Just when I thought strawberry season was finally going to get here, rains of Biblical proportions have fallen on us. The strawberry season may or may not happen this year. In the meantime, there are end of year teacher gifts to be made. So, I hauled out some of last year’s frozen sour cherries and combined them with a bag of lemons and voila! Sour Cherry Lemonade Syrup. But before anyone thinks that I am genius enough to have created this lovely little elixir all by my lonesome, I need to share with you that I was sent the Preservation Society: Home Preserves cookbook. This is not your grandmother’s book of canning recipes. I have a lot of canning cookbooks lining my bookshelves and this one definitely stands out. For starters, Camilla provides not only canning recipes, but also recipes for cooking with the fruits of your labour. I have lost track of the number of times I have handed someone a jar and received the ‘but what do I do with it?’ look in return. Beyond more than just another strawberry jam recipe, there are also drink syrups and butters amongst the gems she offers up. Measurements are also offered up two ways – by weight and by volume. Since not every kitchen is home to a food scale, this is very useful.
E4 was eager to help with the lemon zesting. He managed to zest without shredding his fingers – something I may or may not do on a semi-regular basis.
I always prepare at least one extra jar when I am canning. Better to have to dry a jar and lid than to scramble and not have enough ready. This recipe, however, makes 6 –250 mL jars – exactly what the recipe indicates it will.
My children’s teachers have always been very gracious about whatever gifts our kids give them. However, I do know that the male teachers do end up with an abundance of coffee shop gift cards and the female teachers with hand soaps. Mason jars are durable enough to survive a ride to school in a backpack. A simple square of decorative fabric on top fancies it up. You can cut a circle (if you are more skilled than I am) or use a square piece instead. I find a 5” piece does the trick nicely.
If you can this syrup into a 500 mL jar, and use the new pumps that are originally designed for soap, you have a great syrup for your homemade soda machine. I am going to use this basic formula to come up with a few more drink syrups soon. Blueberry limeade comes to mind, along with a few others. Do you have any other flavour combinations you think I should try out?
Sour Cherry Lemonade Syrup
- 1 lb /3 cups pitted sour cherries
- 3 cups sugar
- pinch salt
- grated zest of 5 lemons , divided
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh squeeze lemon juice
Combine cherries, sugar, salt, zest of 3 lemons, and water in large pot. Bring to a soil, stirring to dissolve sugar
Reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove the cherries and place into cheese cloth Squeeze juice from cherries back into the pot.
Ad the remaining lemon zest and juice to the syrup.
Heat mixture again and pour into hot jars.
Water process for 15 minutes.