During cherry growing season we like to make our own cherry liqueur. Read on to find out how!
The Pacific NW, where I live, is blessed with fertile soils and wonderful growing conditions for produce, fruit and nursery plants. We are one of the largest suppliers of Christmas trees in the world. But at this time of year we pick cherries, lots of cherries. What can you do with them besides eating, canning and freezing? We make cherry liqueur.
First we have to make a trip to a cherry grower. I chose Hildebrandt Cherry Orchards in Dayton, Oregon. The owner, Carol Hildebrandt, has a one-woman operation. She picks the cherries and she sells the cherries from her stand across the road from her home. I chose Regina cherries for their dark red color and meaty centers.
The recipe is an old one that my husband found in the book, “Liqueurs for All Seasons” by Emilio Cocconi.
It’s easy to do and the results are delicious. The liqueur can be used to drink alone, poured over ice cream, or in any recipe calling for a cherry liqueur.
You’ll need a big air tight glass container, a dark colored bottle and some cheesecloth. Add some sunshine and the rest of these ingredients and you’ll have it made.
Here are the ingredients:
2 1/2 cups sweet black cherries
10 crushed cherry pits
5 whole cloves
1/2 inch piece of a cinnamon stick
1 lemon, sliced peel(only the yellow)
10 cherry leaves
8 ounces granulated white sugar
14 ounces of 95 proof alcohol. To get this alcohol, mix 7 ounces of 190-proof alcohol (such as Everclear), with seven ounces of distilled water.
Here are the instructions, by the book:
“Crush the pitted cherries and macerate the pulp, about ten of the crushed pits and all of the other ingredients for one week in an air-tight glass jar exposed to the sun, shaking from time to time. Then place it in a cool dark place to macerate for another five weeks. Strain through cheesecloth and filter paper until clear. Funnel into a dark glass bottle, cork and seal with wax. Let it mature for 8 months before serving.”
Now enjoy it…….if you are of legal drinking age.