A fresh twist on a summertime staple!
Although this drink is delicious ‘as is’, like most lemonades, it can be transformed into a delightful cocktail with the addition of a splash of rum, whiskey, bourbon or vodka. If you want to take advantage of fresh sweet cherries while they are in season, you can pit and freeze them for later use in this recipe and others like these scrumptious cherry cheesecake popsicles. Note that sour cherries would also work in this recipe, although you might have to adjust the amount of sweetener if you find the syrup a little too tart.
- 2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen sweet cherries, pitted (thaw if using frozen)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) white sugar or agave syrup
- 1 – 2 drops almond extract (optional but delicious)
- Cold water (regular or sparkling), lemon slices and fresh cherries, to serve
- Place cherries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve or several layers of cheesecloth.
- If not serving immediately, store in a glass jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- When ready to serve, stir or shake the cherry-lemon syrup then pour 2 – 3 tablespoons / 30 – 45 mL of syrup (amount depends upon the size of your glass) into a drinking glass filled with ice.
- Add alcohol, if using, then top with water and garnish with a lemon slice and fresh cherries.
Recipe makes approximately 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of cherry-lemon syrup and can easily be halved or multiplied.