Sour cherries grow in Vermont but their season is short, sometimes only two weeks long! If we have an unusually cold spring there might not be any sour cherries. Last Friday my husband and I decided to go on an adventure and find some elusive sour cherries to pick!
There was an orchard on the Vermont – New York border, a little more than an hour away that had sour cherries, so off we went!
It was a cloudy cool day and the grass was wet from the night’s rain but the cherries were indeed abundant and easy to pick. With my husband and I picking we managed to pick 13 pounds of cherries in a little over an hour! They were absolutely beautiful!
You may ask what I’m going to do with all those cherries? The first thing to do was to pit them. The folks at the orchard said not to waste my money on a cherry picker but to just use a paper clip. A little tedious but easy and I put some music on and pitted away!
Next I mixed up a batch of my wonderful Sour Cherry Cordial. So easy to make and it is the essence of summer! You must be patient as it takes four months before you can enjoy it. However, it is the perfect drink to enjoy in the middle of winter sitting in front of the wood stove! It’s been years since I made a batch so I doubled the recipe. After all it does make a nice gift when placed in a fancy bottle!
Sour Cherry Cordial
2 ½ pounds of sour cherries
3 cups vodka
3 cups of sugar
Put the vodka and washed, crushed cherries (without stems) in a large container.
Let the cherry vodka mix sit in a cool dark place for one month. Shake occasionally.
After a month, add the sugar, and let sit another month, shaking when you think of it. Strain, bottle, and let age for four months.
Drink as an aperitif, or digestif, chilled or warm, in small glasses. We enjoy it over crushed ice.
As I sip the cordial I will remember our outing and the warm sunny days of picking sour cherries in the orchard.
I did not use all 13 pounds of cherries in the cordial, I also have two bags of pitted cherries to use for cherry compote and/or a pie! Plus I gave my neighbor two pounds and in exchange she is going to give me a jar of her delicious cherry blueberry jam!