Boozy Bing Cherries make Manhattans even better!
Start with one pound of fresh sweet cherries, rinsed & drained. one clean quart jar and one sterilized needle.
Prick each cherry several times with the needle. These little holes will make it easier for the cherries to soak up the other ingredients.
Stir 1/2 cup sugar into 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. It will only take about a minute to create a syrup.
Pour the syrup slowly over the cherries. (The all-over pin-prick holes will also keep the cherry skins from splitting when the hot syrup hits them in the jar.)
Next add enough brandy to fill the jar. No need to buy expensive brandy for this project. The cherries are the star of the show here, so it's better to spend your money on tasty high-quality organic cherries than to spend it on the booze.
This is a good time to add a vanilla bean if you'd like.
And yes...you are supposed to leave the stems attached and the pits in the cherries. Stone fruits, like Bing cherries, are in the "Prunus" family, and contain some of the same qualities as almonds. The pits of the cherries add a unique flavor to the finished product, especially if you're patient enough to let these juicy little booze-laden gems sit and soak for a few weeks.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy Boozy Bing Cherries is in a cocktail, but they are a great way to glam up a cheese plate too. One of my favorite cheeses? "Dinah's Cheese" - locally made by Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island.
Snapshot of Dinah's Cheese in my fridge, next to a jar of Boozy Bing Cherries