Sour Cherry Lemonade
Serves 20 (in a 10 oz. rocks glass filled halfway with ice)
2 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted - or 6 cups frozen & thawed cherries2 cups sugar2 cups water2 T fresh lemon juice8 cups club soda3 cups lemon juiceVodka, optional
To make the syrup: Simmer those lovely cherries with the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the cherries are broken down and juicy with liquid like thin maple syrup. This should take about 30 minutes. Cool the mixture slightly and strain through a very fine mesh sieve. There will be approximately 2 cups of cherry syrup. Reserve the cherry solids for muffins or something fabulous (freeze and reserve for another day.)
To make the lemonade: Combine lemon juice, sugar, and cherry syrup. Stir vigorously to combine. Right before serving, slowly add 8 cups of club soda and then stir gently. In a rocks glass, pour this combination over a generous amount of ice. Top with 2 T of vodka, per glass, if desired.
(Credit to the original recipe from Martha Stewart Living, date unknown.)
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