Cherries are one of summer’s finest fruits. Since they are only in season for a few months out of the year, it’s best to use them as much as possible while you can. You can also extend the life of your cherries by making homemade brandied cherries.
For cocktails, cherries can be used in a variety of ways. You can make cherry infused vodka. You can garnish your drinks with regular cherries, maraschino cherries or brandied cherries. Cherry juice can be added as an ingredient in cocktails. You can even make cherry simple syrup. They really are a versatile fruit when it comes to cocktails.
I wanted to make homemade brandied cherries when I first saw cherries available at Whole Foods in the beginning of summer. But I couldn’t bring myself to pay $9 a pound for organic cherries. So I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Finally the price came down and I bought a bag. I think the kids were a little bummed that they weren’t allowed to have any of the cherries. They had to wait until the next time I bought some.
For making your own homemade brandied cherries, you can adjust the spices according to what you like. I used cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla for mine. Other options include star anise, coriander, cloves, cardamom and allspice.
If you want, remove the stems and/or pits from the cherries before making your homemade brandied cherries. Using a cherry pitter will make this easier and less of a mess.
Homemade Brandied cherries
- 3 to 4 cups organic cherries, stemmed and pitted if desired
- 1 bottle of brandy
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean
- Optional other spices – coriander, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, allspice
- Wash your cherries and remove the stems and pits (if desired). Set aside.
- In a saucepan, add brandy and sugar stirring to combine. Add spices and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer, still stirring to dissolve sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean and turn off the heat.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the cherries. Let sit to room temperature.
- Once cooled, transfer the cherries and juice to sanitized mason jars. Seal the lids tightly.
- Place jars in the fridge for 4 to 6 weeks. Homemade brandied cherries should keep in the fridge for up to one year assuming you don’t eat them all before that.
- Add as a garnish to all your favorite cocktail recipes.
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