The name of this cocktail makes it sound more lethal than it really is. Porch Sitter might be a better title for it. It’s a fruity, zingy ice-cold drink for summer, and it’s a perfect excuse to sit down and put your feet up for a minute or two. I did some searching on the name Porch Crawler and learned it’s a common name for highly alcoholic drinks with some sweetness and fruit. This one just has a little rum, not a mix of different spirits, but it does have fruit. I had every intention of making this at some point last summer after cutting the page from the April 2011 issue of Food and Wine, but the weeks flew by and cherry season was over before I knew it. So this year, it had to happen. Fresh, pitted cherries are muddled with mint leaves and a halved serrano chile. When you taste it, you don’t really notice the chile at first since the fruit and mint get all the initial attention. Then, you realize there’s something else going on here. It’s just a hint of heat to make things interesting.
Stem and pit a handful of cherries, and place them in a cocktail shaker. Add a few mint leaves and a halved serrano chile. You can remove the seeds from the chile if you’d like to make it milder. Muddle those ingredients in the shaker, and then add some ice. Next, add rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup, and shake until cold. Strain the cocktail into a glass with ice, and top with club soda.
I suppose it’s possible you could end up needing to crawl if you consumed enough of these, but I’ll still argue it could use a better name. I wouldn’t change anything else about it though. And, I still have time to make a few more before cherries disappear for this year.