If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 55: A Communist Party – The Communist

We are going to go out on a limb and say that the Communist Cocktail is probably named after Communists. Nothing states it definitively, but…Communist. This drink calls for Cherry Bounce in the original recipe, an old cordial made from sour cherries, the pits, sugar and spices. Cherry Bounce: the 19th century’s answer to Kool-Aid! It is a relative of Cherry Brandy, and Cherry Heering, used in most recipes now. The red color of Cherry Bounce or Cherry Heering is probably the reason it ended up with the name that it did, since when mixed it becomes a brownish-orange. Would this be a…Red Herring?

There isn’t a whole lot to go on with this drink other than it seems like another one-off from a book/pamphlet of cocktails called Cocktail Parade (1933). The pictures from this publication are enough to draw conclusions about the creation of the drink and who was drinking it though. The drawing paired with the drink takes us into a discussion of images of communists throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ridiculous stereotypes of dark, mustachioed, immigrants scheming to overthrow capitalism with their cartoon bombs. We explore communism throughout time and space from communal experiments to labor movements to Bolsheviks to attempts to end prohibition by associating it with the communist behavior.

This one is chock-full of revolution, class, immigration, and even a little bit of Genghis Khan for good measure.

The ingredients are:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz cherry brandy (Cherry Heering)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

Despite the reliance on citrus I really liked this drink. Tasting the Cherry Heering alone I knew I would. The sour from the citrus is really offset by the thick, cherry sweet coming through. It was good; it wasn’t amazing but I did enjoy it and would be happy to have it again.

Transition music: Cephalopod by Kevin MacLeod
Closing Music: Karl Marx and the Reds by Isaac Graham

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