When I saw the sale price of cherries last week, I jumped on it and bought a few pounds. Of course, even though cherries are quite possibly my favorite fruit, I couldn’t eat that many cherries just as is (without getting ill), so I decided to make cocktail cherries. My favorite winter cocktail is a Manhattan, but I’m really not a big fan of the traditional florescent maraschino cherry. I’m always in search of proper brandied cherries or high-end maraschino type cherries. Now, I will no longer have to search. There are several recipes for brandied cherries on the Internet and they were all pretty-much the same. It was easier than I’d imagined, especially with the help of my brand-spankin’ new cherry pitter. Here’s what I did:
- 1.5 pounds cherries (traditionally sour cherries are used, but I used sweet cherries because they were there)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- seasonings: this could include a pinch of grated nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, a vanilla bean, lemon zest, whatever you fancy
- 1.5 cups brown booze (brandy, bourbon, dark rum, rye whiskey, or a combination – I used brandy and bourbon)
- Wash the cherries and remove all stems and pits. Place in a large bowl.
- Place the sugar, water and seasonings in a saucepan and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the brown booze and stir.
- Pour the mixture over the cherries and stir.
- Transfer the cherries to clean mason jars and refrigerate.
So, once the cold weather returns in three or four months, and I’m in the mood for a Manhattan I’ll not have to run around looking for the proper cherry. I’ll have a huge mason jar full of them in my fridge.
Or will I? Winter is several months away, after all…