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!
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.
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 kitchen implement.
Add in all the other ingredients, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover 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 (a closet shelf works great).
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 yeast and aerobic 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 create carbon dioxide, which creates the delightful tiny bubbles in your ferment) and ethanol (alcohol).
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.
Once the flavor and bubbles are just right for you, strain out all the seeds, skin, and pulp so all you're left with is a dark red/purple liquid. Pour into jars (see jar recommendations below recipe) and store in the 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 2-3 months. Drink and enjoy!
Fermented wild black cherry cordial (Prunus serotina) https://www.tyrantfarms.com/fermented-wild-black-cherry-cordial-prunus-serotina/