I have big plans to make the most of the bright, ripe cherries I’ve spotted at the farmers’ market lately. And while I’m bringing seasonal produce to my kitchen table, why not bring it to the bar with homemade cherry-infused brandy?
Spirits with the word “infused” in the name can sound intimidating, but they’re not just for artisanal producers anymore. Flavoring alcohol with fruits, herbs and spices is an age-old technique that’s gaining popularity.
To make your own Cherry Brandy, all you need are a jar with a lid, your favorite brandy and some fresh cherries. Once it’s ready, substitute Cherry Brandy for regular brandy in cocktails and enjoy the refreshing fruit flavor.
1 cup cherries, lightly crushed
2 cups brandy
Have ready a clean, widemouthed 1-quart jar and its lid. Rinse the cherries and pat dry. Pour the brandy into the jar, add the cherries and gently push down to submerge them. Wipe the rim clean and seal tightly with the lid. Store the jar in a cool, dark place, shaking it every day.
After a week, taste the brandy. If it hasn’t reached the desired flavor, shake and taste it every day or two until you’re satisfied with the flavor. Strain the brandy mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or paper coffee filter and discard the cherries. Return the strained brandy to the jar and seal tightly with the lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Makes 2 cups.