Homemade cherry liqueur/cherry heering

Thanks to my bad-boy-photographer-extraordinaire-culinary-enthusiast-ascended-Zen-master-pal, David Perry, I have been looking at fruit this season with a new vision: homemade liqueurs. You all know my penchant for the sunset colored rhubarbtini. And David brought me a bottle of his famous plum brandy. Our dear family friend and hostess with the mostess, Miz Mary Riley, used to ply us with cherry heering in the winter. I remembered it fondly. So fondly in fact, that when I espied some gorgeous end-of-the-season local Bing-a-lings (Bing cherries to most of you), I snatched them up and brought them home and commanded my better half to get cookin’. And he did.

Here, gentle reader, the fruits of his labor

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Miz Mary’s recipe for Cherry heering
1 and a half pounds of dark red cherries with pits, no stems
1 and a half cups sugar
2 and a half cups vodka
1 cup decent brandy

Cut each washed cherry open but leave in the pits. Mix vodka, sugar and brandy and stir well to completely dissolve sugar. Divide cherries between two thoroughly clean quart glass jars, pour liquid over them. Stir and then put the lids on the jars.Let age in a cool, dark place, stirring a 2-3 times a week for the first couple of weeks. Age for at least 3 months.

After aging, strain through a fine mesh strainer, discarding fruit and pits, and bottle for yourself or in decorative bottles for gifting.

10 thoughts on “Homemade cherry liqueur/cherry heering”

  1. Sorry. That picture brings back bad memories of one of my first canning projects, canning 70 lbs of dark sweet cherries that my husband and I had picked. (Mostly my husband. I was watching the kids.) He had to go to sleep to get up real early, and I was left canning in a third floor walk up, no air conditioning, late at night, mid-July. First born was 3, 2nd child was 1 1/2, 3rd child due in September. Out of 58 jars, 23 didn’t seal. Of the ones that did seal, the cherries floated to the top, just like in your picture. I wasn’t raised in a canning family, and after that experience I never wanted to can again. But I did. But never cherries again.

  2. oh that is a color that artists have been trying to replicate on the canvas for centuries. That gorgeous red-purple-black of your cherries is so beautiful, MA. Can’t wait to taste a cocktail made with the cherry “heering,” so bring a jar to Seattle for our February soiree at Mr. Perry’s in W. Seattle. xoxo

  3. Oh MY! I’m off on a road trip to Eastern Washington today and already salivating at what I’ll find at the roadside fruit & vegetable stands. It’s the tail end of cherry season…I’ll be scooping some of those up to start my own brew! Cheers!

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