My husband’s friend Doug sent him a message about a month ago asking if I could do anything with some sour cherries. Doug knows my love of culinary adventures. I had no idea what I would do with them at the time but I told Josh to tell him: Yes, I will take them!
Doug fought with the birds and managed to gather about a pound and a half of tiny cherries. He tasted one and warned me: they are tiny, have a huge pit inside and taste extremely sour. My husband looked at me like I was insane when I still said I wanted them.
I asked Doug to freeze them for me until we could pick them up. In the meantime I started my search for sour cherry recipes. I was looking for something where I could either run the cherries through my old food mill after cooking to remove the pits or better yet – a recipe that didn’t require removing them.
After a lot of hunting, I settled on trying a batch of Cherry Brandy. My inspiration was from a blog called Ohio Thoughts, though I am modifying the process slightly.
To begin, I cleaned and removed the stems of my cherries. Then I dropped them into one of my gallon-sized carboys and added 2.5 cups of sugar, shaking to coat.
The recipe says to simply cover the cherries and let them ferment for two weeks. I covered mine and left them sit several days but they weren’t seeping out much moisture and I saw no signs of fermentation so I altered my batch a bit.
I added about a cup of water and shook it to mix in all the sugar with the cherries. Next I threw in a pinch of yeast, shook gently to mix, and covered it back up. Now it looks like something is happening. I can see tiny air bubbles forming on the top – a sure sign of fermentation.
So now it sits for two weeks then I will mix in vodka in equal parts to the cherry mixture. Then I let it age and hopefully will have some delightful homemade brandy by the holidays. Cheers!