I cut diet soda out of my life a few years ago. Even though my single can a day could hardly be considered a habit, I knew I needed to be drinking water. I went cold turkey doing my best to never look back. When I occassionally find myself missing a bubbly beverage, I satisfy my craving with sparkling water.
Instead of using a pound of tart cherries for a pie, I made cherry syrup perfect for an ice cream topping or a flavoring for fizzy water when strained. Only a couple spoonfuls and my plain drink took on a lovely ruby red hue. This homemade sour cherry soda was sweet and refreshing on a sticky summer afternoon.
Sour Cherry Soda
Makes about 1/2-2/3 cup syrup
1 pound sour cherries
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Sparkling water for serving
Pit the cherries and place them in a large saucepan along with the lemon juice, sugar and water. Bring the mixture a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until it thickens into a syrupy consistency. Cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.
Strain the mixture and save the cherries for another use. Depending on your flavor preference, add the syrup to sparkling water.