I’m not one to post recipes without first testing it a few times, but this recipe for Drunken Cherries requires a month of marination time, so I’m posting now before cherry season is over. (Egads, time is a wastin’!) Feel free to experiment along with me, or if you want to live on the edge, check back in a month for Part 2 of this post. As long as there isn’t a major environmental catastrophe (*knock on wood*), there should be time to booze up some more cherries before the season is over.
I used Jacques Pépin’s Cherries in Eau de Vie recipe with a few modifications. Instead of eau de vie, I used vodka, and instead of corn syrup, I used a heavy simple syrup. I also halved the recipe because I’m making two batches with two different vodkas, a regular vodka and a cherry vodka. In theory that chicken soup is more “chickeny” when you use chicken stock instead of water, I’m hoping the same will happen with cherry flavored vodka. I used Three Olives cherry vodka, which has a pronounced cherry aroma and a smooth dark cherry flavor without too much sweetness. (Full disclosure: The PR peeps for Three Olives kindly provided the cherry vodka for my tipsy experiments.) If you rather use one vodka, go ahead, but make sure to double up the recipe. You don’t want to be short on drunken cherries for summer cocktails and boozy sundaes. I guarantee, I won’t be sharing any of mine.
Adapted from Jacques Pépin
1/2 lb large, sweet cherries like Bing (not pitted with stems, removing pits and stems will result in mushier cherries)
3/4 cup plain vodka (I used Russian Standard) or cherry vodka (I used Three Olives)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1. Heat water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
3. Wash cherries and discard any bad or overripe cherries. (As they say, there’s a few in every bunch.)
4. Pack glass jar with cherries.
5. Add vodka and cooled simple syrup. Close lid and gently shake until syrup and vodka are combined. Make sure all the cherries are submerged.
6. Set aside in a cool area for at least one month.