|A refreshing summer drink of sour cherries and lemonade.|
Sour Cherry LemonadeIt's kinda hard being a blogger of food this time of the year, and especially when it's primarily classic and favorite southern recipes you write about. People are cutting back on calories and passing over comfort foods, for swimsuits and vacation time. On top of that, it's just so darned hot down in this part of the world, that it's pretty hard to think about cooking, much less eating, especially if you've spent any of the day outside. On the rare occasion that we want to stand over the stove or turn on the oven in the summer, it has to be for something special, or to satisfy a particular craving.
This is the time of year that I like to try a variety of cold, fruity drinks. I was recently flipping through the July 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, and saw a recipe for sour cherry lemonade. It sounded refreshing, and a little different, so I thought it'd be a great time to add another lemonade to the mix. Of course Martha's recipe was made with fresh cherries and fresh lemons, neither of which I had on hand. I did know however, that I had a couple cans of Oregon tart cherries in the pantry and a can of lemonade concentrate in the freezer, and so, I wasn't troubled in the least! Fresh cherries would have been nice, although much more work, and canned cherries by Oregon contain nothing but fruit and water and are a great substitute and a winner in my book anytime!
I used two cans of Oregon Red Tart Cherries, draining one can, but reserving the juice. Add that can of cherries, plus the other can of cherries, with their juice, to a saucepan and stir in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to medium, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Press the cherries through a sieve, discarding the solids.
Mix in the reserved juice from the other can of cherries. Set aside to cool. Add the lemonade concentrate to a 2-quart pitcher.
Strain the cherry mixture to remove any remaining solids if you like, and add to the lemon concentrate. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and stir well to dissolve sugar.
Add the lemon-lime soda, mix well, taste and adjust sugar, as needed; fill pitcher with ice, stir and serve!
While my version is a bit different from Martha's, I guess you could say this recipe was at least inspired by her. Now one important thing to note - this is a mix of sour cherries and lemons here - so yes, it's tart. You may prefer more sugar than I have included, so remember to taste and adjust to your level of sweetness before you stir in the ice. For a nice adult beverage, add a splash of vodka to your glass.
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Recipe: Sour Cherry Lemonade©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 40 min | Yield: About 8 servings
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of Oregon sour cherries,drained, juices reserved separately
- 1 cup of granulated sugar, divided
- 1 (12 ounce) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 2 lemon-lime sodas (like 7-up or Sprite)
- Ice to fill 2 quart pitcher
- Fresh or Maraschino cherries, for garnish, optional
Drain one can of cherries but reserve the juice. Add that can of cherries plus the other can of cherries, with their juice, to a saucepan; stir in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Press the cherries through a sieve, discarding the solids; mix in the reserved juice from the other can of cherries and set aside to cool.
Add the lemonade concentrate to a 2-quart pitcher, strain the cherry mixture to remove any residual solids, and add it to the lemon mixture. Add the other 1/2 cup of sugar, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Add the lemon-lime soda, mix well, taste and adjust sugar as needed fill pitcher with ice, stir.
Note: This is a mix of sour cherries and lemons, so it is a tart beverage. You may prefer more sugar than I have included, so remember to taste and adjust to your level of sweetness before you stir in the ice. Add a splash of vodka per glass, to make this a refreshing summer adult cocktail. To use fresh cherries, use 1 pound of fresh (or frozen, drained) cherries, pitted or about 3 cups. Can also substitute homemade lemonade concentrate - simply add the base (without the water) along with the cherry mixture and sugar and proceed with the recipe.
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Disclosure: I received free product from Oregon Fruit Products.