So, on Saturday, I went to pick up my weekly CSA harvest, and the wonderful young lady pointed to an enormous box of bing cherries, and said, “Also, you’re welcome to take as many of those as you want, but they’re super ripe, so they gotta be used today.”
“Really?” I said, as I grabbed a produce bag.
“Yeah. Take the whole box if you want…”
Well, I DID want, so I took the box, and realized, as I popped my third into my mouth on the walk home, that I, indeed, did need to use them all that day. And not wanting to run the oven during the crazy-hot summer day, I wasn’t much interested in cobblers or claufoutis aux ceries.
So, armed with my new cherry pitter, I came up with a few fun ways to use seven pounds of fresh cherries in three hours. So, welcome to Cherry Jubilee Week on Curbly, and here’s idea number one: a basic cherry syrup, perfect for creating homemade summer coolers and cocktails.
- Three cups fresh cherries
- Two cups water
- Three cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, and add the cherries and vanilla to the syrup.
2. Cook the cherries for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, pressing down occassionally on the cherries.
3. Pour the mixture into into a sieve, set it over a bowl, and press a plate or mug atop to weigh it down. Allow the syrup to drain, then cool in the bowl.
Sparkling Cherry Cooler.
1. Fill a glass with ice, and add a quarter cup of your cooled cherry syrup. Add the juice of 1-2 fresh lime wedges.
2. Pour soda water into the glass, and stir with a swizzle stick or straw.
3. Garnish with a fresh mint or verbena leaf.