The cherry blossom tree is in bloom. Now that spring is here and the sun has decided to make an appearance in Scotland everything is starting to appear again in the garden.
Once the cherries appear (too sour to eat) there’s a race on to share the spoils with the birds. I make a cherry liqueur. Not for drinking straight (unless you are my mum who likes liqueurs) but for pinking up, and sweetening up, the Christmas time champagne.
Four easy steps
The prep stage. Pick enough cherries. Pick loads of them to ensure it adds the flavour to the final product. When the birds have got there first I sometimes top mine up with some store bought ones. Then buy a good bottle of vodka, possibly a little brandy (I’m not overly prescriptive about this) and sugar.
The container is important. If you have one with those tops that seal down then great. You could always use an alternative though (possibly re-use a protein powder container). It just needs to seal and be strong enough to not explode in the cupboard.
Vodka (and a little brandy), sugar, water and the cherries! Easy. Half bottle of the vodka, half a bag of sugar and same part water to the vodka. Take off the stalks, wash the cherries first then shove it all together and stir. Then hide it and every week or so (again not overly prescriptive on this) stir gently. I do this by slowly tipping the container up and down. Then hide again.
Wait. Wait a good 4 months. I wait six to ensure it is just in time for the festive season. Then strain the liquid into the nicest bottles you can find and woo! Cherry Liqueur.
If it lasts this long then it is also perfect for the first sunny day of Spring.