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A beautiful summer cocktail, Valentine’s Day beverage or party drink, this black cherry vanilla vodka sour is a wonderful mixed drink. It’s a sour cocktail, similar to a whiskey or amaretto sour, so if you like that kind of flavour, try this classic vodka sour. It is easy to make but has an impressive presentation with the creamy, frothy topping.

A glass on a table with a black cherry vodka sour. There are cherries and lemons in the photo along with a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka.

Sip on something sweet and sour with this black cherry vodka sour cocktail recipe – a perfect blend of ripe cherry flavor and tangy citrus, sure to be a hit at any party or gathering!

A glass on a table with a black cherry vodka sour. There are cherries and lemons in the photo along with a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka.

Black Cherry Sour Cocktail Ingredients

Vanilla vodka, grenadine and black cherry juice are the main ingredients in this refreshing, crisp drink. The grenadine makes this a pretty red cocktail. In addition you need lemon juice, lemon and a maraschino cherry for a garnish and optional egg white to froth up the drink.

The ingredients for a black cherry vodka sour laying on a table with a pink cloth.

How to Make a Cherry Vodka Sour Cocktail

Grab a cocktail shaker and add the vanilla vodka, grenadine and black cherry juice, along with the fresh squeezed lemon juice and also egg white if using. You can use one large ice cube, or several regular sized ice cubes.

A glass on a table with a black cherry vodka sour. There are cherries and lemons in the photo along with a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka.

Shake the cherry vodka sour recipe until frothy. This will take 30 seconds or so. Serve the pretty drink in a cocktail glass garnished with a fresh lemon wheel and maraschino cherry or your preferred garnish. You can skip the maraschino cherries if you aren’t a fan.

Pouring the black cherry vanilla vodka sour into the glass with a cocktail shaker. A bottle of vanilla vodka is in the background and lemon and cherry are on the table.

Serve it right away for the best results, else the froth will disappear. These cherry vodka sours are so easy to shake up!

A glass on a table with a black cherry vodka sour. There is a cherry and lemon on a cocktail stick as a garnish on the top of the drink along with foam.

Fans of tasty cocktails might also like to try this sour candy cocktail or make some sweet tart shots. And for something totally different, these ectoplasm jello shots sure are fun! Looking for more vodka cocktails? You might like this Apple Pie à la Mode Cocktail or this Lavender Lemon Drop Vodka Martini.

A black cherry vodka sour cocktail and a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka on a table.

What Kind of Vodka to Use

Vanilla vodka gives this classic vodka sour cocktail its yummy vanilla taste. Smirnoff vanilla vodka is a popular brand you can readily find at liquor stores, but there are others, so you can take your pick. If you only have regular vodka, use that but add a few drops of vanilla extract too. If you want to make it extra cherry, then add in some cherry flavored vodka.

A black cherry vodka sour cocktail and a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka on a table.

History of the Sour Cocktail Recipe

Many people love a cocktail offering a perfect sweet and sour balance. The oldest sour cocktail is the well-known whiskey sour. Black cherry vodka sour (using vanilla vodka) is a nice alternative to the whiskey sour if you aren’t keen on the whiskey flavour though.

A black cherry vodka sour cocktail with foam on top in a glass. There is a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka on a table along with lemons and cherries.

Whiskey sours date back to the 1860s. Before that, however, British Royal Navy sailors were drinking spirits with lemon juice or lime juice (to help prevent scurvy from lack of Vitamin C) as well as water and sugar. The usual spirit was called ‘grog’ which is a rum-based liquor made from sugarcane.

A black cherry vodka sour cocktail with foam on top in a glass. There is a bottle of vanilla flavoured vodka on a table along with lemons and cherries.

The original recipe from the 1800s, served in bars, called for bourbon or rye whiskey, lemon juice and white sugar dissolved in seltzer water or another kind of sparkling water.

Making a cherry vodka sour in a cocktail shaker.

The sour cocktail recipe with vodka is a modern take on both grog and the original whiskey sour. Many people prefer vodka to other spirits because of its subtle flavour. Angostura bitters are a traditional ingredient in a sour cocktail.

A black cherry vodka sour cocktail and an empty cocktail shaker on a table.

This easy cocktail is made with fresh lemon juice instead of sweet and sour mix, for a fresher flavour, as well as black cherry juice for a great cherry flavor. It almost tastes like cherry lemonade or the cherry sours candy with a kick of tartness, and is bursting with fresh fruit flavor. It may just become one of your favourite drink recipes!

A summer or Valentine red cocktail on a table. It is a cherry sour with foam on top in a pretty glass.

Cherry Vodka Sour FAQs

I’d like to have the frothiness without egg. Is there a substitute I can use?

You will see the egg in this cherry vodka sour cocktail is an optional ingredient since some people prefer not to consume raw egg in any form. You can use aquafaba instead of egg white, which is the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Sub it in measure for measure.

I know that sounds strange but trust me, it works and you won’t taste it in the finished cherry alcoholic drinks. You can even make egg-free vegan meringues with aquafaba – yes, really! If you are using egg whites, by the way, it’s important to ensure you’re using pasteurized egg whites in this summer cocktail, so you can be sure they’re safe to consume.

Why do you have to shake the cocktail mixture for so long?

Shaking a cocktail rather than stirring it will both blend the ingredients together and chill it, if you’re shaking it with ice cubes. Also, a good rule of thumb is that any cocktail that includes citrus should be shaken not stirred. The reason for this is shaking it livens up the lemon or lime flavour and you get a better end result.

For a sour recipe, such as this vodka sour or a whiskey sour, the egg white is in there to create a white foam on top. For this reason, give it at least 30 seconds of shaking to incorporate tiny air bubbles in the mix, so your fruity cocktails will have that nice white foam topping.

A glass with a red cocktail which is a cherry vodka sour.

Black Cherry Vodka Sour Recipe

5 from 40 votes

Black Cherry Vanilla Vodka Sour

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Indulge in the perfect balance of sweet black cherries and vanilla with this irresistible Black Cherry Vanilla Vodka Sour recipe. A summer cocktail you can't resist!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1


  • Ounces vodka, vanilla, such as Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 Ounce grenadine
  • 1 Ounce cherry juice, black
  • 3/4 Ounce lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
  • ½ Ounce egg white, pasteurized, optional
  • ice
  • 1 slice lemon, for garnish, optional
  • 1 cocktail cherry, for garnish, optional


  • To a cocktail shaker, add vanilla vodka, grenadine, black cherry juice, lemon juice, and egg white. Shake until frothy (about 30 seconds).
  • Add ice to cocktail shaker. Shake contents for 15 to 20 seconds, or until chilled throughout. Pour into glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cocktail cherry, if desired.


This Cherry-Vanilla Vodka Sour is best served immediately due to its frothy nature.    
*Make sure to check the product carton to assure your egg whites have been pasteurized for safety. For this recipe, I used Bob Evans 100% Egg Whites 


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This cherry cocktail made with vanilla vodka, grenadine and black cherry juice is a nice choice if you want to try a different summer cocktail recipe. It’s simple to put together and the foamy topping looks so pretty on top of the deep red coloured drink. The lemon and cocktail cherry garnish are also elegant and add a beautiful finishing touch to this gorgeous summer drink.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    As a former bartender always looking to shake things up and try new stuff, this was simply DELISH and went over SO HUGE at a recent get together with friends! Thank you for this tasty drink recipe, sweetie!

  2. 5 stars
    I love sour drinks and this was very impressive and flavorful! My guests loved it. I’ll surely have this again, thanks Bella!

  3. 5 stars
    This was like a cherry party in my mouth! I need to order extra black cherry juice next time because I couldn’t make them quick enough for my friends!