Soaking up the Cherry Sour at Plonk 

What you're drinking: For most Missoulians, summertime means beer time. That's all well and good, but not everyone's stomach can handle the heft of a Cold Smoke or 12 PBRs. Luckily, this very warm summer provides the perfect testing ground for fruity cocktails. Plonk's Cherry Sour is a mixed drink for when thermometers hit three digits, a pseudo-fruit punch with a delightfully tart kick.

What's in it: The Cherry Sour features a house-made cherry-infused bourbon mixed with muddled orange slices, cherries and fresh lime. The high citrus content gives the Cherry Sour the latter half of its name, but it's not overpowering thanks to the sweet cherries, which also cut the bite of the bourbon.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY PARKER SEIBOLD
  • photo by Parker Seibold

Where to drink it: The only downside to cocktails is that, unlike beer, you can't conveniently take them on the river with you. But when you get off the water, Plonk's patio is the perfect place to lean back and unwind after a long day of sweating to death. But pace yourself—one of these goes a long way, especially since the booze factor is well masked.

The damage: Plonk isn't Missoula's cheapest place to get your drink on, and a Cherry Sour will set you back $9hardly a fortune in the world of well-made cocktails. And if you go during happy hour, from 3 to 5 p.m. daily, you can get some reasonably priced snacks to lay the groundwork for, say, your second Cherry Sour.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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