One of my favorite warm weather treats is a cold Italian soda. Originally, I paid for them in coffee shops and restaurants. Recently, however, I procured a Sodastream for myself to make carbonated water. With this new gadget, I have been making sparkling water and Italian sodas at home.
I have been using store-bought syrups, but with the recent bounty of sour cherries I decided to try my hand at a homemade syrup. The concept is simple, fruit + water + sugar, so without even consulting the internet, I jumped into the project. My first batch worked well and went straight into a glass bottle from Ikea (bottles courtesy of my sister). I decided to leave the pits in while boiling the whole mess, thinking that they would add a hint of almond flavor (my favorite Italian soda is cherry almond) and would be easier to strain out later.
Sour Cherry Syrup
4 cups sour cherries
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Add all the ingredients to a large sauce pan, cover, and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes and then remove the lid and let simmer while stiring for another 10 minutes. I smashed some of the larger cherry bits against the wall of the pan during this stage.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Stir the mixture well before pouring through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press on the solids to extract all the juice and syrup.
Allow to cool and then bottle up. Use a few tablespoons per glass of sparkling water.