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Hey guys, CHERRY PITS CAN BE POISONOUS. Like apple and apricot pits, they contain amygdalin, which metabolizes into cyanide in the body when ingested. (Google it). When you soak them in alcohol for months, most of the amygdalin/cyanide will leech into the liqueur since it's very soluble in alcohol. If you don't drink much of the liqueur, the effect would likely be minimal; mild cyanide poisoning could resemble a bad hangover. In larger quantities, it could be perhaps dangerous. Why risk it? Pit the cherries before soaking them. If you like the bitter almond flavor that the cyanide imparts, add a flavoring - they make almond or bitter almond flavorings with the cyanide removed.
I put my 4th of July houseguest to work poking holes in the cherries. Bicker, bickerâ€¦. â€?Are you SURE you put 4 holes in each one? If 4 are good, 'am' 8 better?" HA! We added all the other fine ingredients, and it's been brewing away in the back corner of my counter ever since. Decided we'd call it "6 months" and just this week poured the brandy thru a coffee filter twice and bottled it. (Of course, we had to taste it to make sure it hadn't gone bad!) OMG, it's like liquid cherries for consenting adults. I conferred with Mystery about how to best store the remaining cherries, and we concluded they could be frozen or tucked in the fridge, covered with a bit more brandy for as long as they'll last. I'm hoping to use the brandy & cherries for the annual Xmas Cherries Jubilee. Next season, we'll buy more Bings, By Golly! This would make a great hostess gift, but this cherished bottle is staying home!
Well, NC the taste test committee reports back--WOW O WOW!!! This stuff is POTENT! Like atomic bomb-potent! Holy moley! I thought I'd toss back a "few" of these, but ONE cherry was MORE than enough for my tender tongue! I will use some in my Christmas baking and give you another report of how that turns out! .....Okay NC...I'm going out on a limb here giving this 5-star rating without ever having tasted this YET...but with these ingredients, please, tell me how it could NOT be 5-stars!? :-) Will be waiting for Thanksgiving & Christmas to taste this fine concoction...will get back to you--of course, I'll have to REMEMBER...but hopefully!!! *Made for ZWT 3 US Regional*
I'm with Debber--five stars on faith. Mine are about three weeks old now and looking simply beautiful. I made two quarts early in the bing cherry season here in Washington. We now are in the prime season and I do think I'll make a couple more. So glad you posted this!