I love the flavour and smell of fresh cherries when they come straight off the tree. So it was with great joy that my husband suggested we go to a cherry farm. I inspected every single piece I picked and made sure they are plump, juicy, ripe and without any bruises or marks. I got addicted!
It was a beautiful clear day and we ate all the cherries that we ever wanted while we were in the orchard. As if it was not enough, we brought home a few kilograms as well.
Cherries are absolutely perfect for baking. A treat such as the cherry amaretti cookies made from homemade cherry jam is a fantastic way to use these scarlet fruit in home baking. I still had kilograms of cherries left after baking with them, so I decided to experiment a little and try my hand at making homemade cherry liqueur.
Fermenting is an unfamiliar territory for me and I’m very much interested in breaking its mystery. I may have dabbled with a bit of fermenting activity during bread making. You can see my article on bringing out bread’s best flavour through yeast fermentation here but these are simply the tip of the iceberg. So, I decided that I would explore it a bit more and make my own cherry liqueur, which we can then use in desserts or a Friday night drink!
The procedure is quite easy, and doesn’t involve many ingredients either, but you will need plenty of patience.
See the recipe below on How To Make Homemade Cherry Liqueur:
Make sure that the cherries used are fresh and plump without any bruises or marks.
450g Sweet Cherries
300g Sugar (approximate quantity)
- Wash the cherries and remove the stems.
- Place the cherries in a jar. Add the vodka then seal.
- Store in a cool dark place for 10 days. After 10 days, the fruit will still look fresh and plump.
- Strain off the alcohol carefully without bruising the fruit. This is the first extraction.
- Store the alcohol in a separate tightly sealed container.
- Return the cherries into the jar, and add caster sugar to the jar. Make sure all of the cherries are coated with sugar.
- Seal the jar and store in a cool dark place for 10 days, until liquid reaches the top of the fruit. The cherries will now darken in colour and start to wrinkle. The resulting alcohol is the second extraction.
- Strain the alcohol then add it to the first extraction.
- Return the cherries into the jar layering it once again with the caster sugar. Make sure all of the cherries are coated with sugar.
- Store in a cool dark place for 10 days. The cherries will wrinkle further and will shrink more almost the size of the cherry pip. The resulting alcohol is the third extraction
- Strain off the alcohol and add this to the first and second extraction.
- Test the cherries to see if there is still a bit of flesh left. It will look like the flesh has shriveled away so that only the pip and the skin remain. If there are some flesh left, return the cherries into the jar layering it once again with the caster sugar. Make sure all the cherries are coated with sugar. Keep the sugared cherries in a cool dark place. This is the fourth extraction.
- Strain off the alcohol and add it in to the previous extractions.
- You’ve just made homemade cherry liqueur!
Let’s compare notes! Here’s my cherry liqueur journal where I describe the characteristics in further detail in all four extractions.
Have you ever tried your hand at fermenting? How did it go? What would you recommend or steer clear of next time? I would love to hear your tips and tricks below in the comments!
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