Sugared Cherries in Brandy and Triple Sec

Sugared Cherries in Brandy and Triple Sec

3 lbs. dark or light sweet cherries

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups brandy

2 cups orange-flavored liqueur, such as Triple Sec

Stem and pit the cherries. Divide the cherries between two clean jars, alternating layers of cherries and sugar (use about 1 cup of sugar per jar to begin with; you can always add more later), filling each jar to three-quarters full.

Combine the brandy and Triple Sec, then add enough of the liquid to cover the cherries and sugar generously. Attach the lids and set the jars in a cool, preferably dark, spot. (For best quality, store the filled jars in as cool and dark a spot as possible. High humidity and temperature encourages bacterial and mold growth; and too much light will fade the color of the fruit.)

Shake the jars every few days or at least once a week; the sugar will gradually dissolve. Once the sugar has thoroughly dissolved, sample the syrup to see if more sugar is needed. If you add more sugar, continue to shake the jars occasionally until it has all dissolved. Leave the cherries in the brandy for a minimum of 3 months; 5 to 6 months is not too long.

Serve 2 or 3 cherries in a small glass with a little of the brandy, or use as a sauce for ice cream.

Makes 2 quarts.

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