Foraged Recipes

Recipe: Fermented wild black cherry cordial (Prunus serotina)

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Find out how to turn wild black cherries (Prunus serotina) into fermented wild black cherry cordial – a delicious, fizzy, probiotic health tonic! 


Native black cherry trees: trash or treasure?

Our native wild black cherry trees (Prunus serotina) seem to be held in generally low regard. The only people who seem to like the trees are cabinetmakers and furniture makers due to the beautiful colorations and grain patterns of the dense wood. 

However, farmers dislike the trees since cyanogenic compounds in the leaves sicken or kill their livestock when eaten. And nobody seems to care much for the tiny bittersweet wild cherries that the tree produces, other than some old timers who make them into jellies, pies, and sauces.

Nevertheless, we’ve absolutely fallen in love with wild black cherry trees ever since we experimented with the fruit for the first time. So in case you were wondering: yes, wild black cherries are edible and they can make really good food and beverages IF you know how to use them…

Wild black cherries (Prunus serotina).

Wild black cherries (Prunus serotina). The fruit is best when fully ripe, as indicated by a purple color that is so deep it appears black. The red fruit is under-ripe and not ideal for use in recipes. 

Foraging wild black cherries

Years back while out foraging for chanterelle mushrooms, we walked out of the woods into a clearing to find a patch of black cherry trees with low-hanging branches completely covered with ripe wild black cherry fruit. We quickly found room in our harvest basket for both mushrooms and wild cherries.

A little over a week later, we’d turned them into a test batch of fermented “sparkling” (due to the bubbly effervescence) wild black cherry cordial ready to drink. We LOVED it, as did our dinner guests. 

What do wild black cherries taste like?

Wild black cherries taste similar to domesticated cherries, but: a) they’re far less sweet, and b) their flavor is much more intense. This flavor difference is likely due to higher concentrations of the wild cherries’ unique antioxidant compounds. 

The key to getting the best tasting wild black cherries is to pick them at peak ripeness when they’re so dark purple they appear black and the small fruits are plump and slightly soft to the touch. Under-ripe fruit is more bitter and less flavorful.   

The wild fermentation process in this recipe (below) adds sweetness and bubbles. This combination enhances the flavor of the drink while adding a visceral dynamism to each sip.

Chokecherries vs chokeberries vs wild black cherries

Before diving into the recipe, an important botanical distinction between three fruit species with similar names that often get confused. What’s the difference between chokecherries, chokeberries, and wild black cherries? 

Chokecherries (Prunus virginiana) is another wild cherry species similar to wild black cherries (Prunus serotina). Yes, chokecherries are edible, but they’re not as good for eating as their wild black cherries. Nevertheless, you could substitute chokecherries 1:1 for wild black cherries in this recipe. 


  • Chokecherry fruit is more bitter in flavor and ripens to dark red, unlike wild black cherries which ripen to purple-black.
  • Chokecherries are a large shrub common in the northern half of the US, but they don’t grow in the southern half of the US. Wild black cherries are trees that grow in the eastern half of the US from Florida to Maine.

Chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa) are in a completely different genus than either wild black cherries or chokecherries, e.g they are not cherries. Chokeberries would NOT make a good substitution for wild black cherries in this recipe.


  • Chokeberries and wild black cherries both produce dark purple-black fruit when ripe. However, chokeberries’ flavor is extremely astringent. 
  • Chokeberries are small shrubs. Wild black cherries are trees. Both species have significant range overlap (the eastern half of the US).  

Read our article Aronia: How to grow or forage the world’s highest antioxidant fruit for more on this plant.

How to make fermented wild black cherry cordial (steps and process photos)

We share our exact fermented wild black cherry recipe at the bottom of this article, but we also wanted to add some process photos to help you more easily make this recipe:

Step 1: Smash the cherries. 

First step: mashing your wild black cherries.

First step: mashing your wild black cherries.

First, you’ll want to mush the cherries to get them ready for fermentation. You can use a kitchen implement such as a potato masher for this part if you’d prefer, but using your hands is easiest and doesn’t risk significantly damaging the pits. (Like cherries, peaches, and other stone fruit, wild black cherry pits contain amygdalin, which is a type of cyanogenic glucoside.)

You want the skins on all the fruit broken open to accelerate fermentation and flavor release. 

2. Add other ingredients, then cover container with breathable cloth.

Next soon add water, sugar, and citric acid to the cherries.   

Fermented wild black cherry cordial beginning to show signs of active fermentation (bubbles) at the top.

Fermented wild black cherry cordial beginning to show signs of active fermentation (bubbles) at the top.

We recommend using a glass or ceramic container, not plastic (including so-called “food safe” plastic) or metal. Otherwise, compounds from the container will likely leach into your fermentation.   

Cover your jar with a breathable lid, such as a linen towel. Then affix the linen to the container with a string or rubber band. Place your wild black cherry ferment in a cool spot out of the sun, and begin stirring it vigorously with a clean spoon for about 1 minute every 12 hours. We stir ours in the morning after we wake up and at night before going to bed. 

In the above picture, notice the stratification of the layers prior to stirring:

  • Bottom – The bottom layer is full of sediment, pits, and fine particles, including lees.
  • Middle – The middle layer is water/juice.
  • Top – The top layer is comprised of larger pieces of cherry skins and pulp that float to the surface atop millions of tiny CO2 bubbles created by the respiring microbes. You can tell by the quantity of bubbles that there’s a lot of good microbial activity happening here!

3. Stir and taste until your wild black cherry cordial is done after about 1 week (or according to your taste preferences). 

1 week is about how long we usually let our fermented wild black cherry cordial ferment, but you can go shorter or longer.

1 week is about how long we usually let our fermented wild black cherry cordial ferment, but you can go shorter or longer.

After 2-3 days, your fermented wild black cherry cordial should start to look very bubbly, like the picture above, especially as you stir it. Each time you stir, taste a small amount of your cordial to monitor how the flavor and effervescence are progressing. (Don’t double dip, or you’ll be introducing microbes from your mouth.) 

When is your fermented cherry cordial done? That’s somewhat subjective, depending on your taste preferences. Less days = sweeter and less bubbly. More days = less sweet (aka dryer) and more bubbly. 

Our personal preference? We usually consider our fermented wild black cherry cordial done after about 1 week, from start to finish. 

4. Strain, bottle, and refrigerate. 

Once your fermented wild black cherry cordial is finished to your liking, you’ll want to strain out all the solids. We start with a metal pasta strainer to get the large bits out (be sure to squeeze out those solids by hand to get out the liquid!).

After a couple runs through the pasta strainer, we use a fine-mesh strainer to get out the smaller particulates. From there, we pour the cordial into airtight jars.

Swing-top bottles work best. However, over the years, we’ve also used canning jars and old wine bottles. Regardless, don’t use plastic or metal.    

Once bottled, immediately store your fermented wild black cherry cordial in your fridge. The cold will arrest fermentation, slowing the microbial activity to a crawl. This also slows the rate of respiration meaning CO2 bubbles aren’t rapidly building up inside the jar (just enough to make it nice and bubbly when you open and serve it). 

Tip: Use a sticker or permanent marker to denote what’s in the jar and the date you put it in your fridge. Otherwise, if your life (and fridge) is like ours, you’ll soon forget. 

Warning: Whatever you do, do NOT bottle and store your fermented wild black cherry cordial at room temperature. Pressure from the active fermentation inside will eventually build up to the point that the bottles explode, which could be quite dangerous.  


How long will your cherry cordial store in the fridge? Many months.

In fact, our family has even found accidentally “aged” cordials in the back of our fridge that were up to a couple of years old. The flavor was far less sweet and more nuanced than young ferments, but still delicious.   

Can you make other fruit cordials using this method?

We’ve got wonderful new for you: you can use the same method from this wild black cherry cordial recipe to make delicious ferments from virtually any fresh, seasonal fruit you pick! The same basics also apply to fermented flower cordials: wisteria, elderflowers, honeysuckle, etc. (See recipe links at bottom of this article.) 

Modify ingredient ratios according to your tastes and the inherent sweetness/sugar content of the fruit you’re using. For instance, strawberries are much sweeter than wild black cherries, so we’d bump down the sugar and bump up the acid/lemon juice.

Recommended items for making wild black cherry cordial (and similar fermented beverages)

Here are a few things we mention in the recipe that we highly recommend you get if you plan to regularly make fermented beverages:

  • Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill Glass Jar (2 gallon or 1 gallon) – *Again, we don’t recommend putting acidic foods or making ferments in plastic containers even if they’re labeled BPA-free
  • Reusable, flip-top brew bottles that automatically release the potential pressure building in your stored jars caused by the CO2. 
  • Organic raw cane sugar – Contains more flavor and micronutrients than highly refined sugar and it’s grown in a way that isn’t absolutely horrid for the environment and farm workers. (Read here and here for reference.)
  • High quality citric acid

Recipe: Fermented wild black cherry cordial (from Prunus serotina)

Now let’s get fermenting!

Recipe: Fermented wild black cherry cordial (Prunus serotina)

Fermented wild black cherry cordial (Prunus serotina)

Course: Health Drink / Syrup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fermented wild black cherries, Prunus serotina, wild black cherry drink recipe, wild black cherry recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Fermentation time: 7 days
Servings: 22 cups
Author: Aaron von Frank

A surprisingly simple recipe that lets you turn wild black cherries (Prunus serotina) into fermented wild black cherry cordial - a delicious, fizzy, probiotic health tonic! 


  • 5 cups ripe wild black cherries raw/uncooked
  • 15 cups cold water
  • 5 cups raw organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid if you'd prefer to use lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon powdered citric acid = 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, so use 8 tablespoons of lemon juice


  1. If necessary, clean cherries by floating them in a large pot of cold water. Any debris or insects will rise to the surface and can be poured off into the sink. Then strain out the cherries.

  2. In a large glass jar (we used a 2 gallon jar linked in the supplies section above article) thoroughly smash the raw cherries by hand or with a kitchen implement.

  3. Add in all the other ingredients, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. If the sugar doesn't completely dissolve no worries - it will over the next 24 hours.

  4. Cover jar with a cheese cloth or a linen towel (tie on with string or rubber band to ensure cloth is secure). It's very important that the cordial can breathe but no insects like fruit flies can get into the container. Store in a climate controlled location out of direct sunlight - ideally a kitchen counter.

  5. Set a phone/calendar reminder to stir the concoction at least once every 24 hours, but every 12 hours is ideal. This helps the native yeasts and beneficial bacteria on the fruit breathe and proliferate. They're the good critters that you're selecting for and feeding with sugar and fruit juice/skins. The longer you allow the fermentation to continue, the more sugar the culture will consume and the less sweet the final product will taste. As the sucrose (sugar) is digested by the yeasts; they produce carbon dioxide, which creates the delightful tiny bubbles in your ferment) and a small amount of ethanol (alcohol).

  6. Taste a teaspoon of your wild cherry cordial daily after each stir so you can bottle it exactly at the point that you prefer it. We like a slightly sour, very bubbly wild cherry cordial, which usually takes between 5-7 days.

  7. Once the flavor and bubbles are just right for you, strain out all the pits, skin, and pulp so all you're left with is a dark red/purple liquid. You may need to strain a few times and/or do final strainings through a fine-mesh strainer.

    Pour strained liquid into jars and store in your fridge immediately. The cold temps of your fridge drastically slow microbial activity, essentially putting the microbes to sleep and slowing the fermentation process to a crawl. This allows your living cherry cordial to be safely stored in the fridge for months or even years. Drink and enjoy!

Is fermented wild black cherry cordial an alcoholic beverage?

In case you’re wondering, this recipe produces a very lightly alcoholic beverage on par with homemade kombucha, probably somewhere in the ABV range of 1 – 2.5%. If you want a more alcoholic beverage, you can use the cordial as a base for a mixed drink.Fermented, wild black cherry cordial recipe made from Prunus serotina fruit.

Let us know how your first (or next) batch of fermented wild black cherry cordial turns out!

Is fermented black cherry cordial a probiotic or prebiotic?

Our fermented wild black cherry cordial falls into the category of a “probiotic” because it contains lots of beneficial gut-friendly microbes. However, since the fibrous parts of the fruit are strained out, it’s not a “prebiotic.”

What other recipes can you make with wild black cherries? 

Another delicious wild black cherry recipe you’ll love is wild black cherry chilled soup, inspired by the Eastern European dish meggyleves:

Wild black cherry chilled soup, inspired by the Eastern European dish meggyleves

Once you’ve made fermented wild black cherry cordial, be sure to try out our wild black cherry chilled soup recipe!


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  • Reply
    September 16, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I just went to the store to get lemons and they were out so can I use lemon juice from concentrate?

  • Reply
    September 14, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    I just finished fermenting and bottling this recipe from black cherries we picked from a tree on our property. This recipe is ridiculously delicious. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      September 15, 2023 at 10:04 am

      Awesome! Glad you’re enjoying your fermented wild black cherry cordial, Kimberly. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 10, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    I picked the black cherries today and put them in a bowl of water to clean and I placed some lemon slices in the water and a ton of white worms are coming out. I’m sure not all have come out but are they still ok to make this?

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      September 11, 2023 at 12:20 pm

      Those are most likely fruit fly larvae, which people unknowingly eat all the time in fresh fruit from the grocery store (especially in cane berry fruit like blackberries). If you’re doing a pre-soak of your wild black cherries for cleaning and the fruit fly larvae are coming out, just dump the water/larvae prior to starting the recipe. However, you could still make the recipe with or without fruit fly larvae. One of the nice things about the fermentation process is that all the beneficial microbes outcompete pathogenic ones, so your end product is contaminant-free. In this recipe, you’ll also strain out all your solids at the end.

  • Reply
    Mark Moorman
    September 7, 2023 at 7:07 am

    Thank you for the recipe. We are making it now with cherries from our own trees. I have read the pits contain cyanide. Crushing the fruit also crushes the pits, or bruises them. Tiny samplings as the brew progresses reveals a marzipan flavor. Should we have used pitted fruit? Your recipe refers to “seeds” do you mean “pits.” Just a saftey concern because pits are in our batch. Contemplating tossing it and trying next year with pitted fruit.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      September 7, 2023 at 10:16 am

      Hi Mark! Yes, stone fruit pits (almonds, cherries, peaches, etc) contain varying levels of cyanide in their pits. We typically smash our wild cherries by hand so haven’t had the characteristic marzipan flavor show up in our ferments. Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove pits from small wild black cherries, but you could do so if making this recipe with larger bred/domesticated cherries.

      As for your safety concerns re cyanide:

      1. Numerous studies have shown that microbes present during the fermentation process vastly reduce cyanide levels via biotransformation into benign compounds. Stone fruit pits contain amygdalin, which is a type of cyanogenic glucoside. During fermentation, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can reduce amygdalin levels by up to 85% (source: However, without having a team of scientists to measure the amygdalin levels in your specific ferment over time, it’s impossible to say what % reduction you’ll achieve from start to finish.

      2. Another important consideration is dosage. At low levels, amygdalin is arguably “medicinal” in that it has shown anti-cancer potential. Obviously, high doses are not safe and can be deadly. In your case, there’s likely only trace amounts of amygdalin going into a large water-diluted fermentation. And that amygdalin is likely to be severely degraded by microbes during the fermentation process. Then, once it’s actually time to drink your cherry cordial, you won’t be drinking a gallon of it at a sitting. If you’re like us, you might sip a small shot glass as a digestif or aperitif. Or maybe add a bit as a flavoring to a larger drink. So you’d only be consuming trace amounts of amygdalin, not an amount that would present health concerns.

      3. Suggestion: If it was us, we wouldn’t toss the ferment. We’d let it finish out and continue to taste a small amount daily to see how it develops. However, if you have any safety concerns at the end, compost the batch and consider it a learning experience. Next time, hand-crush the fruit (if using wild black cherries) or remove pits first (if using domestic cherries).

      Hope this helps and good luck!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2023 at 11:05 am

    My mother an I have just tried this recipe using a mix of wild black cherries and wild mulberries, and so far the ferment is progressing wonderfully! My father has a carboy and bubbler that he uses to make honey mead, and he wonders if it could be used to ferment cordial instead of a 2 gallon jar. You think what would be sufficient?

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      August 3, 2023 at 7:12 am

      Glad your wild cherry ferment is coming along well! Mulberries sound like a great addition. A carboy would work fine too, but… The challenge is going to be twofold:
      1) you have to vigorously stir this ferment at least twice a day – hard to do with the small opening;
      2) you’ll have to strain out the pulp, seeds, etc when the ferment is done, and it’s going to be a pain getting that material out through the small opening on the carboy.

      However, if you’re doing giant batches or you don’t have any other large glass container, a carboy may be your only option though. Best of luck!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    I have a small batch going right now. Can I strain/pour it into empty kombucha bottles on day 5-6 & seal them so it can carbonate better, like what happens on kombucha’s 2nd fermentation?

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      July 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

      Fermented wild black cherry cordial is a much more active ferment than kombucha. You *could* bottle it at day 5-6 but you’ll want to refrigerate it if you do in order to slow microbial activity and offgassing. If you left the bottles at room temperature, that would create bottle bombs in short order.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Could this recipe be used without the fermentation to make cider ?

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      August 31, 2022 at 3:03 pm

      You could probably make a really good cherry cider using wild black cherries, but the process would be different. Cider making also involves fermentation, although ciders are typically made using specific strains of commercial yeasts. We’ve never made a cherry cider, but you might search for a recipe, then substitute wild black cherries for standard commercial/store bought cherries. Or modify a peach cider recipe.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I want to thank you for the wild cherry cordial recipe. I just discovered their edibility this summer and was excited to find something like this to do with them. The cordial turned out really well! I let it go 12 days. My husband also flavored a batch of his kombucha with the cherries, which was fun.
    Looking forward to trying other recipes, maybe red bud or mimosa next year. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      October 1, 2021 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks, Anne! How did you all like your wild cherry-infused kombucha?

  • Reply
    August 8, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    I tried this with black raspberries while I wait for the black cherries to ripen. It is fantastic. A friend commented about bad bacteria getting captured in this process. I know you said the Citric acid helps counter this but could you expand more on keeping the process pure and safe for consumption. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      August 8, 2021 at 1:15 pm

      The acidity by itself is not adequate to prohibit the proliferation of pathogenic microbes, but it’s helpful. Bumping up the initial acidity helps to create an ideal environment for beneficial microbes, namely various species of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and native yeasts on the cherries/fruit. (You eat both of these organisms any time you eat a raw fruit or veggie.) Those microbes also benefit from a bit of oxygen which is why: 1) twice per day stirrings of your fermented cordial are important to keep them happy, and 2) you don’t want to use an air tight lid which prevents off-gassing or inhibits oxygen exchange.

      As the “good” microbes proliferate, they also raise the overall acidity levels of the beverage, e.g. lower the pH. Pathogenic microbes can’t survive in a high acid environment – especially one that’s already chock full of these good microbes. The proverbial “hotel” has no vacancies and is not hospitable to strangers.

      This fermented black cherry cordial recipe is a relatively short fermentation but is similar to methods used in other fermentations – wine, beer, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc. We have plenty of experience making all those other types of ferments as well as simple sparkling fruit cordials. In the decade+ that we’ve been making fermentations, we’ve never gotten sick and don’t intend to. If you understand the processes involved and follow the rules, you’ll never get sick from making fermentations either. Quite the opposite – the probiotics (beneficial microbes) + enhanced nutrition that results from fermentation should be beneficial to your health.

      Hope this answers your question and alleviates any concerns. Happy fermenting to you!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2021 at 11:14 am

    I just discovered a wild black cherry tree in our backyard (we’re new to the neighborhood). I’m in the process of making my first batch – which is looking very good. I have scouted out a couple more trees at various stages of ripeness, but started wondering what to do after season is over. Can you make fermented cordial with most fruits? Are there some that are better than others (probably not banana?). Can you use frozen fruits? BTW, I love the adjustment slider for the recipe – I was only able to initially gather 2 cups of cherries.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      August 4, 2021 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Lydia! Glad you liked this recipe and recipe slider. 🙂

      Yes, you can use this same basic recipe with other types of fruit and even edible flowers. The best fruits to use are strong-flavored (or mixes of fruits) – things like blackberries, raspberries, and other cane berries are wonderful. Dial back the sugar for commercial cherries or other sweet fruit which has a way higher sugar content than wild black cherries. You can also substitute honey instead of sugar for more nuanced, richer flavors. We also use this same basic recipe to make fermented/sparkling flower cordials with redbud, wisteria, mimosa, elderflower, and other edible flowers as detailed here: Quite versatile – enjoy!

      • Reply
        October 1, 2021 at 1:30 pm

        Redbud? I love those trees! You have opened a whole new way at looking at my backyard, thank you!!

        • Aaron von Frank
          October 1, 2021 at 3:33 pm

          Wonderful to hear! There are so many interesting edibles out there at various points throughout the year. You could spend a lifetime studying (as we intend to) and still only scratch the surface of what’s available. Redbud flowers make a wonderfully flavorful and colorful cordial, so hope you enjoy yours next spring!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Can I leave the pits inside the fruit? I am concerned about cyanide levels in the pits. I have de-pitted some of them, but it really is a pain because they are so small. My neighbor has a tree and I have access to it and they fall down all over my alleyway. I do not want to get sick and drupe fruits including cherries do have cyanide in them. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      July 31, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Lynne! Nope, don’t remove the wild cherry pits. There’s no risk of cyanide poisoning unless you smash the pits open, which would be pretty hard to do. Easiest thing to do (and what we do) is just to smush the fruit by hand and leave all of it (including the pits) in the drink as it ferments. Strain and remove pits, skin, and pulp at the end when it’s ready.

      • Reply
        July 31, 2021 at 3:25 pm

        Thank you, that will make it so much easier. Looking forward to this now. Just printed out the recipe. Now I have to get to them before the birds do. They love these cherries. I am so glad I can finally glean and use these cherries instead of what has been just another addition to my compost pile in past years. I may also try to make a fermented fruit juice ( FFJ ) out of them that I can use in a foliar spray on my plants to add extra nutrition to my plants.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2021 at 12:46 am

    Going to forage for black cherries in Central Park soon. What is the role the citric acid/lemon plays in the recipe?

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      July 23, 2021 at 7:02 am

      Hi Annalyn! Citric acid/lemon juice does two things: 1) it provides a counterbalances to the sweet flavors, 2) it raises the acidity of the fermentation, thus reducing any likelihood of spoilage, aka undesirable microbes taking hold. Hope this helps and best of lucks foraging wild black cherries! FYI you can use this same recipe on other wild berries like black raspberries, thimbleberries, etc in your area. We were up in New York in mid-August two summers ago (in the city and the country around like Champlain), and were thrilled to find so many wild caneberries growing.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I’ve made this a couple of years in a row and it’s fantastic. Not sure if my wild cherries are like yours but they taste more like a commercial cherry, just much smaller. I cut back to 4 cups of sugar because of their sweetness. Hoping to make one more batch as another tree on the property ripens a bit later. Highly recommend.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      July 20, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Karen! There is a ton of genetic diversity in wild cherries (Prunus serotina). Thus, we do notice fruit flavor and size variability even between individual trees. However, most of the ones in our area are nowhere near as sweet as commercial cherries. They’re quite strong and tart-flavored, like commercial cherries with the sugar turned way down and the other flavors turned way up. What you did is ideal: customize the recipe for your specific fruit and flavor preferences. We also like to make this recipe with honey, which adds additional richness and flavor nuance. Glad you enjoyed – cheers!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    I think you have a unit error or typo in the last item of the recipe: if you’re using 2 TABLEspoons of citric acid, that would equate to 24 TABLEspoons of lemon juice; if the 8 TABLEspoons of lemon juice is correct, then you should only need 2 TEAspoons of citric acid.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      June 10, 2021 at 12:24 pm

      Ugh, thanks Kathy! Yes, that’s supposed to be 2 teaspoons of citric acid. Recipe updated.

  • Reply
    Jeffrey Weinstein
    June 21, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Just made this. I tried it before refrigerating and it was delicious. I used frozen pitted cherries from the store with another pound of fresh ones. Made a double batch (10L). Can’t wait to try the finished product!

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      June 21, 2020 at 11:21 pm

      Wonderful! Glad to hear the recipe turned out well with standard cherries. They’re a good bit sweeter than the wild ones. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Rattenborg
    August 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Can I use an airlock instead of cheesecloth?

  • Reply
    Steve Andrews
    January 17, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I’m trying, to no avail, to find a commercial supplier of dried wild black cherries. Do you know of one? Does one even exist? Thanks!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    is this alcoholic?

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      July 23, 2018 at 9:52 am

      It’s mildly alcoholic, probably in roughly the same range as kombucha (0.5-2%).

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