Sour Cherry Syrup

Madhur Jaffrey likes to pour about a half inch of syrup into a tall glass, add lots of ice cubes and then pour in seltzer. You might prefer water instead. Iranis add a sprig of fresh mint and a sour cherry to the glass as well.Plus: Ultimate Cocktail Guide

3 quarts


  • 6 1/2 pounds fresh sour cherries, stemmed and pitted, or 4 1/2 pounds pitted, unsweetened frozen sour cherries

  • Scant 11 cups sugar

  • 5 1/2 cups water

  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)


  1. Working in batches, puree the cherries in a blender or food processor. Pass the juice through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much juice as possible.

  2. In a large saucepan, combine the cherry juice with the sugar, water and lime juice and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, skimming off the foam that rises to the top with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring and skimming occasionally, until syrupy, about 1 hour. Strain the syrup into jars and let cool completely before storing.

Make Ahead

The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

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