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
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.