Salvage This Cherry Syrup!
July 27, 2010 11:53 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with a pint of cherry juice concentrate?

I thought I was buying a delicious bottle of cherry juice, like the kind I drank once in Berlin, but instead I purchased a huge container of Dynamic Health 100% Pure Black Cherry Juice Concentrate. It tastes like cough syrup!

I've tried diluting it with water, but then it just tastes like watery cough syrup. Any thoughts about what I could do with it? Recipes? Bug repellant?
posted by enzymatic to Food & Drink (27 answers total)
Does it taste good on vanilla ice cream? Everything tastes better on ice cream.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:55 AM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

It sounds like this stuff might make a better flavoring tool than anything.

- Cherry and almond go together like peas and carrots. Buy a bottle of almond extract ($1 if you get imitation, which you oughta) and play around!

- Perhaps it's insufficiently sweet? Try simmering some for a bit with a healthy measure of granulated sugar and making black cherry syrup, then trying some with seltzer.

- If you can get some fresh cherries, why not combine them with the stuff you have - which is basically "cherry extract" - and make a KICK-ASS dessert? Homemade cherry ice cream, cherry bread pudding (as long as you use lots of eggs and lots of whole milk, you basically cannot make an UNdelicious bread pudding).
posted by julthumbscrew at 12:02 PM on July 27, 2010

Oof. I really think you want to cut your losses on that one, and pour it down the sink. Speaking as someone who once tried to salvage a dreadful cough-syrupy cherry brandy (and that was, you know, booze, and it still wasn't worth it)
posted by kmennie at 12:04 PM on July 27, 2010

You could make a cherry sauce for pork and chicken.
posted by ripley_ at 12:04 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cookin' with Google offers this list of recipes you can make with cherry juice concentrate.
posted by jonp72 at 12:05 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you reduce it with some balsamic vinegar, you might make a decent sauce for pork.
posted by xingcat at 12:13 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Have you tried it in sparkling water?
posted by bgrebs at 12:13 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would try adding it to Sprite or selzter water.
posted by mokeydraws at 12:18 PM on July 27, 2010

Have you tried it in sparkling water?

That's why I had a bottle in my suitcase. The bottle broke and I had to clean the cherry juice from everything. There was one unexpected useful consequence: the cherry juice permeated the shoe-laces of my dress shoes, and consequently they tie perfectly now, I can shape the bows and the shapes holds, and they never come untied until I want them to.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:21 PM on July 27, 2010

pour it down the sink? I suppose if it was very inexpensive...

my boyfriend uses cherry juice concentrate as a supplement for his joints. he has headaches and neck pain every day and this has appeared to relieve some of that. he mixes a teaspoon or so with orange juice and green tea (I think). it's his little health cocktail. cherry juice is very rich in antioxidants.

you could put it in a smoothie. I would second the sparkling water idea, maybe with a dash of another sweet juice (orange, or maybe lemonade).
posted by sucre at 12:25 PM on July 27, 2010

Oh dear holy loving God, the deliciousness of the cherry mojitos and cosmos you could make.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:27 PM on July 27, 2010

Cherry sorbet? Cherry popsicles? Cherry granita?
Use instead of grenadine in drinks? Maybe add sugar, then cook down to approximate grenadine.
If you don't like the taste of it now, though, these ideas aren't likely to help...
posted by dywypi at 12:30 PM on July 27, 2010

Black cherry is not like bing cherry or dark sweet cherry; it's a wild US native tree and the fruit is much more . . . intense. I second the idea of adding sugar to make a syrup, which might, as has been suggested above, be tasty in mixed drinks or over ice cream. You might also consider making jelly out of it (scroll down and look for "choke cherry" or "wild cherry).
posted by miss patrish at 12:39 PM on July 27, 2010

On closer examination, those recipes call for more than a pint of juice; you could probably add apple or white grape to make up the difference. Wild cherries remind me a little bit, flavorwise, of elderberries, the jelly of which I am very fond. Of. I like it. Not everybody does. And that reminds me, I need to see if I can do something with that gallon of way-too-intense elderberry cordial my maternal unit gave me a couple years ago . . . now where did I put that . . .?
posted by miss patrish at 12:43 PM on July 27, 2010

Oh wait! It's concentrate. Hm. Does it have any dilution directions on the label? Hm. Concentrate. What you might want to do is add an equal part of the aforementioned apple or white grape juice to the cherry to see if that makes it more palatable, maybe with some lemon juice and sugar. First the juices plus a tablespoon of lemon juice and half a cup of sugar. Taste. Add more lemon and sugar. Taste. And so on. The other juices plus sour and sweet should moderate the wankiness of the cherry without leading to wateriness . . . it's a gamble, but if it works, it could be delish. I don't think you will ever make it taste like cherry candy though; black cherry has a taste all its own. I'd try it. But I'm nutty that way.
posted by miss patrish at 12:53 PM on July 27, 2010

If it's a good desert toppping, you should try waxing your floor with it too.

The proper thing to do with it is try a shot glass full in beer, preferably a wheat or rice beer.
posted by bonehead at 1:15 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]
posted by KogeLiz at 1:21 PM on July 27, 2010

Cocktails! Anything that tastes medicinal will spice up a classic cocktail wonderfully. Use it sparingly as a substitute for bitters. Try a teaspoonful with tequila, lime juice, and a bit of sugar for a cherry-ized Harpo. Syrup, Rye, Ice and some muddled fruit is a newfangled old-fashioned.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:35 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could probably make a pretty decent cherry mead (ok, melomel for the purists) out of it.
posted by Runes at 1:50 PM on July 27, 2010

A local cider mill offers apple-cherry cider every fall, but I have no idea what the proportions are.
posted by tommasz at 2:06 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: I would dilute it and make colorful ice cubes out of it which I would put in my lemonade.
posted by jessamyn at 2:22 PM on July 27, 2010

Expanding on Jessamyn's idea, you could make the ice cubes in cute little heart-shaped ice cube trays, like these from IKEA.
posted by HotToddy at 2:28 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: Make a simple syrup with it, mix it 1/3 with sparkling water, and pour over ice cream in a tall glass for a super yummy old-fashioned summer cherry soda!

You could use it instead of kirsch in a black forest cake!

You could make lime Jell-O using it instead of water, and freeze it in a pop tray to make refreshing frosty cold cherry limeade pops!

You could whisk it into melted chocolate and make molded candy!

man, I want to try one of Pickman's Cherry-ized Harpos.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:42 PM on July 27, 2010

Make cherry jelly and it'll last for a few months! Then you can use a jar and add balsamic and mustard and make an amazing glaze for pork or chicken..... Yum.
posted by Sophie1 at 3:16 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: I would mix it with plain Greek yogurt and then freeze in popsicle molds, so I could have cherry yogurt popsicles.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:03 PM on July 27, 2010

I would add a tablespoon to a glass of cola or diet cola.
posted by CathyG at 7:27 AM on July 28, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the great ideas. I just mixed it with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a yummy cherry salad dressing. :)
posted by enzymatic at 12:40 PM on July 30, 2010

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