Friday Happy Hour: California Cherries & Homemade Cherry Syrup

Thank you to California Grown for connecting me with California growers and encouraging California consumers to “Choose California Grown” when they can.

I love fresh fruits and vegetables, especially cherries in the summertime, and I really love living in a state like California where I can get amazing state grown produce all year long. I know there is a big local movement in agriculture and I think it is fantastic. I’ve bought locally and grown in California for as I’ve been shopping. I always check the origin sticker on my produce and now it is even easier because I can look for the California Grown label in my grocery store. Did you know that if you don’t see a label you can just ask the store where the produce is from? I always to that for the unlabeled bulk produce.


My ridiculous excitedment could barely be contained when I saw the box on my doorstep. It came while we had been out and Spencer always makes a beeline for packages on the porch. I worried he would shake the box and bruise the fruit, but the amazing packing job kept my precious cherries safe. The cherries came in a sturdy box, packed in foam and cold packed; they were clearly packed up with love. Best of all, they were grown and packed in Lodi which is about half a day’s drive from my house.  You can watch a video about the farmer here.

Faced with this amazing bounty of cherries, at first I wasn’t sure what to do. Well, that’s not actually true. I immediately rinsed and ate a handful. While I munched on the delicious fruit I pondered what to do to with the rest of them. I finally settled on making cherry syrup to make my own cherry sodas and cocktails at home.

Cherry Syrup
1 pound of cherries (pits and stems removed)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water

  1. Put cherries and the tablespoon of water in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes until the cherries break down and start to separate from the skins, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking until cherries and skins are completely broken down (most of the skins are sepatrayed from the cherries and the cherries are quite mushy) and liquid is thickened.
  4. Strain mixture through mesh strainer into a heatproof measuring cup or bowl.
  5. Let cool and store in glass jar/bowl/measuring cup in fridge for about a week. (Cherry Syrup may stain plastic containers)
Homemade Cherry Coke with Cherry Syrup
DIY CHERRY COKE: Mix 1 tablespoon cherry syrup for every 6 ounces of Coke. (adjust to taste)
Jack and Coke with Cherry Syrup
 CHERRY JACK & COKE: Mix 1 ounce jack daniels, 6 ounces coke and 1 or 2 tablespoons cherry syrup. (ice optional)
Cherry syrup can be mixed with limeade, lemonade, club soda, all manner of spirits and is just about the most amazing thing ever. It could also be thrown back into a ban a reduced a bit and poured over pancakes or ice cream. OR even put it in a milkshake. The yield from the batch was just over a half cup.  One of the reasons it was so amazing is that the cherries were fresh, local and most of all California Grown.


Thank you again to California Grown for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about all of California Grown growers. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #CleverCAGrown #spon

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4 Responses to “Friday Happy Hour: California Cherries & Homemade Cherry Syrup”

  1. Classic NYer says:

    I am SO doing this! I don’t have locally grown cherries arriving at my doorstep, but I can get some cherries at the supermarket.

    And I love that there’s no sugar at all in the recipe!


  2. Susan Cooper says:

    I had to laugh, I live about 30 minutes from Lodi,CA. I go to there for the Thursday night street fair and farmers market. Last week I bought some fresh cherries, raspberries and persimmons among other things. I also took a bunch of pictures to do a post somtime in the future on my Blog.

    BTW: Great recipe.


  3. OT and ET says:

    awesome – we have a huge thing of lgo (aren’t we neat?) cherries in the fridge right now. they are hands DOWN my favorite fruit! so messy, but worth it! and that syrups sounds so good. xo


  4. Ann Odle says:

    I LOVE cherries; hmm, I think that a Cherry Jack & Coke is in my future!


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