Chocolate Passion Tea Truffles

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Do you have certain routines that you look forward to every day? For me, it’s after dinnertime. My husband fills the tea pot and sets it on the stove before heading to the pantry. He breaks us each off a square of chocolate to enjoy while we clean up and wait for the whistle of the kettle.

Our tea of choice is Tazo Passion, which is a blend of hibiscus, rose hip, and orange. The chocolate is always dark and usually has a hint of sea salt or a slight crunch of almond. With tea in hand and melted chocolate on the tongue, we head to the living room to catch our breath and reconnect after a busy day.

I’ve long wanted to develop a truffle recipe that blends our love of tea and chocolate but tempering the chocolate for the shell evaded me time and again until recently.

In January, I was given the opportunity to take a course from Learning with Experts and it didn’t take me long to decide which one it would be: The Art of Chocolate Making taught by Paul A.Young. I learned how to make the creamiest ganache, how to temper chocolate, how to make filled chocolates, plus multiple decorating techniques.

Each of the four pre-recorded lessons included a hands-on assignment to practice the skills taught. I was always a little nervous to turn mine in! Once I turned in the assignment, the next lesson was unlocked. Paul always took the time to comment on the assignment with helpful tips and encouraging feedback.

I’ve taken online classes before but none that taught me as many skills as this series did. I’m so excited to be able to share some of the techniques I learned.

Yet maybe you want more than one blog post? I encourage you to check out the class for yourself and make the handmade chocolates you’ve always dreamed of.

How to Make Ganache

Ganache is chocolate mixed with liquid. The high liquid to chocolate ratio keeps the chocolate from seizing and instead creates a soft mousse-like texture. In the class, my instructor Paul, recommended starting with melted chocolate to help ensure a smooth ganache. After it cools and is chilled in the refrigerator, the ganache is rolled into balls.

Tips for Rolling Ganache into Balls

Once chilled, ganache is semi-solid and a little sticky. Paul taught us to dip our fingers in cocoa powder and then roll the ganache in between our fingers. It works perfectly!

Tips for Tempering Chocolate

  • Buy quality baking chocolate bars, not chocolate chips. I use Ghiradelli.
  • Use a quick read digital thermometer (such as a Thermapen)
  • Use metal bowls for the best temperature control.
  • Temper chocolate when you have the time to work uninterrupted from start to finish.
  • Stir continuously at a moderate rate.

Working with Tempered Chocolate

In all honesty, this was the hardest part for me. I was always in a rush and thought if I worked quickly enough that I could skip this step. Wrong! By the fourth lesson of the class, I made my peace with the fact that I need to warm the chocolate before using it. The goal is to keep the chocolate between 86℉ and 88℉, but not above 90℉. This temperature range ensures that the chocolate is fluid and won’t set too quickly. The easiest way is to set the bowl over a pot of simmering water for a couple seconds.

Coating in Tempered Chocolate

For a professional-looking truffle, the trick is to coat the balls of ganache in two very thin layers of tempered chocolate. Paul taught us to dip our fingers in the chocolate and roll the ganache in the chocolate on our fingers. The tempered chocolate sets almost immediately and then once coated, start at the beginning and give each a second coat. It really is quite satisfying to see shiny chocolate truffles lined up on a baking sheet.

Passion Tea Truffles

Yield: 60 chocolate truffles

Active time: 45 minutes

Chilling: 2 hours


  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Passion tea bags, tag removed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, for rolling ganache

Tempered Chocolate Coating:

  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, divided



  1. Fill a small saucepan with two inches of water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set it over the saucepan of simmering water.
  3. Use a flexible spatula to stir the chocolate as it melts, about 5 minutes. Once melted, wipe the bottom of the bowl and discard the water in the saucepan.
  4. Add heavy cream to the empty saucepan and submerge the teabags in the cream. Bring it to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, take the infused cream off the heat and press the cream out of the tea bags and discard.
  5. Pour the tea mixture over the melted chocolate and whisk to combine into a smooth homogeneous ganache. Pour into a wide container and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  6. Once completely chilled, the ganache should be firm. Bring it out of the refrigerator and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour cocoa powder into a small bowl.
  7. Dip your fingers in the cocoa powder and scoop 1/2 tablespoon of ganache into your hand, roll it into a ball, and set it on the baking sheet. Continue until all the ganache is used, about 30 marble-sized balls.

Temper the chocolate:

  1. Fill a small saucepan with two inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Chop 12 ounces of chocolate (3 baking bars) and set in a metal bowl.
  3. Chop the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and set aside.
  4. Set the bowl with the chopped chocolate on top of the pot of simmering water. Stir the chocolate with a flexible spatula until chocolate reaches 110℉, about 5 minutes. Take the melted chocolate off the pot and dry the bowl with a towel.
  5. Add the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate to the melted chocolate, and stir at a moderate pace. Ensure that the bottom of the spatula is touching the bottom of the bowl and that the chocolate on the side of the bowl doesn’t harden. Stir continuously until the chocolate reaches 81℉, about 10 minutes. Test that the chocolate is tempered by spreading some on a square of parchment. Continue stirring and once the test is dry, shiny, and minus any swirling, the tempering is complete.
  6. Set the tempered chocolate on top of the pot of simmering water to warm and loosen. This will only take a couple of seconds. Ensure that the temperature of the chocolate stays below 90 degrees so that the chocolate does not come out of temper.

Coat the ganache:

  1. Dip your middle three fingers in tempered chocolate and roll the ball on your fingers to coat and place back on the baking sheet. Continue until all the balls are covered. Repeat for a second layer of chocolate.


  1. Store finished truffles in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for two weeks.


Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

Updated 2/6/2023

Everyone (except me!) in our family has birthdays between March and April. It dawned on me this year that the gift of a homemade cake is the gift I give. It is a labor of love and I care about it deeply. We spend weeks talking about what type of cake the birthday boy(s) want for their special days. Apparently, we’re bringing back the 80’s this year because Kai picked a Pac Man cake and JP wants a Rubik’s cube cake.

Kai’s cake was a 3-layer Neapolitan cake shaped like Pac Man. He picked out bright yellow sprinkles and we used black fondant for Pac Man’s eye. For JP’s birthday he picked a 3-layer white cake with lemon curd and Italian lemon meringue buttercream.

IMG_0732Over the years, I have made many different types of frostings but my favorites are Italian meringue and Swiss meringue Buttercream. The first time I tried to make Italian meringue buttercream I couldn’t get the egg whites to transform into the voluminous mass it was supposed to.  I learned how and am now adore meringues. I find them absolutely beautiful, something other-worldly.

There are three different types of meringues: French, Swiss and Italian. This recipe utilizes the French style. It was the first type of meringue I successfully made. It’s a basic meringue of egg whites, cream of tartar and fine sugar. To create the marshmallow-y center that I so love, we add lemon juice and cornstarch. Meyer lemon zest adds just the right amount of brightness and citrus zing to make the whole treat truly amazing.

Successfully making a meringue is actually quite simple. I’ll let you in on the tips I learned:

  1. Let the egg whites sit out on the counter to warm up for at least 30 minutes. This will help the whites reach their full volume. As the whites warm, they will thin out and resemble liquid more than thick gel.
  2. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and whisk. Residual oils can inhibit the whites from whipping.
  3. Whip on high. Turn that mixer up and let it do its thing. Medium speed just won’t do.
  4. Add cream of tartar to keep the egg whites from drying out.
  5. Go slow adding the sugar to prevent it from being gritty. Feel it between your fingers and if its gritty then put it back on high and whip until the meringue is smooth.


Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

The crisp outer shell and marshmallow-y center, make these meringue cookies irresistible. Not only are these delicious, they’re also gluten free! These puff up slightly but I fit about 12 on each 11×17 baking sheet.

Yield: 24 meringue cookies

Active time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Cooling time: 1 hour


  • 4 egg whites (120g), room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (200g) fine sugar (or granulated pulsed in a food processor for 25 seconds)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 Meyer lemons (about a tablespoon)


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Start on low and mix with the whisk attachment. After 30 seconds start increasing speed until the mixer is at high speed. Continue to whip the egg whites until they reach the stiff peak stage – about 3 minutes from start to finish.
  3. Once the egg whites are at stiff peaks, start adding the sugar one spoonful at a time. Go slowly to allow the sugar to be incorporated, about 4 minutes. The meringue will look shiny and thick. Once the sugar is incorporated, stop the mixer and feel the mixture between your fingers to be sure it isn’t gritty feeling. If gritty, continue mixing on high speed and check every 30 seconds.
  4. Once the meringue feels smooth stop the mixer and unhook the bowl from the mixer. Sprinkle cornstarch, Meyer lemon juice, and lemon zest over meringue and gently fold in with a flexible spatula.
  5. Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop or spoon to drop meringue on to the cookie sheets.
  6. Bake until the meringues are puffed, firm to the touch, and release from the paper easily. Turn off the oven and open the oven door to let the cookies cool completely, about 1 hour. Once cool remove from the oven and store in an air tight container at room temperature. Meringues will stay crisp for about 4 days.

Orange Chia Seed Muffins

Updated: 2/1/2023

The other day I bought a baking mix (gasp!) and the side of the box said “Don’t just say it bake it” and then gave examples.  If you want to say “We’re so proud of you!” make snickerdoodle cookies. If you want to say “Thank you for all you do!” make  a hummingbird cake. Lastly, if you want to say “I love you!” a cherry dump cake would be in order. At first I was a little horrified. Is this what I do? Do I bake for my family instead of saying the words that my heart feels?


Communication can get trickier as the boys get older. It can be hard to know what to say or when to say it. It feels like the majority of what I say in the course of the day is either correcting behavior or giving instructions. I want to be sure that words of support and praise are said in between the “please put your clothes away” interactions that happen so often.

This year I want to be sure to use the words that go along with the baking. I appreciate you. You mean so much to me. I love you. Baking really is an act of love and a tangible way to show you are thinking about a person.

Both boys really appreciate when I make breakfast for them. I’m not the type to wake up early and make a hot breakfast but I will make muffins in the afternoon so that they can grab a couple in the morning for a quick and tasty breakfast.

These Orange Chia Seed Muffins were a big hit. Kai liked the “Wednesday vibes” of the black liners. Ha! The butter and sour cream give the muffins extra flavor and richness. The chia seeds are mildly nutty and the citrus is light and not overwhelming. These muffins are hearty and satisfying and especially tasty while warm with a pat of butter


Orange Chia Seed Muffins

Adapted from Joy the Baker, this muffin tastes quite decadent. The chia seeds are slightly nutty and give some textural interest to the muffin. The orange flavor is light, which I liked, but for a stronger orange flavor, use the juice of the whole orange.

Yield: 12 regular-sized muffins

Active Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 18 to 20 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top before baking
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Zest of one orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (I use full fat)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1/2 orange (about 2 tablespoons)


  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, salt and orange zest in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine sour cream, butter, eggs, vanilla extract and orange juice in a small bowl.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until flour mixture is just incorporated. The batter will be thick. Scoop about 1/4 cup into each muffin cavity. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The muffins will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Let cool in the muffin tin until cool enough to touch and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Raspberry Port Cheesecake

Updated: 2/1/2023

I never turn down a dessert menu. When Mike and I went to San Francisco for the first time back in the “before” times of 2019, I was handed a menu and noticed that each dessert was paired with port wine. We ordered a slice of cake and a glass of port for each of us and I then and there discovered my love of the full-bodied, sweetened, wine. 

Produced in Portugal, port is fermented like other wines, but is fortified with a neutral spirit before the fermentation process is finished. The spirit stops the fermentation, which leaves extra sugar in the wine, resulting in a fortified wine with all the nuances of non-fortified wine. It’s best to store port in the refrigerator after opening and then enjoy within a month.

I’ve ordered port to go with dessert since, but hadn’t splurged on a bottle of my own. So when Sandeman reached out to collaborate, I jumped at the chance. Port pairs well with cheeses, nuts, fruit, and even chocolate. Basically everything I love! It also adds complexity to dessert sauces, custards, and cakes.

For this recipe, port is added to the cheesecake batter as well as the raspberry swirl. It cuts the richness, while enhancing the raspberry flavor. The almonds in the graham cracker crust add a satisfying crunch and a mildly nutty flavor to go along with the port and raspberry flavors.

Tips for Making Cheesecake

Achieving the silky texture for cheesecake is easy if you follow these tips.

Room temperature ingredients: Cheesecake is a baked custard made with cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar. The key to making a creamy cheesecake is making sure that the ingredients are at room temperature.

Bake in a water bath: Baking the cheesecake in a water bath also helps retain the sought after silky texture. The water bath helps ensure that the eggs cook slowly and evenly. The smaller springform pan that I used in this recipe is easier to manage. Whereas a larger pan requires a large roasting pan for the water bath, this small 7 inch pan fits inside a standard 9 x 13 casserole dish. To keep the crust from getting soggy, wrap the springform pan in foil. Then place the springform pan inside the casserole dish and add hot water to the casserole dish until it reaches 1/3 of the way up the sides of the springform pan.

Don’t over bake: Baking times vary from oven to oven. The cheesecake is baked once it reaches an internal temperature of 150℉. It will have a slight jiggle in the center when tapped. Cool the cheesecake slowly to prevent cracking and then chill overnight before removing from the pan.

A stack of dessert plates and the top plate has a yellow rim. A piece of cheesecake swirled with port raspberry is on the plate an da fork has a piece on it resting on the plate. Partial view of the rest of the cheesecake is on the right and port glasses are above the plate.

Raspberry Port Cheesecake

Servings: 6 to 8

Yield: 1 – 7 inch cheesecake

Active Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Cooling Time: 2 hours

Chilling Time: 8 hours

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1/2 cup (50g) finely ground graham crackers (about 3 sheets of graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup (35g) finely ground almonds
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Raspberry Swirl:

  • 1/4 cup (79g) raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons Sandeman Reserve port

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 16 ounces Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3  large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80g) full fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (40g) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Sandeman Reserve port

Special equipment: 7 inch springform pan


  1. Prepare oven: Check that the rack is in the center of the oven and heat to 350℉. 
  2. Prepare springform pan: Tear off two sheets of foil 16 inches long. Lay the foil in an X shape and set the springform pan in the center. Start with the top piece of foil and form it snugly around the pan and do the same with the bottom piece of foil. The foil will cover most of the pan. Spray the sides (no need to spray the bottom of the pan) on the inside of the pan with cooking spray to ensure the cheesecake doesn’t stick to the pan.
  3. Make graham cracker crust: In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, sugar, and salt. Add two tablespoons of melted butter and combine. The mixture should hold together when squeezed. If not, then add the last tablespoon of butter, mix, and test again.
  4. Press in crust: Dump the crust in the bottom of the springform pan and spread it over the bottom. Lightly press the crust with your fingers until it is at an even thickness throughout and doesn’t move when pressed gently. 
  5. Bake crust: Bake the crust on the center rack in the oven for about 10 minutes. The crust will be lightly golden around the edges. Remove it from the oven and set on a cooling rack.
  6. Turn down the oven: Turn down the oven temperature to 325℉.
  7. Make raspberry swirl: Mix the raspberry jam and port in a small bowl until smooth. It will be similar in texture to a thick sauce and have a strong port flavor that will mellow when baked. Set aside.
  8. Make cheesecake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, and salt on low for a few seconds to combine and then increase speed to medium for three minutes. Scrape after each minute.
  9. With mixer on low, add one egg and mix for 30 seconds to combine. Scrape the bowl and continue adding and scraping with the next two eggs. After the eggs have been added, mix on medium for 30 seconds to ensure the batter is fully emulsified.
  10. In a small glass measuring cup, combine sour cream and heavy cream. Add to the mixer bowl and mix on medium for 30 seconds to completely combine.
  11. Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla extract and port. Mix for 10 seconds.
  12. Take the bowl off the mixer and give the batter a couple more stirs with the spatula to ensure that it is fully combined. There shouldn’t be any streaks or large lumps in the batter.
  13. Add batter and raspberry swirl to pan: Scrape the batter over the cooled crust in the springform pan and level with the spatula. Use a spoon to dribble the raspberry mixture over the top of the crust. Turn the spoon around and use the end of the handle to gently swirl the raspberry mixture with the cheesecake batter.
  14. Bake: Set the cheesecake in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Fill a large spouted measuring cup with hot water and pour it in the pan until it reaches 1/3 of the way up the sides. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or how ever long it takes for the internal temperature to reach 150℉. It will have a slight jiggle in the center when tapped. This is good! If the cheesecake starts to puff or brown, turn the oven temperature down 300℉.
  15. Cool: Once the cheesecake is baked, let it cool slowly inside the oven by turning the oven off and opening the oven door. Let the cheesecake cool for an hour. After an hour, pull the casserole dish with the cheesecake inside, out of the oven. Take the cheesecake out of the casserole dish and unwrap the foil from the springform pan. There may be water in the foil so unwrap carefully. Cool the cheesecake on a cooling rack until it’s at room temperature, about 1 hour. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
  16. Serve: Remove the plastic wrap from the cheesecake and unlatch the springform pan, removing the sides of the pan. For the cleanest slices, warm a chef’s knife under hot water and dry with a towel. Slice the cheesecake into eight slices, wiping the knife, warming, and drying the knife after each cut. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie with Brown Butter Graham Cracker Crust

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and though I like turkey and stuffing, it’s pumpkin pie I crave. The classic baked burnt-orange pumpkin pie isn’t what I grew up eating. No, the pie I crave is a modestly spiced, creamy, no-bake, marshmallow pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust. My mom made this every year and I always loved it but for some reason hadn’t made it myself. I decided to give it a try (with my own spin of course!) and was not disappointed.

No-bake pumpkin pie recipes are prolific on the internet and for good reason. First off, because they aren’t baked, there isn’t any worry about unseemly cracks on the top of the pie. Another plus? The no-bake version leaves my oven free to use for other Thanksgiving dishes.

The original version uses a premade graham cracker crust and Cool Whip. I wanted to up the flavor in the crust by making a homemade version with brown butter. For the pumpkin filling, I replaced the Cool Whip with freshly whipped cream. These simply changes amped up the flavor without over complicating an easy-as-can-be pie. 

There are a few tips to note regarding this pie: be sure to chill for at least four hours or overnight before serving. You’ll be able to tell that the pie is set by pressing on the center. It should be firm to the touch. Another tip for this pie is to make sure to choose the right size pie plate. The crust recipe makes enough for a 9-inch pie with 1-inch sides. A taller sided or larger pie pan will need extra crust and filling. I would 1.5x the recipe for a different sized pie.

The end result is a perfectly creamy pumpkin pie to remember for years to come.

What is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is when the butter solids are browned, usually in a saucepan over low heat.(surprising, I know! It imparts a nutty flavor that compliments the warm spices in the pumpkin filling.

Tips for Making a Graham Cracker Crust

I’ve made my share of crumbly graham cracker crusts and have learned a thing or two along the way. The main mistake is to not add enough butter. It should pack like wet sand and not be crumbly when pressing into the pan. Thankfully it’s an easy fix. Just add more butter! The other tip is to spray the pie tin to help the crust not stick. Lastly, I like to bake my graham crusts, though you don’t have to, I like how it ensues a firm crust and helps fend off moisture.

I used these adorable dish covers throughout the whole process (thanks Halo!) 

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

Graham Crust:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 190g Graham cracker crumbs (12 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 cup (244g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces marshmallows
  • 1½ cup (4 ounces) heavy whipping cream, divided

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Brown butter: Melt butter in a small saucepan set on medium heat and stir often. Once melted, simmer the butter until the butter solids are brown on the bottom of the pan. The butter foams and then the butter solids will brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small glass measuring cup to cool.
  2. Make crust: Heat oven to 350℉. Break graham crackers into the bowl of the food processor and process until fine crumbs, about 15 seconds. Add sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Drizzle most of the brown butter into the food processor while it’s running and thoroughly mix. Stop the processor and use a flexible spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and then squeeze the mixture and see if it holds together. If not, then add another tablespoon or two of the brown butter and pulse again. The graham mixture should look like wet sand. Remove the blade from the food processor and take handfuls of graham mixture and press it into a 9 inch pie pan. I find it helpful to start with the sides and work my way around the pan and then finish with the bottom. Press using steady, gentle pressure until the pan is covered evenly. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is golden brown throughout and firm to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
  3. Pumpkin filling directions: In a medium saucepan, whisk the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add marshmallows and cook, stirring often, on low until the marshmallows are melted. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to whip ½ cup heavy cream to stiff peaks, about one minute.
  4. Assemble pie: Fold whipped cream into cooled pumpkin mixture. Fold until the mixture is homogeneous. Scrape filling into the cooled graham crust and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. Press the center of the pie to make sure it is firm to the touch before removing from the refrigerator and serving. 
  5. Finish and serve: Use a hand mixer and whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to stiff peaks. Cut pie into 8 slices. For the cleanest cuts, cut while the pie is cold and wipe off knife in-between each cut. Serve pie either at room temperature or chilled alongside a spoonful of whipped cream. Leftovers will keep for 3 days if well-wrapped and stored in the refrigerator.

Cherry Gin Rickey

This summer, I’m basking in the daily slowness of life without school (even online school was an effort) and experiencing everything that we weren’t able to this past year. Seeing family, meeting friends for drinks, eating out, enjoying museums and parks; it all feels special. Though we’re still wearing masks and maintaining some sense of social distancing, this summer still feels so much different. I feel as if I have at least some of my life back.

To capture my summer mood, I needed a refreshing drink to sip on while enjoying the sunshine. My drink of choice couldn’t be easier: the Cherry Gin Rickey.

What is a Cherry Gin Rickey?

The Gin Rickey is a mixed drink that dates back to the early 19th century in Washington, D.C. It’s a combination of gin, lime juice, club soda, and ice for a tart, sparkling, and light drink. Sometimes simple syrup is added but my twist on this cocktail skips the syrup and uses a high quality maraschino cherry with a splash of cherry juice from the jar.

How to Make a Cherry Gin Rickey?

The Cherry Gin Rickey is made in this order: ice, gin, lime juice, club soda, maraschino cherry juice and finished with a maraschino cherry. It’s so incredibly balanced and refreshing. Perfectly chilled and sippable on a hot day.

Adding ice to the glass beforehand makes for a chilled drink that isn’t too watery. Trust me on this. I used to add the ice last and ended up using at least a quarter more club soda.

Best Ingredients for a Cherry Gin Rickey

Cherries & Cherry Juice – I do recommend buying a high quality maraschino cherry such as from Tillen Farms, which doesn’t include any artificial dyes or flavors. I find them to be perfectly plump, juicy, and fresh tasting. Just to be clear, this is not a sponsored post, I just really like these cherries!

Gin – I love Bombay for its floral notes but London Dry is also a great choice. Out of gin? It should be noted that the original Rickey was actually made with bourbon, so sometimes I replace the gin with an equal amount of Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Lime juice – It’s best to use freshly squeezed! Lime is one of the main ingredients and there is a significant flavor difference between fresh squeezed and bottled lime juice. If out of fresh limes use lime LaCroix instead of club soda. The lime isn’t as strong but it still works in a pinch.

Club soda – Club soda is carbonated water with mineral additives included. The minerals make the drink slightly saltier than a straight carbonated water (such as LaCroix) that doesn’t include added minerals. I buy whatever I can find on the grocery shelves. Fever-Tree or Schweppes are good options for brand name club soda.

That’s it!

I hope you are out making memories and sipping cocktails in the sun. Cheers to summer!

Cherry Gin Rickey

  • Ice
  • 1 ½ ounces gin
  • 1 lime, divided
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 splash of cherry juice from the maraschino cherry jar


Fill a rocks glass half full of ice. Cut the lime in half and squeeze one half over the ice. Add gin, club soda, and cherry juice over the ice and stir. Slice the other half lime into rounds for garnish Add the maraschino cherry and enjoy immediately.