Cherry Baby, I’m gonna
Now is the time. If you want to have a bottle of homemade cherry
liqueur for the holidays, get out there and pick/buy your cherries now, because
this recipe is the epitome of slow food - it takes six months.
A traditional Italian liqueur with a deep, dark mahogany color,
its intense flavor bears absolutely no resemblance to cherry cough syrup.
It is not too sweet and has an alluring
hint of bitterness from the inclusion of crushed pits in the process.
I wonder what color it would be if Queen Anne cherries were used?
What if I used sour cherries? Would the addition of an herb or spice - thyme,
rosemary, or cinnamon - be nice?
So many options to consider for this year's batch!
2 pounds 4 ounces sweet cherries
12 ounces granulated sugar
750ml Everclear (190 proof alcohol)
Wash and pit the cherries, discarding half the pits. Wrap the reserved
pits in a clean cloth and break with a hammer. Combine the pieces of pits and
cherries in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. The jar needs to be big
enough to hold all the fruit, sugar, and liquid. Cover fruit and pits with
sugar, seal with the lid, and set aside in a dark place to age for two weeks,
shaking the mixture alternate days.
Add the alcohol and place mixture in the refrigerator to macerate
for three months. At this time, you can start your holiday shopping.
Line a fine-mesh sieve with a sheet of clean muslin, and strain
the liquid into a clean glass container. Cover, return to the refrigerator, and
let it age for at least three months, while you finish your holiday shopping.
Divide among small decorative glass bottles for serving or gifting;
Makes approximately 1 liter.
Labels: cherries, cherry liqueur, Italian liqueur