Brandied Cherries

I have a confession - I love those neon pink, corn syrup soaked maraschino cherries. Love them. We used to have them in our Shirley Temples growing up (remember those!!) which is where my love began. Not sure I should admit this but I may have been known to eat them straight from the little containers on a bar. Gross on a lot of levels I know.  I also have a habit of stealing them from Luke's drinks when he is not looking. Classy. So when I first discovered brandied cherries last summer - I was in heaven. Sweet cherries that have been soaked in all sorts of boozy goodness with lots of spices.  

I have a confession - I love those neon pink, corn syrup soaked maraschino cherries. Love them. We used to have them in our Shirley Temples growing up (remember those!!) which is where my love began. Not sure I should admit this but I may have been known to eat them straight from the little containers on a bar. Gross on a lot of levels I know.  I also have a habit of stealing them from Luke's drinks when he is not looking. Classy. So when I first discovered brandied cherries last summer - I was in heaven. Sweet cherries that have been soaked in all sorts of boozy goodness with lots of spices.  These brandied cherries have replaced my addiction to fake maraschino cherries - I am not sure I can say they are better for you but lets say they are a little more natural and a lot more delicious. Come over to my house any night of the week and you might find me eating these suckers straight from their jar. There are a couple different ways that you can "brandy"  or preserve a cherry - one is with brandy and lots of spices and the other is more of the true maraschino version of using Maraschino liquor and sour cherries. I did both and although I loved the maraschino versions, I think brandied cherries are my jam. Here is a great NY Times article that talks about both types of cherries. Brandied cherries get their goodness by covering sweet pitted cherries with brandy, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cardamom. What you get is an amazing flavor that just keeps getting better the longer they hangout in the fridge. My goal this summer is to brandy enough cherries to get me through the winter but at the rate I am eating them, I don't think I am going to make it. These brandied cherries go really well anything from whiskey cocktails to poured over vanilla ice cream. I have had them both ways are they are pretty darn delicious. Or you could just eat them straight from the jar.

Enjoy! 


Brandied Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 stick cinnamon, crushed
  • 3-4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted (you can also use frozen cherries)

Method: 

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, cinnamon,cardamom pods, and salt. Bring to a low simmer and simmer stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat. Add brandy and stir to combine.

Place cherries in canning jar of desired size. Fill about 3/4th of the way full. Pour brandy liquid over cherries and let come to room temperature. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 2 days before eating. Cherries will last a couple months in the fridge.