This is a great way to preserve cherries – there’s very little preparation involved – but you do need to be patient. The cherries must steep in the sweetened brandy for at least six weeks. Once they’re ready you can use them as a boozy dessert with whipped cream or ice cream, or add them to retro cocktails such as a classic Manhattan or Old Fashioned (if you’ve made some of our walnut liqueur, try our Walnut Old Fashioned). For the best flavour, select ripe, unblemished cherries with their stems intact and don’t stone them. We use wood avens root to infuse the brandy with its gentle, clove-like flavour, but you could use a cinnamon stick or a vanilla pod if you prefer.
- 400g wild cherries
- 1 wood avens root, thoroughly cleaned
- 100g granulated sugar
- 350ml brandy
- Wash the cherries and drain them. Trim the stems 1cm in length (leaving the stems on brings a nice nuttiness to the finished flavour).
- Layer the cherries, wood avens root and sugar in a sterilised 750ml (or larger) jar. Pour over the brandy and fasten on the lid. Shake the jar well and store it in a cool, dark cupboard or the fridge for six weeks before using, shaking the jar every now and then to disperse the sugar.
Remember to pull out the stalks before serving the cherries and to warn people about the stones.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK