Summer cocktails call for summer cherries.

The last time I made cocktail cherries I soaked them in Kirschwasser, Amaretto, and pomegranate juice.  They were wonderful, but better suited to winter drinks like Manhattans.  These Limoncello Cherries will brighten up all your spritzers, sparklers, chillers, coolers, splashes, punches, smashes and fizzes.  After they’ve soaked for a few days in the lemony liqueur they’ll be ready for the party.

I made a new discovery with these cherries.  I was able to pit them while leaving the stem intact.  This is all because one day on facebook I was lamenting that I couldn’t pit my cherries without losing the stems.  A commenter (thanks Jean!) mentioned that maybe one could pit a cherry sideways.  I tried it and now I have pitted cherries with stems!  So much better for cocktails.  And by the way, if you haven’t ‘liked’ the blog on facebook you’re missing out on some good times. I post several times a day, sometimes sharing posts from other sites, sometimes bringing back recipes from my archives, and it’s a little more interactive than it can be here.  There’s a link on the top right of this page if you want to join in.

These cherries don’t require any special equipment.  I recycled a jam jar to store them in, and if you don’t have a cherry pitter (which are very inexpensive and fun to use) you can always make one out of an old fork!  Here’s a tutorial. You don’t have to have special canning supplies because the alcohol will preserve the fruit.  Keep them in the fridge and they’ll last at least as long as it takes you to go through them, just make sure the fruit is fully submerged in the liqueur.

Limoncello Cocktail Cherries
fresh cherries, washed and pitted
Limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
zest of 1 lemon (wash it first)

  • Layer your cherries into a clean jar or jars, along with the lemon zest.  Fit the cherries into the jar as tightly as possible without squishing them too much, you don’t want mangled cherries in your drinks.
  • Fill the jar to the brim with Limoncello, making sure to completely cover the cherries.  Cap tightly and refrigerate.  You can eat them right away, but they are best after a couple of days of soaking, at least.  And they just keep getting better.

Limoncello is nice to have around, you can use it in cocktails, and it can be used in lots of summer dessert recipes, but if you don’t want to buy a bottle you can also make your own.

These are pretty spectacular on their own, right out of the jar, too!


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15 Responses to It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Friday: Limoncello Cocktail Cherries

  1. Jan Schindele says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love the tip regarding how to make your own cherry pitter. Please tell me how to make Limoncello.

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  3. Mary Younkin says:

    I’m catching up on last week’s posts and LOVING every single thing you’ve posted! So, if you happen to want to make one of the nifty fork pitters, just to check it out, you can pit the cherries from the bottom too! The cherries will then stand up on a plate with stems in the air. Just your fun random tip for today. Thanks again for the link! Have a FABULOUS week!

  4. bellini says:

    I have limoncello, now I am just waiting for local cherries:D

  5. What a clever idea! Summertime cocktails will taste so much better with real cherries and not THOSE OTHERS! I haven’t visited you in so long, Sue! So sorry about tha! I also see that you have been loving Ottolenghi’s work … I have JUST discovered him and wonder what rock I’ve been living under!!

  6. Cathy says:

    Wow, this is something I have to try. I love cherries and know I would end up eating them right out of the jar.

  7. I was just going to ask about sweet/sour cherries, and i’m glad it’s the former rather than the latter; I love sour cherries, but you almost never see them around here. Sweet cherries, however, are in abundance, which means I can totally make these! Oddly enough (or not so oddly) I just finished pickling some sweet cherries yesterday; it’s like opposites attract day for us.

  8. Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow says:

    Such beautiful photos… and cherries are among my favorites… any way they are served. blessings ~ tanna

  9. Eileen says:

    Now this is a most intriguing idea. I do have a whole lot of limoncello around, and the market is full of cherries…I’l have to give it a try!

  10. Spoons says:

    do you use sweet or sour cherries?

  11. Spoons says:

    do you use sweet or sour cherries?

  12. Ok they look long would they keep in Limoncello?:)

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