This recipe makes sweet, firm, and delicious cherries that are perfect for a cocktail garnish or a dessert. These cherries are very similar to the one's you find in jars at the store, but cost a lot less.
Add the entire can of cherries with the juice and the sugar to a small saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer if you have one. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat and simmer with bubbles until the mixture becomes foamy. You want the temperature to get to 225° and you don't want the syrup to caramelize. The cherries start out a bright light red/orangy color but will slowly turn a dark red color and shrivel slightly. This is what you want! Whether you are using a thermometer or not, you are looking for a honey-like consistency and color change to know when the cherries are done. This took about 35 minutes for me.
Transfer the cherries and syrup into a sealable jar and allow them to cool before putting on the lid. You can refrigerate the cherries for up to a year (if they last that long!).
Store the cherries and syrup in a sealable jar and allow them to cool before putting on the lid. Because of the high sugar content, you can refrigerate the cherries for up to a year.
Canned cherries in syrup are the recommended choice for this recipe because of their texture from being canned in syrup and the syrup itself.
The syrup that results from this recipe is packed with flavor and perfect for mixing cocktails or mocktails.
If you plan to can these cocktail cherries make sure you follow proper canning procedures to ensure they are sealed and safe to store at room temperature. Ensure the jars and lids are sterilized and follow all guidelines for safe canning.