Sour Cherry Lemonade for Two
Serves 2 (in a 10 oz. rocks glass filled halfway with ice)
1 ½ pound of fresh sour cherries, pitted (or 1 ½ cups frozen and thawed cherries -- canned cherries also work!)
¾ cup sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
½ cup water
1 ½ cups club soda
½ cup lemon juice
To make the syrup: Simmer those lovely cherries with the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the cherries are broken down and juicy with liquid like thin maple syrup. This should take 15 minutes. Cool the mixture slightly and strain through a very fine mesh sieve, discarding (or reusing!) the cooked cherries. There will be approximately ½ cup of cherry syrup.
To make the lemonade: Combine ½ cup of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and ½ cup of cherry syrup. Stir vigorously to combine. Right before serving, slowly add 1 ½ cups of club soda and then stir gently. In a rocks glass, pour this combination over a generous amount of ice. Top with 2 Tablespoons of vodka, per glass, if desired.
(Credit to the original recipe from Martha Stewart Living, date unknown.)