So yesterday I posted the sour cherry liqueur I’ve started aging for the upcoming holiday season. Today I thought I’d post the sweet, dark cherry liqueur recipe I’ve got aging right next to it. For the sour cherry recipe, I didn’t pit the cherries. For this recipe, I pitted the cherries and smashed some of the pits with a meat tenderizer to get the almond flavor (that’s what you see floating in with the cherries). I can’t wait to compare these side by side.

I found Homebrew Underground after the sour cherry recipe, and I love this site. The posts are a few years old, but they are so detailed and carefully crafted that I keep going back for more recipes. So I used them for this dark cherry drink. So far I have completed Step One, and that was 2 weeks ago.

Step One Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs fresh or frozen cherries
Cherry pits from half of the cherries (from 3/4 lb)
1 1/4 cup sugar (see notes below)
750 ml 80-proof vodka

Step One Directions:

If using fresh cherries, pit the cherries with a cherry pitter and save the pits. If using frozen cherries, thaw them first.
Put cherries and sugar in 2 Qt. Mason jar.
Add vodka then shake thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.
Crack open the cherry pits and chop the kernels with a chopper, then add them to the mixture.
Macerate at room temperature for 8 weeks.

Step Two Ingredients:

1/2 cup standard sugar syrup

Step Two Directions:

Strain through a stainless steel strainer to separate cherries from vodka and juice.
Squeeze the remaining juice from the separated cherries using cheese cloth.
Add the sugar syrup. Vary the amount to sweeten to taste.
Age for 2 to 3 months.

I really need to take more photos of these kitchen experiments, but sometimes I just get too carried away and forget. I will update these in a few months when the drinks are ready.