Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sour Cherry Lemonade

A refreshing summer drink of sour cherries and lemonade.

Sour Cherry Lemonade

It'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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©Deep South Dish
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Disclosure: I received free product from Oregon Fruit Products.
Posted by on July 12, 2011

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  1. Yummity, just the perfect drink for our weather right now!

  2. I think I am gonna try this since I am allergic to strawberries and can not use them.. And I love lemonade

  3. OOOH....that looks and sounds wonderful! Love cherries and love lemonade, so it has to be a winner!

  4. This lemonade looks easy to make and so refreshing!

  5. Great job of making due with what you had!

  6. this looks soooo refreshing for a hot summer day! anne

  7. Mmm, this recipe looks delicious and I can't wait to try it out. You have so many delicious-looking recipes and I love this blog. How hot does it get in Mississippi?

  8. Enjoy y'all!!

    Hotter than hot! I'm on the coast so we get the heat plus the humidity which makes it feel even worse than what the thermometer says.

  9. good new twist on lemonade :) looks good

  10. I have been craving cherry lemonade/limeade ALL day today! I looked up recipes but none of them involved making a simple syrup with the fruit itself (in fact, a lot of them simply involved popping open a can of Juicy Juice cherry fruit juice and adding it to sprite), and I come here, and voila! You never let me down! I couldn't believe it was the newest recipe posted! It must be fate, or the good Lord helping me to beat this hot Ga heat while six and a half months pregnant with a cool and refreshing drink that I just so happen to be craving madly today! Ahhhh! Thanks so much!

  11. LOL Christy, it's been a day of those kinds of things for me. Very interesting. Enjoy!!

  12. That Cherry Lemonade looks so sweet and fresh especially in summer time, thanks for share.


  13. my old roomate from Georgia used to make cherry lemonade, wow what a great refreshing drink when it is so hot - thanks you have reminded me of some good times!

  14. You're right is so durn hot right now that beverages and cocktails are completely in order . . . I'm just sweating in the kitchen doing a lot of canning and preserving, but that's what happens when everything ripen in the middle of July! This recipe is wonderful!!!!!


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