This DIY cherry liqueur is great for gift-giving, including in baking and cooking, and serving on it’s own. If you enjoy sweet, and natural, liqueurs try your hand at making your own cherry liqueur this season.
When the cherries are available by the case at the Farmer’s Market or in your own backyard, make a few bottles of cherry liqueur for yourself or as a gift. Cherry liqueur is sensational in trifle or over ice cream. And it’s easy to make at home. If cherries are out of season, use frozen or dried cherries for the same purpose.
What you’ll need:
4 cups of pitted Bing cherries or other sweet cherries
Pits from your cherry pitting
1 cup of organic sugar, plus 1 cup of water
3 vanilla beans, split (optional)
3 cups of vodka or bourbon
Makes 1 quart
Making the cherry syrup
Pit the cherries and reserve the pits and the juice from the pitting operation. Put the pits and juice in a sauce pan. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to the sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour. Allow to cool. Strain the pits, reserving the juice.
Assemble the liqueur
In a wide mouth mason jar, add the 4 cups of pitted cherries and the split vanilla beans. Using a wooden spurtle, press down the cherries in the jar to release some of the juice. Pour 1 cup of the cherry syrup over the fruit in the jar. Fill the jar with the alcohol, leaving a 1 inch head space. Cap tightly and allow to macerate for 4 weeks. The cherries will ferment in the jar, and the contents will expand so put it on a paper towel to catch any drips. Shake the jar whenever you think of it during the waiting time.
After a month, taste your DIY cherry liqueur to see if it’s rich enough. Leave it longer if you want more cherry flavour, up to 8 weeks.
Bottle your DIY cherry liqueur
When it’s ready, strain the liqueur, reserving the cherries. Bottle the liqueur in a fancy bottle. Cork tightly. Dip the cork in wax for a fancy giftable finish.
What to do with left over liqueur-infused cherries
The left over cherries can be used for amazing, adult only, cherry fool.
A fool is a dessert of smashed fruit and whipped cream, layered in a parfait glass – I love to use decorative jam jars. They are so pretty.
Did you have fun making cherry liqueur? Try making coffee liqueur, too.