Great. There's only so much water and lemonade you can drink before you're sick and tired of both.
One thing I committed myself to this summer was trying a variety of homemade, non-alcoholic, summer beverages. Being that our summer has been less than warm, I hadn't had much inspiration. I did make the lime syrup a while back and only recently finished it - it was divine with soda water!
Our local paper ran a feature on homemade sodas. One of the recipes was for cherry basil soda. I had a quart of bing cherries in the fridge. It was perfect!
I altered the recipe and method just slightly. First off, I didn't have any basil. Secondly, I was not in the mood to pit a quart of cherries.
I started off by putting a quart of cherries, a half cup of water, and a half cup of turbinado sugar into a saucepan. I used turbinado because I was out of white sugar amd thought honey would overpower the cherries' flavor.
I cooked this for about 5 minutes, pushing on the cherries with a wooden spoon to help break their skins.
I pulled out my food mill and put in the finest strainer attachment. This is because I hadn't pitted the cherries.
The food mill made quick work of the cherries.
Because I wasn't happy with the amount of juice that had been extracted, I pulled out a sieve and worked the rest of the pulp through that. I'm not sure if it was worth the extra dirty dish.
I added the juice of a half a lemon, then put the mixture into a jar to cool and store.
Mix this with cold soda water to your taste. The recipe suggested a ratio of 1:1, which I found overpowering. I liked 1 part cherry syrup to about 3 parts water better.
The recipe also suggests using this syrup immediately. There's a reason for this: the cherries have a very high pectin content. Once they cool and are refridgerated, the syrup becomes a jelly. Try mixing cherry jelly into soda water and you'll find that it looks like blood clots. Ew gross. Just don't.... or stir it really well with a fork to break it up first.