Sour Cherry Lemonade

July 6, 2011

It's no secret that I'm a fool for sour cherries.  I love their flavor, – nothing makes a better pie – and I also love the fact that their season is so fleeting. Pick them, pit them and put them in your freezer and you can have instant summer in the middle of winter.

But pitting them is – well, the pits.  The easiest way to do that is with a paper clip; if you open one up, you'll have the perfect tool to just flip the pits right out. Still, it's a process.

That's what I love about this recipe; this lemonade not only tastes great, but you can make it without removing the pits. You do, however, need to remove the stems.

Start with a quart (about 2 pounds) of sour cherries, and, without removing the pits, dump the cherries into a blender. Whiz them about until they’re all smooshed and some of the pits are coarsely chopped, then put them into a strainer or a sieve and press hard, extracting as much puree as you can.  Discard the solids.

Put the cherry puree into a pitcher and stir in the juice of four lemons, and about a cup of sugar.  (If you like things really sour, you might want less; if you’ve got a sweettooth, you’ll want more.)

This will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to drink the lemonade, pour into glasses and add water (or sparkling water) to taste. 

Want to turn this into cocktails?  Add a few splashes of vodka or gin, and garnish with a sprig of mint.  

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