Do you remember fizzy cherryade as a child? This one’s tangy, refreshing, tastes much better than a shop-bought cherry drink and doesn’t contain any nasties.
- 225g (8oz) fresh, ripe cherries
- 600ml (1pt) boiling water
- 1 lime (or try an orange or mandarin, but not lemon, which is too sharp), peeled and 1/4 juiced
- 50g (1 ¾oz) caster sugar
- Sparkling water, to dilute
Wash the cherries carefully and remove all stalks. Chop each one in half and remove the stones. Put the fruit in a big bowl and bruise them slightly with the back of a metal spoon to get the juices flowing.
Pour the boiling water over the cherries and stir.
Peel the lime, and quarter it. Add a couple of strips of peel and the juice of 1/4 to the cherries.
Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Cover and leave for 2 hours.
Add cold sparkling water to dilute to your own taste.
The cherry base may be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
Fancy an alcoholic long cherry cocktail? Add a splash of good cognac to each glass of the cherry base before topping up with just a little sparkling water and garnish with a twist of lime peel (not suitable for people under 18 years old).
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You could also use tinned cherries in fruit juice. Buy a 425g tin of pitted cherries and 4 tbsp of the juice. However, fresh cherries are best.