Recipe: Akasha Richmond’s Cocktail Cherries

cherriesAkasha Richmond is on Good Food this week, talking about cherries.  They’re all the rage at LA-are farmers markets.  Akasha is making “grown-up” Maraschino cherries, but without all the bad-stuff.  She makes hers with fresh cherries, simple syrup and a variety of spices.  Use them as a garnish for cocktails, or for a homemade Shirley Temple.  (Keep reading for the recipe)

Akasha Richmond’s Cocktail Cherries

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 fresh vanilla bean
2 cardamon pods
1 whole star anise
2 lbs cherries, washed, stem left on
1/2 cup brandy (optional)

In a medium heavy sauce pan, bring sugar, water, agave, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, cardamon pods, and star anise to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cherries, bring back to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Turn off heat. Add brandy, cool to room temperature. Refrigerate-keeps for 1 month.

  • Happy Scrappy Blogger

    I'll have to try this. Made them according to a NY Times recipe last year and they were a hit. My household doesn't like the taste of agave, though, so I might substitute honey or sugar.

  • mary

    i used maple syrup and chambord for the agave and brandy plus some juniper berries kickin'

  • Sundry

    This looks like another great use for the pounds of cherries I'll be picking in Leona Valley this year! Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    I want to make these because do not like the chemicals in the store-bought. But I keep hearing negative comments about agave. Never anything good. Everyone says substitute for honey, sugar etc, but no positive comments. Can I just use equal amount of sugar? No cherries in our markets yet. Also, do you keep the whole spices in the jar, or remove before putting in fridge?

  • FlorenceArrow

    If I do not add brandy will I still be able to keep the cherrie in the refrigerator for a month?

  • aimbug

    This may seem like a stupid question, but do you pit the cherries or leave them whole with pits and stems?

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  • shannon

    I made this recipe exactly as-is (with a bit more brandy:)) using Ranier cherries. They are fantastic! Yesterday, I made a soda using the syrup in the jar and a few cherries with club soda. Amazing! I'll make these again and again.

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