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Sour Cherry Lemonade Concentrate

by Camilla Wynne

Sour Cherry Lemonade Concentrate


Preservation Society Home Preserves by Camilla Wynne


THIS SYRUP IS A BOON TO HAVE ON HAND in the pantry on a hot summer’s day. If you’re on your own, add a few tablespoons to a glass of ice water, then refrigerate the rest for the next time you get thirsty. If you’re serving a crowd, pour the whole jar into a big pitcher and dilute to taste. For a grownups-only party, add gin or vodka for a very easy, very drinkable cocktail.


1 lb                 pitted sour cherries 450 g

3 cups            granulated sugar     600 g

Pinch              salt     Pinch

                      Grated zest of 5 lemons, divided

2 cups            water  500 mL

11⁄2 cups        freshly squeezed lemon juice       375 mL


Prepare the jars and lids.

In a large pot, combine the cherries, sugar, salt, zest of 3 lemons and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes to coerce the cherries into letting all their juice flow.

Pour the cherry mixture into a fine-mesh sieve set over a deep container. Push down against the cherries to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir the remaining lemon zest and the lemon juice into the syrup.

Pour syrup into the hot jars to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of the rim. Wipe rims. Place the lids on the jars and screw the bands on until fingertip-tight. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.





If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you’ll need 3 cups (750 mL) pitted sour cherries for this recipe.

For 11⁄2 cups (375 mL) lemon juice, you’ll need 8 or 9 lemons.