A slush drink for grown-ups! This frozen vodka cocktail with ripe red cherries is well worth the effort.
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar
- 500g (1lb) ripe red cherries, rinsed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4tbsp vodka
- Shallow tin (about 26 x 15.5cm/10¼ x 6½in)
Put 60g (2oz) of the sugar in a pan with 150ml (¼ pint) cold water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cherries, bring to the boil and mash them to release the juices. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins with the lid half on, mashing occasionally, until the fruit is soft. Cool for a few minutes, then push the mixture through a sieve to collect juices and discard the stones and skin.
Meanwhile, make a syrup. In a heavy-based pan, gently heat the rest of the sugar, 350ml (12fl oz) cold water and the lemon juice, until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool.
Mix the cherry juice and the syrup, stirring well, until smooth. Pour into the tin and freeze for 2-3 hrs until slushy.
Scrape the frozen mixture around the edges of the tin into the soft middle, blend in and freeze again. Repeat the process every half-hour until the mixture is firm enough to form a slush that you can spoon. Three to four stirrings should be enough.
Add the vodka and blend in. Serve in glasses, as ice slush or let it melt a little, with biscuits and cherries, if you like.
If you don't want to serve the cherry vodka slush straightaway, just transfer it to a plastic box and store in the freezer. Take out 10-20 mins before serving. Use within 3 months.