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Ingredients

Use Sour Cherry Syrup for More Than Just Cocktails

After trying a drizzle here and there, you’ll be smitten with this sour cherry product.
By Published Mar. 23, 2022

Sour cherry syrup is a welcome addition to your bar cart—it easily jazzes up cocktails—but this sweet syrup with balanced acidity has other uses, too. Whether drizzled, poured, or mixed, it’s sure to please!

What Is Sour Cherry Syrup?

Sour cherry syrup is a product that’s typically made from sour cherry juice or concentrate, sugar, water, and citric acid. It is a sweet-tart, slightly viscous liquid (think simple syrup infused with fresh cherry notes) enjoyed in many cultures and regions around the world. 

While there are more than 1,000 cherry varieties in the world, they all fall into one of two categories: sweet or sour. Sweet cherries are typically eaten raw, but sour cherries need some sweeteners to be palatable.

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Sour cherries (also known as tart cherries or pie cherries) have been cultivated for centuries throughout Europe and the Middle East. They were brought to the United States by European settlers in the 1600s. 

Today, Michigan is the United States’ top producer of sour cherries, most of them Montmorency, a French variety. 

Unless they are grown locally, sour cherries are not commonly found fresh because their delicate skin is easily damaged in transport. Most are frozen whole; jarred; or processed into jams, baked goods, or, my favorite, syrup. 

Sour cherries
Fresh sour cherries are hard to come by because they're easily damaged during transport; they're often frozen or processed into sour cherry products instead.

How Do You Use Sour Cherry Syrup?

Sour cherry syrup is often mixed with water for a refreshing drink. I came across a sour cherry syrup in Michigan and found some other fun, tasty ways to use it. 

You can find sour cherry syrup in Greek, Middle Eastern, and Italian markets; at local cherry orchards and farm stands; at specialty stores such as Cherry Republic in Michigan; and online.

Once you find it, I’m sure you’ll think up all sorts of creative ways to use it, too.  

Cherries photo: Getty Images/StockFood