eastern style”) and tomato-based (“Western style”).
Chicken biscuits at Bojangles, one of our famous fast food stops, are a requirement for breakfast.
Lastly, there’s Cheerwine.
Cheerwine is a bright, sweet, cherry-flavored cola made right here in Salisbury, N.C. This soda has always been a favorite of mine. (The best is when you find it in glass bottles.)
Outside of our state, it’s a rare find. One of my uncles used to haul a few 6-packs home with him to Georgia every time he came to visit.
Recently, on a weekend trip to Asheville, Chris and I enjoyed Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies at Buxton Hall BBQ, and we knew we had to try making them at home. I think we have finally perfected it, and I am SO excited to share the recipe with you today.
Our method involves freezing a can’s worth of soda in an ice cube tray. (Chris tells me he used to make soda popsicles as a kid, and he was shocked that I had never tried freezing soda.)
Then, we toss all the ingredients into a blender with some bourbon, and blend. I top each glass of it with a spot of bubbly Cheerwine for extra fizz. The result is a crisp, refreshing, frozen treat that is summer’s best friend.
If you can get your hands on Cheerwine, make them now. If you can’t, any cherry cola will do. (We tried it, and can confirm this will still taste good!)
By the way, the kind of bourbon you use will change the taste of the drink. I almost always have Bulleit bourbon on hand, and I like it in this drink for its sweeter taste. It’s fun to experiment here.
I made these Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies for two friends who visited me last month, and it was so fun to welcome them to North Carolina with a drink they can’t get anywhere else.
Plus, these slushies are perfectly patriotic for a Memorial Day weekend or July 4 celebration, as would this Patriotic Berry Spritzer or Blackberry Ginger Lemon Whole30 Tea from my friends Madison and Erin. (It’s so great to have friends who are as much about the cocktails as me!)
Cheerwine is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. (There’s even a centennial festival this weekend, I just learned!) I’ll definitely be toasting this auspicious occasion with one or two of these Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies!
So, cheers to 100 years, Cheerwine! May the next hundred be just as sweet. //susannah
Pin the Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies recipe for later!
Watch the video below!
Video by Chris Henry Co.
Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies
- 12 ounces Cheerwine cherry soda plus more if desired
- ½ cup bourbon whiskey
- Fill an empty ice tray with Cheerwine soda. Place in freezer for 3 hours, or until frozen.
- Loosen ice cubes and place them in the bottom of a blender. Add bourbon. Blend until smooth. Pour into two chilled highball glasses.
- Top with additional Cheerwine soda for extra fizz, if desired. Serve with a straw.
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