Black Cherry Brandy, a holiday favorite!

I make black cherry brandy every holiday season.  It’s best after about 6 weeks of soaking, so I like to start it about mid-November.  It’s great, and even non-drinkers like to use the soaked fruit in cakes and pies, so it makes a nice gift for everybody!

2 pkgs of frozen sweet black cherries, dump the cherries in a large pot, cover them with water, add some sugar to taste, juice from one large, or two small lemons (about 1/4 cup) and bring to a boil.  Boil gently about 5 minutes.  Let this cool thoroughly.  Pour it into a large mason jar, and add alcohol (* either everclear or vodka) to taste.  Some like it strong, some like it weak.  It doesn’t really matter.

Seal it up and let it sit for about 6 weeks.  Shake it once-in-awhile to stir up the alcohol and the fruit that will both float to the top.  Around week 2 open the jar and taste – you’ll probably add either sugar or alcohol as the fruit will soak up a lot.  If it’s too strong add bottled water to taste.  Do this again at week 4 and on week 6 it’s ready!!

You can strain out the fruit if you wish and use them in something else, but I like to leave it in for people to drink around it, and then see them eat the fruit with their fingers – as they definitely will, and maybe try to steal their neighbor’s cherries as well!

Notes:

*to taste:  remember this is to be real brandy.  It isn’t very nice if it tastes like cough syrup, or bitter either – use your own best judgement – this is hard to mess up, as it can be corrected later by adding stuff.

*don’t leave out the lemon juice, or the brandy will definitely be very FLAT!

*alcohol:  Everclear is pure alcohol for making drinks, and not intended to use to drink alone.  It has no particular flavor, but it is STRONG.  We keep it around just to make our own brandy for the holidays.

Vodka is also the next choice as it is also strong, but it does have some taste.

Whiskey has even more taste, and could be nasty in the brandy.  Not advised.

And so on.

*Spices are nice to add to this – use your creativity.  A little vanilla maybe, or some cinnamon?

*My cousin, Dan Lee, calls this hooch from his college days.  Rather vulgar in my opinion, but I guess the method is the same.

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