The Origins of the Cherry Slug

What You'll Need

  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • 2 oz Cherry juice (100% tart cherry juice is best)
  • 3 oz un-flavored Kombucha
  • a shake of orange bitters, a squeeze of lime
  • fire-roasted cherries for garnish
  • ice

We had just gotten in a shipment of books at the store, and as usual, we were multitasking, discussing upcoming recipe ideas for an early summer journal, while thumbing through the new book arrivals, and readying goods for shipment. Some of our best collaborations happen this way, in the back room, chatting as we go about our daily tasks. So it was that a page in a pest management book fell open to the Cherry Slug. “There’s such a thing as a Cherry Slug?!” I exclaimed, horrified and fascinated, while Amanda, her head buried in a cardboard box full of peanuts, poked her head up to comment. We had, after all, just been discussing recipes a moment ago. “Is it a cocktail?” she wondered. ‘It sounds like one!”

Earlier in the conversation, I had made reference to ‘kombucha slugs’, which, in my invented definition, are the stray pieces of SCOBY that sometimes surprise one as they slide down the throat.

A Google search determined that, while there are to our knowledge no cocktails named for the Cherry Slug, there are an abundance of horrifying pictures and descriptions of horticultural nightmares by that name. Don’t look, if you don’t have to.

But something about the catchy name stuck in our brains, and it was the peak of the cherry season, after all...

From such humble beginnings, the Cherry Slug was born. It should ideally be drunk around a barbecue, so the roasted cherries are still smoky, and the bright juices of cherry and kombucha tingle tartly on the tongue, whetting the appetite for the grilled feast to come. If you want to get really meta, spear a few pieces of cherry Nata on the garnish, too.


Combine the liquid ingredients in an ice-filled shaker.
cocktail shake

measure cocktail

Shake that thang. Pour into a glass with ice. 

pour cocktailGarnish with roasted cherries.

Drink a toast to the cherry, that sweet fleeting fruit.

Over to You

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