A perfect way to enjoy vibrant cherries when they’re in season in the summer months, Sweet Cherry Simple Syrup is easy to make and can be used to craft many delicious drinks to enjoy during a long summer day.
Cherry season is never long enough and fresh cherries are one of my favorite summer foods. So I’ve turned sweet cherries - or bing cherries - into a delicious addition to cocktails and mocktails with this cherry syrup recipe. We’re leaving out the lemon juice so nothing interferes with the summery flavor of the cherries.
Made with simple ingredients, homemade cherry syrup has a natural cherry flavor that’s hard to get from store-bought. It’s more subtle and not at all medicinal. This easy cherry syrup tastes fresh and summery. No overly-sweet maraschino cherries here!
- Sweet Cherries (fresh or frozen)
How to Make Sweet Cherry Simple Syrup
If using fresh cherries, cut each cherry in half - or use a cherry pitter - and remove the pit. (You can skip this step by using frozen cherries since they’re already pitted, though watch for random pits that may have accidentally made it into the bag.)
Combine water, sugar and cherries in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
Reduce to low heat and let mixture bubble until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes.
Using a potato masher, smash cherries to release all of their juices.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Pour the cooled mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Discard the cherry pieces.
Store your cherry simple syrup in a mason jar or other glass, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Make your syrup ahead of time. You want to use cold simple syrup in your mocktails and cocktails, so be sure to make your Sweet Cherry Simple Syrup ahead of happy hour so it has plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator before you craft your drink.
Use frozen cherries to skip pitting them. Frozen cherries come already pitted, so you can skip the work of pitting fresh cherries by choosing frozen ones.
To create a thicker syrup for ice cream or pancakes, reduce the water in this recipe to ½ cup and cook your syrup over low heat until it reaches the desired consistency.
No need to thaw the frozen cherries. If you’re using frozen cherries in this recipe, you do not have to thaw them first. Just add them to the sugar and water straight from the freezer.
What Can I Make with Sweet Cherry Simple Syrup?
Besides creating delicious cherry lemonade and cherry Italian sodas, cherry simple syrup is a key ingredient in these Sparkling Cherry Lime Mocktails. They’ll quickly become one of your favorite summer drinks!
Frequently Asked Questions
When kept refrigerated, your cherry simple syrup will last for at least 2 weeks. Discard it if it starts to look cloudy.
Honey is a delicious substitute in this recipe if you don't want to use white cane sugar.
You should. When crushed, cherry pits release prussic acid, which is also known as cyanide. Obviously it’s a tiny amount per cherry, but it can build up in your syrup. Since this is poisonous, it’s best to remove the pits so there’s no risk of breaking or crushing them as you cook or when you smash the cherries in the syrup.
Absolutely. Because I hate pitting cherries, using frozen sweet cherries is my favorite way to make this syrup. They come already pitted, so you save yourself some work.
Using tart cherries or sour cherries will completely change this syrup. If you decide to make this swap, be sure to taste test your simple syrup as you go and adjust the sugar accordingly.