For a long time, I hated cherries. Perhaps it was due to an unfortunate maraschino ruining a perfectly good ice cream sundae, or just one lick of a dreaded cherry lollipop when I was expecting strawberry, but as a young girl I detested the things. Of course, I hadn’t tasted real cherries.
A few years ago I finally tasted sweet cherries for the first time, and it was love at first bite. They remind me of tiny little plums, bursting with juice that’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Yesterday I learned a neat trick for pitting cherries, and I just have to share it with you. After removing the stem, I used a closed star frosting tip (Wilton 27 to be exact) to push the pit out the bottom of the cherry. So much easier than trying to use a knife!
Armed with an abundance of cherries and a quick and easy way to remove their pits, I set out to make something light and refreshing: cherry-basil soda. It’s the perfect way to welcome summer!
- 2 cups fresh cherries, rinsed and pitted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 8 basil leaves, chopped
- sparkling water or club soda
Combine the cherries, sugar, and basil in a bowl and stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the cherry mixture (including the syrup at the bottom of the bowl) until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh sieve and discard the remaining pulp.
Mix cherry syrup with sparkling water to taste. (I like to use 1 oz. syrup for every 5 oz. sparkling water.)
Makes approximately 12-16 oz. syrup.
Source: Slightly adapted from Gluten-Free Girl.