It's finally summer, and that means high temperatures and lots of standing in front of my open freezer, looking for something to help me cool off. This week I happened to grab a quart of sour cherries as I walked through the Union Square farmers market marveling at all of the amazing summer produce. I love to pick up something unusual and seasonal with the challenge in mind to make something I've never made before. So while these cherries might be destined to for popsicles or to be baked into a slab pie, I wanted to throw together a quick experiment today in honor of an old summertime favorite: cherry limeade.
This recipe was made impromptu, and the resulting syrup tasted exactly like a concentrated version of the drink I remember so well from my youth. While you can dump the whole of the liquid into a liter of plain seltzer, as I did (warning: it exploded, so pour slowly), you can also save it in the fridge and make your limeade to taste by pouring seltzer over a glass of ice with a portion of syrup in there. I have the sneaking suspicion that this base would also make for a wonderful mojito or margarita, so don't be afraid to get creative!
- 1 oz Sour Cherry juice
- 1 oz Lime juice
- 1 oz Agave syrup
- To prepare cherries, pit and de-stem them and collect the cherry pulp in a small dish. I used between 15 and 20 cherries for this small scale batch.
- Place the pitted cherries in a mesh colander or wrap them in cheese cloth and gently squeeze out as much juice as you can until you have an ounce (or more, if there's more, feel free to scale up this recipe!).
- Once you have your cherry juice, strain it once more through a mesh strainer to remove any excess pulp.
- Slice a lime in half and squeeze the juice into the cherry juice until you have 2 ounces of juice total.
- Add an ounce of agave syrup to the juice mixture and gently whisk to incorporate the syrup.
- That's it! Store this syrup in the fridge for use an time in a cocktail, or add carefully to a liter of plain soda water (I used the regular soda stream bottle and found it to be just the right amount of sweet/sour). Cheers!