Adults-only fare. A delicious topping for ice cream or plain cheesecake, this is also good on its own, with perhaps some dark chocolate and/or not too sweet cookies or biscotti alongside. Although they can be eaten after a few days, a month is better, two months even better, three months more so. The cherries will darken as they age. I’ve given ranges for the brandy and sugar, you decide how sweet and how alcoholic you want the marinade to be. You can also put the spices in the pot with the water, brandy, and sugar. Think autumn nights…

4 c sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches long
2 whole cloves,optional
4 cardamom pods, optional
1 c water
1/2 – 1 c brandy or cognac
3/4 – 1 1/2 c sugar

1. Put cherries in to clean (sterilized if you feel so inclined) canning quart jar along with cinnamon stick and optional spices.

2. Combine the one cup of water, and the desired amounts of brandy and sugar in a saucepan, along with the spices if you like. Bring to a simmer, stirring a couple of times until the sugar is dissolved. If you have added the spices, simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes.

3. Carefully pour the hot liquid over the cherries in the quart jar. Make sure the cherries are all covered, though the top ones will bob up some. Let cool, uncovered, for a couple of hours, to room temperature, before sealing and refrigerating, for the desired length of time.