I completely forgot about making these until my boyfriend requested them! I made them last year around Canada Day, so I’m a couple months late this year but I’m sure they’ll still turn out great!
Start with a whole lot of beautiful ripe cherries – I honestly never pay attention to how much I buy. A lot. Maybe 2 lbs? Don’t worry about whether you have too much – you’ll have some left over to snack on! Give them a wash to start.
You’ll also need a very large mason jar – mine is 1 litre. I bought it at the local hardware store for $1.39. I gave it a wash, too because it smelled funny!
With a small paring knife, halve the cherries. Remove the pits and add the cherry halves to the jar. (Some people keep the pits in because they are supposed to add an almond-ish flavour. I included the pits last year, but I couldn’t taste that flavour, and it meant I had to be careful to separate out the pits at Christmas… so this year, I’m doing without!)
Continue until the jar is completely full of cherries – give the jar a jiggle once in a while to make the cherries settle down into the space. Get out your brandy – I bought a 750ml bottle (26 oz) of the least expensive French brandy I could find.
Fill the jar with brandy, making sure all the cherries are covered. Again, give the jar a little jiggle to make sure there are no air pockets, and add a little more brandy if needed. I didn’t end up using the whole bottle – but I’m sure you can find a use for the leftovers!
Label the jar with the date and put it in the back corner of the fridge until Christmas time!
These cherries will not be sweet – if you want some to be sweeter, I’d suggest adding sugar to the jar in December. Last year, we added the brandied cherries to a sweet punch. The not-so-sweet cherries provided good contrast and came to be known as “cherry bombs” because of their intense alcohol content! I also poured off the cherry brandy and used it in place of rum in a rum balls recipe – its fruity flavour added another dimension. I’ve gotten requests for more of those “brandy balls” too!
Now… we just have to wait until December!