How to Make It
Prepare smoker with cherry wood chunks according to manufacturer’s instructions, bringing internal temperature to about 225°F; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Place 1 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) cherries in an even layer in an 8-inch square disposable aluminum pan, and place on smoker grates. Close lid. Smoke cherries, maintaining temperature inside smoker around 225°F, until cherries are infused with desired degree of smoky flavor, 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally.
Combine smoked cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and remaining 5 cups fresh cherries in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is very juicy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 1 hour.
Pour cherry mixture into a large, clean lidded jar, and top with brandy. Screw lid on tightly, and store in a cool, dark place for 3 months.
Don’t rush this cordial; our testers found it drinkable after 2 months but exponentially smoother after 3 months.