from the Art of the Bar by Hollinger & Schwartz, and recommended by Bobby at Drink Dogma and Marleigh at Sloshed! (adjusted proportions to match what I had on hand):
2 pounds dark, sweet cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2/3 oz fresh lemon juice
1 small cinnamon stick (used Mexican stick cinnamon)
3 1/2 oz brandy (Paul Masson Grande Amber)
Posted on the Chanticleer Society by user Evo-lution, apparently for a competition.
½ cup soft demerara sugar (used brown sugar, but will try again with demerara)
½ cup water
1-2/3 oz fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick (Mexican cinnamon again, all I had)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Half a scored vanilla pod (used a dash of vanilla extract, didn't have any beans on hand)
1 pound sweet pitted cherries (Bing)
1 cup aged rum (Cubaney 5 Anejo)
Wash and pit cherries. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except the cherries and rum and bring to the boil. When liquid begins to boil, reduce heat to a light simmer, add cherries and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add rum and cool immediately. Transfer cooled cherries and liquid to clean glass jars and refrigerate.
What am I Doing in the Pits?
After these adventures, I found myself with extra cherries (mostly sour), and I found myself with a bunch of cherry pits. Thought it might be interesting to see whether they have any flavor to them on their own, so I made some cherry pit syrup, and stuck some pits into some high-proof spirit to infuse. Still waiting on the infusion, but the syrup is pretty mellow.
Used 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and a pound's worth of cherry pits. Simmered 10 minutes, then cooled completely. It's a lovely pink color, from the bits of cherry still left on the pits, with hints of cherry flavor and nuttiness. Not as much flavor as I would have liked, unfortunately. I did make a couple of cocktails with it, but the flavor was too light to come through much.
Thanks to Erik Ellestad over at Underhill Lounge, I later learned that I could have made Ratafia, or perhaps Cherry Pit Ice Cream. Next time, I have to smash up the pits, and give one of those recipes a try. I should've known that a quick blog search would turn up some great experiments already run by trusted bloggers! Next time, I'll do that first.
The Rest of the Cherries
went into this delicious sour cherry streusel pie. YUM.