We've cooked up a summer menu to celebrate the cherry in all its glory, from cocktails to barbecue sauce.

June 10, 2017
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Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Recent studies link cherry consumption to relieving the symptoms of gout and arthritis and preventing heart disease. This is thanks to anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pigment found in the fruit. Tart, unsweetened cherry juice is especially effective, as are cherry capsules and extracts. Whether you want to savor this summer fruit for its sweet flavor or its health benefits, we have seasonal recipes to give you a bit of both.

Cherry-Basil Lemonade Spritzers

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Instead of the fluorescent cocktail-cherry garnish, fresh cherries take center stage in this refreshing lemon-and-vodka sipper. Macerating the cherries in sugar helps to soften their thick skins and release their juices, which become gorgeously syrupy in the pan.

Mixed Grain, Cherry, and Snap Pea Salad

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Fresh cherries take the place of tomtatoes in this triple-grain salad. Bulgur, quinoa, and brown rice make for a nutty, wonderfully textured base, though you can omit the bulgur and double the quinoa for a gluten-free version. Extra crunch comes from fresh snap peas and red onion.

Grilled Chicken Drumstricks with Bourbon-Cherry BBQ Sauce

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

This fruity, boozy take on barbecue has all the characteristics of your favorite sauce—deep caramel notes, a savory backbone, and a pleasant vinegar tang. You can sub sweet cherries for sour, adjusting the amount of honey and vinegar to taste. For a shortcut, start with 1 cup purchased unsweetened cherry juice.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Cherry Salsa

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

The meaty texture of fresh cherries holds up in a salsa that goes well with the charred sweet potatoes.

Sweet-and-Sour Cherry Tartlets

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

We like the "naked" look o a couple of tartlets with just a few star cutouts, as sown. If you don't, this recipe makes enough dough for each tartlet to have its own pastry lid.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Fresh Cherry Swirl

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Creamy and luscious with a touch of tart, this simple fro-yo was a clear staff favorite. A combination of half-and-half, plain whole-milk yogurt, and a little corn syrup gives the frozen yogurt its supersmooth texture.