This drink is fairly new, but belongs to an older era of naming drinks after types of cookies and cakes, such as Chocolate Cake, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Carrot Cake. Here are a few early, but recent printings of this drink:
Big Bad-Ass Book of Shots – Page 13 by Paul Knorr in 2004
Time Out New York Eating and Drinking Guide by Ebury Publishing in 2004
This drink could even belong to it’s own sub-trend of using vanilla vodka with an Agent and/or Cordial and naming it after a popular type of cake. Regardless, this drink truly does taste like cheesecake. Which is strange given it’s ingredients which are Vanilla Vodka and Cranberry Juice.
This drink was originally called a “Cherry Cheesecake”, not that it does not have a slight hint of cherry-flavor from the cranberry juice, but it contains no maraschino type cordial or grenadine (which is not made from cherries, but taste like cherries). It is more likely it was named “Cherry” due to it’s color.
Here are a few “Cherry” and “Strawberries” Cheesecake Shooter references:
The Vodka 1000: The Ultimate Collection of Vodka Cocktails, … – Page 267 by Ray Foley in 2007
“59 Cherry cheesecake”
Ultra-Simple Calorie Counter & Diet Journal – Page 44 by Alex Lluch in 2011
“Strawberry Cheesecake Shooter”
This drink dates between 2000 – 2003 and contained at least as of then:
Stir these ingredients:
Vanilla Vodka (Stoli is mentioned as early as 2007)
Strain into a chilled shot glass.