What to do with cherry liquid?

I candied several cups of of frozen sour cherries and ended up with a lot of extra liquid. I didn't have time to cook it down because I was in a rush so I just strained the cherries out and used them. Now I have a quart of bright red 'cherry juice' that I have no idea what to do with. I can't bear to throw anything away and usually can figure out how to use anything, but I'm really at a loss on this one. Other than cooking it down and turning it into a syrup, any ideas?

Liza's Kitchen NYC


ChefJune September 3, 2014
With a little sugar and pectin you could make a tasty cherry jelly.
PazzoNico September 3, 2014
I'm thinking sauces and marinades (for chicken, duck, or pork).

Gastrique is the first thing that comes to mind...with balsamic or red wine vinegar.

Or a chipotle cherry barbecue sauce..? As a marinade and/or sauce.

Or a glaze for duck...with soy, mirin and ginger...schezuan peppercorns?

Even a simple vinaigrette would be good (for salads, grains or veg. sides). Tarragon is a great accompaniment to cherries.
smslaw September 3, 2014
Cook the juice down and make cherry paste. Basically, you just cook all of the liquid out. You'll end up with a small amount of intensely flavored paste that is nice on crackers with cheese. If you cook it too long, the paste gets quite firm and needs to be sliced as opposed to spread, but either way it is tasty. I usually put the hot paste into tiny ramekins that I've buttered or sprayed Pam into. Once cooled, pop them out and wrap in waxed paper. It freezes fine, but keeps in the fridge for a long time.
Liza's K. September 2, 2014
Thanks for all the great ideas. I was hoping for something non-beverage related. I'm not a soda or cocktail drinker which complicates things a bit. It's been so HOT the last couple of days that I think I'll start making smoothies in the morning and adding it instead of the liquid I normally use. Thanks for the ideas!
Brady K. September 2, 2014
One word: cocktails.

Alternately, you could make ice cubes, and then put those in your cocktails.
Nancy September 2, 2014
Cherry sangria, punch using spirits you like (each will give very different flavor), smoothies, substitute for pomegranate juice in muhammara (pom-walnut sauce).
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 1, 2014
If you like the taste of the juice you could add it to seltzer, regular water, fruit juice, smoothie or a cocktail mixture. You might have to doctor it with sugar lemon/lime. I bet it would freeze well in ice cube trays for future use.
Meaghan F. September 1, 2014
Agree - freezing it was going to be my suggestion.
Susan W. September 1, 2014
Do you by chance make kombucha? It would make a fabulous flavoring for the second ferment. Also, there is a recipe for homade orange soda on this site. You could add cherry juice and end up with a lovely cherry orange soda. You could make your own cherry jello using the juice and gelatin. Ooo...and ice pops for those humid NYC dog days of summer. I make them with coconut milk (the good 100% coconut stuff), canned pineapple and berries. You could add the juice.
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