Since ancient times, cherry liqueur has been an excellent drink for a festive table: delicious, easy to prepare and does not require rare ingredients. I propose to consider two proven recipes for cherry liqueur, which can be reproduced at home. In the first case, the drink is prepared by insisting on vodka, in the second-by natural fermentation. You will only need berries, sugar, and water or vodka (depending on the recipe you choose).
Previously, the cherry should be sorted out, removing the stalks, unripe, spoiled, rotten and moldy berries. Even just a few spoiled berries can spoil the taste of the drink. For the preparation of liqueurs, frozen fruits are also suitable, but after defrosting, it is important to use the liquid after melting (just pour it into the jar).
Cherry liqueur with vodka
A stronger, easier-to-prepare method. Vodka can be replaced with well-purified moonshine (I recommend double fractional distillation), diluted to 40 degrees with ethyl alcohol or cheap, but natural cognac.
Ingredients per three-liter jar:
- cherry berries – 1 kg (approximately);
- vodka (moonshine, cognac) – 0.5-0.7 liters;
- sugar – 300-400 grams (to taste).
1. Wash the berries, pierce them with a toothpick, and then pour them into a jar with a wide neck (not a bottle). Each layer of cherries (3-4 cm in height) is sprinkled with sugar-3-5 tablespoons. For a three-liter jar, only 12-20 tablespoons of sugar are required. The result is a moderate sweetness of the liqueur. Cherries should be placed on the shoulders of the jar, on top there should be sugar.
The seeds give a light almond taste due to the low concentration of cyanide and prussic acid. Proper infusing time and sugar neutralize these harmful substances, but if you think that the drink can harm your health, remove the seeds from the cherries, leaving only the pulp and juice, but the taste will lose its characteristic astringency.
2. Fill the contents of the jar to the top with an alcoholic base. The exact amount depends on the size of the berries, which should be covered with alcohol at least 1-2 cm.
3. Close the container tightly with a lid, put it in a dark place with room temperature. Shake once every 2-3 days to make the sugar dissolve faster.
4. After 35-40 days (only with the pulp of 60 days), remove the cherries from the jar, straining the liqueur through several layers of gauze and cotton wool. Taste it, if desired, additionally sweeten with sugar. Pour into storage bottles, seal tightly. The drink is ready to drink.
Fortress — 25-30%. Shelf life in a dark, cool room-up to 3 years.
Berries are used for confectionery purposes or as a snack.
Serve homemade cherry liqueur better chilled. To reduce the strength of the drink, you can dilute it with juice, for example, cherry, apple or orange.
Cherry liqueur without vodka and seeds
The technology is more complex than in the first case, and resembles the preparation of wine. But the taste is softer, there is no smell of alcohol, and the strength is lower.
- cherry – 2kg;
- sugar – 800 grams;
- water – 250-300 ml.
Attention! It is advisable not to wash the berries and not to collect them immediately after the rain, so that wild wine yeast remains on the skin, otherwise the liqueur may not ferment. If the dirty cherries had to be washed, use store-bought wine yeast (in no case pressed or dry bakery) or 2-3 days before laying the raw materials, make a starter culture from raisins. In order not to infect the wort with mold or other microorganisms, sterilize the jar with boiling water, carefully select the cherries (there should be no moldy berries) and work only with washed hands.
1. Squeeze out the seeds from the ripe cherries, taking care not to splash the juice. At the bottom of a three-liter jar, pour 200 grams of sugar, then add the juice that has been released.
2. Put the pitted cherries and the remaining sugar (600 grams) in alternating layers.
3. Pour the water up to the shoulders, and not up to the neck, because during the fermentation process, foam and gas will be released, which need a free volume.
4. Install a water shutter on the neck of the jar or put on a medical glove, in one of the fingers of which make a small hole with a needle. Additionally, tie the glove around the circumference of the neck with a rope or rubber ring.
5. Put the jar with the liqueur in a warm (18-29°C), dark place or cover with a thick cloth. After 8-36 hours, foam should appear, the glove should at least slightly inflate or the water seal should start to bubble. This means that the fermentation is normal.
Depending on the temperature and yeast activity, homemade cherry liqueur ferments for 25-55 days. Then the glove is deflated (the water valve stops gurgling) and almost all the foam disappears. This means that you can move on to the next stage.
6. Drain the liqueur from the jar. For this purpose, you can use a regular nylon cover with holes. The ingress of sediment should not bother, the main thing is to get rid of the remnants of cherries.
7. After two days of settling in a hermetically sealed jar, remove the drink from the sediment, then filter through several layers of gauze and cotton wool.
8. Pour the finished liqueur into storage bottles, close the stoppers. For a minimum of 45 days, transfer to the refrigerator, cellar or basement with a temperature of 3-16°C for aging to improve the taste.
Store in a dark, cool place, preferably in dark glass bottles, shelf life-up to 3 years. The fortress is 9-12 degrees.