Brandied Cherries

DSC_5025I like cherries and I like alcohol. I love cherries in alcohol. Ever since I had the house-made cherries at a bar a few months ago, I’ve been entertaining the thought of making my own. How hard could it be, right?

In the BF’s copy of The Art of the Bar, there’s a simple recipe for brandied cherries. Brandy, cherries, some spices, and a bit of lemon. Easy peasy.

Unfortunately, the recipe was for six pounds of cherries and we only had a bit less than one pound. We cut the proportions of the recipe to fit our needs, but something must have gone wrong during the math because there was a lot less liquid than cherries. The liquid barely came up to the halfway mark on the jar filled with cherries.

Nevertheless, I put the jars in a water-bath to activate the suction-sealing mason jar tops. It was my first time water-bathing anything, so it was a little exciting. I still don’t trust these cherries to keep for a long time out of refrigeration but it was still interesting to see that the water-bath did indeed form a vacuum inside the bottle.

A day later, I broke the seal on one of our two jars to taste the cherries. Sweet, boozy, and fantastic! It was a great little treat at the bottom of my Martinez.


Next time I do this, I’ll definitely put more boozy liquid into the jar because it’d be good once it soaks up some cherry flavor.

Cherry Picking @ Northside

One of my favorite things about the end of spring and the beginning of summer is the abundance of cherries. And what better place to get delicious cherries than right off the tree?

Cherry Picking

Last weekend, I went cherry picking. I was afraid that it was going to be too late in the season for good cherries, but I didn’t need to worry. There were plenty of nice plump cherries on the trees. Unfortunately, it might be a bit too late for rainier cherries (the yellow ones) because the few rainier trees we did find only had a nice ripe ones all the way at the unreachable top.
Cherry Picking

The orchard we went to, Northside, has lots of trees and a few varieties of cherries to pick from. My favorite that day were the dark red cherries which were crunchy and sweet. The orchard charges $3 a pound for cherries, which is not bad considering they don’t charge you for the cherries you taste off the tree while you’re there.

The only caveat is that if you plan to separate your pickings into different bags, make sure to use different buckets in the first place. The lady who weighed and tallied up our costs was cranky and gave someone in our party a hard time because she wanted her cherries split into two bags and even offered to pay for the cost of the second bag.

Also, make sure to pack sun block and a hat. While the orchard was shady, there were still some patches of sun and it was at least 95 degrees outside.

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Northside Cherries
9729 Northside Drive
Leona Valley, CA 93551