The first test run of the cherries was a big hit. They’re not as strongly flavored as artificial cherries but the flavor was still good. There was not a big syrup component to them despite the amount of sugar which makes me think that more than the 2 tsp that I originally used might be needed depending on the size of the jar you’re using.
My first jar was a 16 oz jar which drank up the sugar pretty quickly. I’m thinking something closer to a cup of sugar per 2 cups of liquor would be a better ratio.
I’ve additionally found that some reniers have come into season. The cherry crop is early this year due to the short warm spring so they’re on the store shelves now. I took an 8 oz jar for this batch and functionally tripled the sugar from the first attempt.
The first jar went to a small gathering and was used for a couple of vesper cocktails and a few manhattans. They were pronounced very passable and I think the next batch with slightly more sugar will be even better. Next attempt after this is to try the same with sour cherries, provided I can find any at the farmers market in the next 1-2 months.
Since it’s only been about a week on the first jar I’m putting it back into soak with some extra sugar and a small amount of vanilla extract just for some fun.
As an aside a trip to one of the better stocked liquor stores in the area netted me the following photo. Those are Luxardo cherries, from the same people who make the liqueur that I’m using to make my own. And yes the sticker is correct. That is an ~13 oz jar going for $22.25. Nothing wrong with them at all, they make a fine cherry and the syrup can be used for a number of things after you’re done with the fruit. But a 750ml bottle of the liqueur will run you about the same and that’s enough for 3-4 small jars easily.