Yes, today is Friday and NO I am not posting a drink recipe. Stop crying…it’ll warp your face! (Thank you Sister Judith for that life changing phrase. And no, I’m not talking about a sister as in sibling – I have a brother whose sibling rivalry stories would probably get one of us put in jail…or sister as in some kind of street slang…I’m a pasty face girl from a wholly unhip suburb of Cleveland…no, this sister is of the nun persuasion – yes, 8 years of plaid skirts and white blouses….are you beginning to understand my quasi obsessions with sex and booze now?) WHEW!
Now that I’ve caught my breath, let’s talk about our libation of the week. I give you sour cherry vodka. If I could serve this post up to you on a silver platter, I definitely would. This infused vodka recipe is worthy of that kind of treatment. As with all infused liquors, there is a bit of work involved with it, but the payoff is well worth it.
I first made this cherry vodka last year, but never posted it. I made it late in the cherry season, and by the time it was ready you couldn’t buy fresh sour cherries anymore so I thought it would be rude to tease you with it. But sour cherries are in season right now (albeit nearing the end soon) so you can make up a big batch of sour cherry vodka and enjoy it until next season (if you don’t drink it all right away).
I went out and picked up 8 pounds of sour cherries last year with my friend Greg over at @SippitySup (so far this year I’m at 12 pounds). He couldn’t figure out what I was going to do with all of them. Well, I made my version of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, a deconstructed black forest cake and the sour cherry infused vodka recipe. Ever since then, he’s been wanting to try the maraschino’s and the vodka. Well, I couldn’t help him with the maraschino cherries, because Craig ate all of those (but this year I’ve got a jar just for Greg – gotta smuggle it out of the house when Craig’s not looking. He thinks I made all 2 1/2 pounds for him) but the vodka was shared. We went up to Hollywood to hit the farmer’s market and I brought along a pound cake and the cherry vodka. Oh, I also brought the fruit compote for the cake, but we all decided that the cherry vodka tasted even better with (and on) the cake.
I’m not including a cocktail recipe to be made with the cherry vodka because this one stands all on its own. Yes, I know that there’s no sugar in it and it’s made with sour cherries, but trust me and try it straight first. It makes for a really nice sipping vodka (as long as you use a decent vodka to infuse). Of course, you can mix it into any cocktail recipe that calls for cherry vodka or use it in a Cosmopolitan. I’ve got a cherry pie martini that I’ll be posting in a couple of weeks that uses this vodka too.
If you can’t find the fresh sour cherries, and they can be a bit difficult to find, you could also use frozen sour cherries for this. I haven’t used the jarred sour cherries, so I can’t tell you how that would turn out.
Recipe: Sour Cherry Infused Vodka
- 1 1/2 Pounds Sour Cherries (washed and stems removed)
- 1.75 Litres 80 Proof Vodka
- Pour vodka into a sealable glass container that’s large enough to hold the vodka plus has extra room for the cherries.
- Crush the cherries and add them, pits and all, to the vodka.
- Seal the lid tightly and shake the container.
- Set aside in a cool dark place for 4 weeks.
- Shake the container daily to make sure that all the cherry juice is mixing with the vodka. (You’ll notice that at the end of the first week the color is a richer red.)
- At the end of 4 weeks it’s time to strain the vodka.
- Pour the cherries and vodka through a strainer into another container. Push on the cherries to remove as much of the liquid from them as possible. Discard the cherries (make sure they don’t get into your garbage disposal because the pits may break it – voice of experience talking).
- Rinse the strainer with water and line it with a double layer of dampened cheese cloth and strain the infused vodka. (Fully wet the cheese cloth with water and wring out. This keeps the cheesecloth from absorbing so much of the cherry vodka.)
- Toss that piece of cheese cloth and line the strainer with another double layer of dampened cheese cloth and strain the vodka again.
- Store the cherry infused vodka in its (clean) original bottle or some other sealable glass container.
If you are using frozen cherries, thaw them before infusing the vodka. Also, make sure to include all of the juice that comes from the thawed cherries. I use Absolut vodka for my infusion. You don’t need to use an expensive vodka for this (in fact, you shouldn’t) but make sure you use a vodka that does have a flavor you like.
Preparation time: 20 Minutes
Cooking time: 0 Minutes
Number of servings (yield): 1
Culinary tradition: USA (General)