A week of temperatures in the hundreds with another week of the same ahead, and who knows what’s after that?! Weather like this calls for something cool and refreshing. This pretty and delicious drink has been just the ticket for me the past couple of days, and makes good use of the abundance of bing cherries this time of the year. I can’t get enough of them, so am only too pleased to be able to enjoy them in as many forms as possible. This recipe serves six, but can be doubled or even tripled if you have a crowd.
Bing Cherry Lemonade
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 cup pitted Bing cherries
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups cold water
Gratings of fresh ginger (optional)
Place sugar and water into a medium saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Add ½ cup of cherries and bring to a boil. (For added zing, you can stir in about 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, if you like.) Boil 5-6 minutes to soften cherries; mash slightly with a fork. Set mixture aside to cool.
Strain cooled syrup into a pitcher, pressing on fruit to squeeze out juices. Add lemon juice, water, and the remaining cherries. Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.
Yield: 1 quart