"Where's the Grand Marnier?" I asked Leah.
"What Grand Marnier?" she said.
"The Grand Marnier you brought home last week."
Mid-margarita-fixing, I shuffled the bottles in our cramped home bar, a shelf packed with liquors, shakers and glassware, squeezed in the corner above the vacuum cleaner closet. The ice waited impatiently in the glasses on the kitchen counter, as did the tequila and lime juice. I just needed some orange liqueur.
"That was two weeks ago," Leah said.
"You drank the whole thing in a week?" I said.
"Two weeks," said Leah, as if it were less criminal than one.
Maybe ten days, I thought.
Stranded and craving a margarita, I stared at the boggle of bottles and realized we only had one liqueur in the house: Finger Lakes Distilling's Cherry Liqueur.
"Try the cherry," Leah called from the other room as I pondered the bottle in my hand.
If you've ever tasted Finger Lakes Distilling's Cherry Liqueur, you know it's not like any other cherry-flavored spirit. The flavor is incredible, like crushed, fresh-picked sour cherries, with sugar added, because that's exactly how it's made. Think fresh cherry pie.
I had my doubts, though. Cherry in a margarita? Really?
Really. One sip and I was sold. I brought the recipe into the Lounge the next day and it became an immediate patron favorite, a contender for The Drink of The Year, if such an award exists.
Accidental cocktails are the best kind, an "I-never-would-have-tried-that-combination-and-I-see-Jesus'-face-in-the-ice" miracle kind of cocktail. Cherry in a margarita? Yes, please. And I won't be mad at Leah for drinking all the Grand Marnier.
1.5 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce sweetened lime juice (don't be lame and use Rose's or we will insult your intelligence and make fun of you publicly to such a degree that your friends will become embarrassed to be associated with someone so lame and they will abandon you forever and you'll be lonely and drown yourself in substandard margaritas. Our fresh sweetened lime juice recipe can be found here.)
3/4 ounce Finger Lakes Distilling Cherry Liqueur
Fill a rocks glass with ice and add all ingredients. Shake. Salt rim if desired.