This is a Persian recipe. Scale the sugar and lime juice to the amount of cherries you have. If you want to use sweet cherries, cut back on the sugar by about a 1/3, or to your taste. You can always add sugar to the drink.

5 c sugar
4 T (fresh) lime juice
3 c water
3-lbs sour cherries, washed and stemmed, UNPITTED

1. In a large pan, bring sugar, lime juice, and 3 cups of water to the boil, stirring occasionally. Tie cherries up in 2 layers of cheesecloth and gently lower into pan. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

2. Lift cherries in their cheesecloth and hold above pan for a minute or two to let syrup drain. Set cherries aside (in a bowl) and let everything cool.

3. Pour syrup into clean jars or bottles. Keep in refrigerator until needed. If desired, place cherries in a clean jar and cover with syrup.

Note: Stir 3 or 4 parts cold water with 1 part syrup and add ice to make sour cherry coolers. Syrup can also be diluted with sparkling water to make cherry soda, or used in cocktails. Reserved cherries in syrup may be used in desserts or as cocktail cherries (throw a couple in some ice tea).