A few months ago, I bought a jar of ming cherries from China. At the time, I assumed that they would taste just like the maraschino cherries that we use lovingly (but sparingly) in the U.S.
After opening them up, we discovered that ming cherries and maraschino cherries are NOT the same. The ming cherries are, in fact, downright nasty.
Well, I don’t care much for throwing food away, and thanks to Anne of Green Gables, I didn’t have to. Something from my past viewings kept poking at my consciousness, a scene with Diana where she drinks “cherry cordial.” I didn’t know exactly what that was, but Diana got drunk off of it, so it probably wasn’t too terrible. (FYI, it’s actually raspberry cordial. I had to look it up.)
Anyway, I did a search of cherry cordial, and found a blog (Losing Our Shirts, Keeping The Farm) that has the recipe. It’s simple.
a lot of cherries, pitted and mashed a little (approx. 2 cups per glass container)
clear brandy (Christian Brothers white brandy is recommended)
2 Mason jars/glass container
3″ cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
sugar syrup (2 cups sugar + 1 cup water)
Put the cherries in the jar, cover with brandy, add broken pieces of cinnamon stick to it. Seal the jars, and MAKE SURE YOU SHAKE THEM UP. As Nancy Chase points out in her blog, the alcohol is what keeps the fruit from spoiling. If any of them aren’t in contact with the alcohol, it’s going to get nasty in there.
Next, tuck them away in a quiet little corner for about a month.
When the month is up, open them up and strain out the liquid. Then filter it by putting the coffee filter in the large funnel, and pouring (and waiting) for it to go through.
Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by cooking the sugar and the water until it’s all dissolved. Take it off the fire and let it cool.
After it’s filtered and the sugar syrup has cooled, combine the two. Allow them to steep another two weeks.
Then, naturally, enjoy!
Keep in mind: Chase says they wouldn’t normally add all the sugar syrup, but it brought out the flavor of the cherries better.