I’ve always been Team Coke. Even though I didn’t grow up in the South, I have always referred to fizzy soft drinks as Coke — not “pop” or “soda.” And I really dislike the taste of Pepsi.
What is really annoying, though, is when people try to tell me I can’t tell the difference between the two. Um, right. Just like you can’t tell the difference between light beer and regular beer.
Despite my longtime love for Coca-Cola, I haven’t had much soda at all for quite a while; I’ve substituted black tea to get my caffeine fix without the high fructose corn syrup. But I do love a cherry Coke, and though I am not really on board with the canned cherry-vanilla Coke they came out with a few years ago, I thought an alcoholic cherry-vanilla Coke might be a nice treat.
You have to be careful not to put too much grenadine in there, lest your drink taste like cough syrup, and you don’t want so much vanilla vodka that the vodka-ness overwhelms the other flavors. But if you get a good balance, it’s delicious.
Grown-up cherry vanilla Coke (serves one)
1 1/2 oz (3 tablespoons) vanilla vodka
1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) grenadine
1 cup (or more) Coca-Cola
Ice cubes and maraschino cherries, to serve
Stir vodka, grenadine and Coke together, then pour over ice. Add cherries and serve immediately.