MAKES TWO 20-OUNCE BOTTLES
The Romans preserved cherries in honey. I preserve them in spirits to make the most attractive gift. I use wine-red Bing cherries for this refreshing vodka drink.
1 1/2 pounds ripe but firm Bing cherries with stems
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
2 1/2 cups vodka
Wash and dry the cherries; do not remove the stems. With a nut pick or a sharp needle, prick each cherry in several places.
Place the cherries in two 20-ounce bottles or jars. Divide the sugar, vanilla bean, and vodka between the bottles. Cap the bottles and shake a few times to dissolve the sugar. Store in a cool dark place for 6 months before using, shaking the bottles from time to time.
To serve, pour the vodka over ice and add a few cherries for garnish.
This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.
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