Cherry season is May through August - which is now! Go get ya some! And when you’re thinking of all the wonderful things you can do with them, don’t forget you can get them drunk. Spiced brandied cherries will dress up any cocktail or dessert and are sweet to give as a gift. And they’re unbelievably easy to make. Pitting them is the hardest part but there are many tricks out there.
Here is the recipe I used from local foods.about.com:
- 1 1/2 lb. cherries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole allspice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup brandy
- 1-quart jar with lid
- Pit the cherries and set them aside.
- In a medium saucepan bring sugar water, lemon juice, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the brandy and the pitted cherries.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cherries to a 1-quart jar. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the cherries to cover them completely. Twist on lid.
- Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, let cool, and store in a cool, dark place (such as a cupboard) for at least 6 weeks before using. Once opened, keep chilled. Alternatively, you can forgo the hot-water processing and store in the refrigerator.