In 2021, Italian Spirit producers Luxardo launched a line of canned cocktails*. While best known for their Maraschino, they produce a full line of spirits and liqueurs including two types of gin. Their RTD Sour Cherry Gin and Tonic combines their Sour Cherry Gin, made with Marasca cherries, with sparkling water and natural flavors. It is canned at a rather robust 10% ABV.
Color: Transparent Garnet in color, the hue reminds me a bit of a Pinot Noir.
Flavor: Early hints of bitterness quickly give way to a well balanced mid-palate of cherry and juniper.
However, the cherry is far more complex and less sweet. Hints of cherry pit, cherry bark and sour lingonberry lend balance to a prominent resinous/green juniper note. The gin character lingers into the finish.
Mildly sweet, Luxardo’s Sour Cherry Gin and Tonic is more on the dry side. It’s brisk and refreshing.
Finish: Mildly floral with hazy notes of hibiscus tea and gin spices, like coriander and a hint of cinnamon. Complex and evolving, with gin at it’s heart. There’s a touch of quinine on the finish; however, for me the combination of dryness and botanical similarity to an aperitif means the Sour Cherry Gin and Tonic reads more as the former.
Overall, Sour Cherry Gin and Tonic
A delightful combination of cherry, gin and tonic— Luxardo’s Sour Cherry Gin and Tonic strikes a skilled balance between accessibility and complexity. Fans of gin-forward cocktails will delight in the way that juniper is an important part of the flavor profile.
It’s just sweet enough and the flavor is delightful. Some might find this too dry or that it resembles the aperitif driven products in the Luxardo line.
*As a footnote, Luxardo makes my absolute favorite RTD canned cocktail— although not a gin drink their Bianco Spritz blew my socks off. Highly recommended outside the world of gin.