Have you ever heard of squash? Not the vegetable, but the concentrated syrup made from fruit, sugar, and water. Squash (also called cordial) can be made from just about any fruit you like…I happen to love cherries and had half a bag in my freezer leftover from when I made this chicken dish. It was an unseasonably hot pre-summer day and I couldn’t imagine a better way to cool off than with this refreshing drink.
Since cordials are very sweet and thick, the syrup should be diluted with water to taste. I added sparkling water for a little fizz, but still water is fine if you prefer.
(Yield: About 3 cups concentrated cherry syrup to be mixed with water to taste)
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen sweet black cherries, pitted (thawed if frozen)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Chilled sparkling or still water, to taste
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring up to a boil (stirring occasionally), then turn off heat and cool.
Add cherries and sugar syrup to a blender or food processor and process until completely smooth. Strain cherry syrup through a fine mesh sieve; chill.
Mix syrup with chilled water to taste and serve.