Wine & Spirits: A Cherry-Tinged Combier Rouge

by WL Author

The appeal of Combier’s new cherry flavored all natural liqueur will linger much longer than the disappearing cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin.

By Kelly A. Magyarics

red cherries

The fleeting cherry blossoms may have already peaked, and the bevy of cherry-based beverages on bar menus around the District will soon be replaced with other springtime bar creations. But thanks to a new cherry flavored liqueur, you’ll be able to get your fruity fix long after the last petals fall.

Combier, the producer of the original Triple Sec, recently released Combier Rouge Cherry Liqueur. Produced in France at the Loire Valley’s oldest distillery from a recipe that dates back to 1632, all natural Combier Rouge is comprised of a blend of guignes and Morello cherries, known for their aroma and spiciness, with some black cherries thrown in for deep color. The resulting liqueur has an appealingly sweet cherry flavor and a rich ruby color.

Combier Rouge is great simply mixed with a splash of club soda and a lime wedge, served over ice. You can also mix up a 1:3 ratio of Rouge to Coke for a real, grown-up cherry coke.

For something a bit more complex, bartender Andres Sanchez from Positano Coast in Philadelphia created the Hot Cherry Blossom. The jalepeno-infused Tequila gives the drink a definitely lip-burning kick that is offset by Combier Rouge’s sweet cherry flavor, two kinds of citrus—blood orange and Triple Sec, and a splash of bubbly.

Hot Cherry Blossom cocktail

Hot Cherry Blossom cocktail

Hot Cherry Blossom
Courtesy of Andres Sanchez, Positano Coast, Philadelphia, PA

1 1/2 oz. Jalapeno-infused tequila blanco (see note)
1 1/4 oz. Blood orange juice
3/4 oz. Combier Rouge
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. Combier Triple Sec
Brut Champagne
Slice of strawberry or strawberry flower, for garnish

Shake first five ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and top with Brut Champagne. Garnish with a strawberry slice or strawberry flower.

Note: To infuse the Tequila, cut up 1 jalepeno pepper and place it in a 750ml bottle of Silver Tequila for 2 days, shaking occasionally.

Prefer a cherry-licious cocktail that’s made with gin? Mix up Combier’s concoction The Sun King. (Combier Rouge is officially called Roi René, the French term for The Sun King, Louis XIV.)

Combier Rouge Cherry Liqueur is sweet and sassy.

Combier Rouge Cherry Liqueur is sweet and sassy.

The Sun King
Courtesy of Combier

1 ½ oz. Beefeater Dry Gin
1 oz. Combier Rouge Cherry Liqueur
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Bittermens Molé bitters (if you don’t have these I would recommend substituting Peychaud’s. The resulting cocktail will be a bit different but equally tasty.)
Lemon peel
Orange peel, for garnish

In a mixing glass, muddle the sugar cube with the bitters and lemon peel. Add the gin and Combier Rouge, and cracked ice, and stir for approximately twenty seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange peel.

For your own cherry creations, grab a bottle of Combier Rouge. It’ sold in Washington, DC at Ace Beverages (3301 New Mexico Ave, 202.966.4444) and other locations, and a 750 mL bottle retails for $25.

Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website,, or at

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