Cherry syrup – an easy way of preserving cherries. No pitting required! Great with sparkling water, in cocktails or over desserts.
If you are looking for another way of preserving cherries this summer, try this simple cherry syrup. It is so easy to make, so flavorful and brightly colored. It keeps well, there are many ways to use it and it makes a wonderful gift.
Or try some Cherries in Kirsch or in Syrup. Or can cherries jars, the old-fashioned way, I think I must have canned about 12 jars this year and I still had tons of fruit left for other preserves like red wine cherries, vinegar or cakes like the almond cherry cake, or the cherry Bakewell cake.
And one of the best things about this recipe? You don’t have to pit the cherries!!! Which is always a great relief. I mean, I love my pitter, but I love it even more not to pit… (Amazon affiliate link).
What do you need?
- I always use heart cherries from our tree in the garden.
- Bing or Picotta are pretty similar.
- And actually, any other sweet ones you happen to have would be fine.
- I can imagine making sour cherry syrup as well, but getting my hands on some of those is quite impossible…
- Frozen should also be fine as well, but I’ve never actually used them, as I have so many fresh ones every summer.
- Sugar, lemon, and vanilla extract.
- Vanilla extract is optional, but it adds a nice flavor.
- I’ve also used tonka beans (½ a small bean) to flavor this syrup. Absolutely amazing, do use it if you can get any.
- I usually order a small package online and freeze the beans, they are very powerful, you will only need a little for a lot of flavor. Either halve them (it works even when they are frozen) or grate a small amount and place the remaining bean (quickly) back into the freezer.
- Instead of vanilla or tonka, you could also flavor the syrup with 1 small cinnamon stick or star anise. A thick slice of fresh ginger, 2-3 whole cardamom pods, 1-2 cloves, or all-spices berries are also great ideas.
How to make?
- Place the cherries without pitting them into a large, thick-bottomed pot.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice and water and stir on medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Mash the cherries with a potato masher.
- Add vanilla extract/tonka bean/other spices.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the cherries are very soft.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing the solids slightly with the back of a spoon, to make sure that you get all the juices into the other pan.
- Pour the syrup into sterilized bottles.
How to store or can?
- The cherry syrup will keep for at least 3-4 weeks refrigerated.
- If you want to can the syrup, you might want to fill it in smaller bottles or jars that will fit in the canner or canning pot.
- After canning you can store it in a dark cool place, like a cellar or a pantry, it will keep for about 1 year.
- Canning is not necessary if you only make a small batch because the syrup will definitely not last longer than a few days before is all gone… it is that good!
How to use?
- The most obvious way of using it: mix it with cold sparkling water and enjoy it. The ratio of water-syrup is really to taste, but you will not need much syrup, as it is very flavorful and sweet.
- Add a splash to lemonade.
- Mix it with spirits like vodka or gin.
- Make margaritas by mixing it with tequila, water, and lime juice.
- Pour over waffles, pancakes, or ice cream.
- Use to moisten cake bases or to add flavor and color to cake fillings.
More syrup recipes?
- 500 g/ 1 lb sweet cherries
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 medium lemon
- 500 ml/ 17 fl.oz/ 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional (Note)
- Place the cherries without pitting them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the sugar, lemon juice and water, stir and cook gently on medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Mash the cherries with a potato masher, add vanilla if using (or other spices). Continue simmering, stirring from time to time, until they are really soft, about 15 minutes.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and press the cherries with the back of a spoon to help them release all the juices. Pour the syrup into sterilized bottles. Keep refrigerated, it will keep for about 4 weeks.
- If you want to keep it for longer, can the syrup in a water bath or in a canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. In this case, fill the syrup into smaller bottles or jars that will fit in the canner or canning pot. Leave to cool on a folded kitchen towel and store in a dark cool place, the canned syrup will last for about 1 year.
You could also flavor the syrup with a small stick cinnamon, a star anise, 1-2 cloves or all-spice berries, 1 thick slice of fresh ginger or 2-3 pods cardamom.