It’s day three of Drink Week! Today’s topic is the no-cook fruit syrup. Because sometimes, it’s just too darn hot to turn on the stove for even a minute. This sour cherry version is ideal with a little spritz, so make sure to click over and enter the Sodastream giveaway. Make sure to check out the previous two Drink Week posts, Black Raspberry Syrup and Cherry Bounce and Other Boozy Infusions.
If you search this website, you will see that my obsession with sour cherries is well-documented. There are at least two different jam recipes here, and recently, I’ve been tempted to post a third, since lately I’ve been making a whole sour cherry preserve that would knock your socks off. But this isn’t about cherry preserves. This about a revelation I had recently. It’s the no-cook, whole fruit syrup.
In essence, you put a some fruit in a jar (in this case, two cups of pitted sour cherries). Pour half as much sugar in (one cup of organic cane sugar) and then smash the heck out of the fruit with a wooden spoon, tiny potato masher or the end of a rolling pin (I used a little muddler that looks like a tiny baseball bat). After you’ve taken out your aggressions, just park the jar in the fridge overnight and forget about it.
The next day, check on your jar of sugared and smashed fruit. In some cases, the sugar will be entirely dissolved, but not always. If not, give the jar a good shake (make sure you’ve got a tight-fitting lid on there or you’ll be covered in sticky juice) and put it back. After a day or so of chilling and shaking, you should be left with a jar full of fruit and syrup, ready to be used.
Once it’s gotten nice and juicy, you have two choices. You can either strain the fruit from the syrup, discard it and proceed to use the syrup as you’d like. Or you can do what I do, and add those tender bits of sour cherry to your glass. I like it with some sparkling water and, on occasion, two or three drops of bourbon (for a very mild, faux, fizzy Manhattan). You can also use it to make instant sangria. Just add a few spoonfuls of the sour cherries and their syrup to a glass of red wine, ice cubes and sparkling water. Stir and quaff.
This technique also works with plums, apricots and plums. Try it. I think you’ll be sold.
Oh, and if all this talk of sparkling water has you parched, don’t forget to enter the Sodastream giveaway!