Thyme

The Cherry Fleece

by Thyme Recipes 14 Jul 17

Cherries were brought to us by the Romans, with tales of legionaries spitting stones as they marched; we have wild cherries dotted along the Cotswold's Roman Road ‘The Fosseway’ so perhaps it is true.  Prunus avium, ‘plum & bird’, we are not alone in loving these fruits and that’s only one of the challenges faced by British cherry farmers: unpredictable winters, spring frosts, too much rain at the wrong time. Cherries are a sensitive crop, they need to be protected and nurtured like no other fruit.  But how we appreciate the effort … plump, sweet and totally seductive, cherries provoke impulsive buying. We don’t need them, we buy because they are beautiful and promise that elusive taste of summer.  The cherry season is in full swing and for two glorious months we can indulge in these very special fruits.  Most of us are unaware of the health benefits they bring, they haven't hit the media as a superfruit (yet) but they are bursting with Vitamin C; rich in Melatonin (essential for healthy sleep patterns); abundant in the antioxidents anthocyanins which give them their glorious rich ruby colour; and boron, a contributor to bone health. Eat them by the handful!

We have planted ten varietals in our new orchard, both sweet & sour, including a Morello that will keep our mixologists happy, and next year look forward to creating preserves, puddings and breakfast compotes with our own summer harvest. In the meanwhile we are enjoying the variety Kordia, a dark headily sweet cherry grown in the neighbouring county of Herefordshire which makes a lovely syrup; add a little restorative brandy to the mix and our own hens' egg whites and July's star of The Baa's cocktail list is the ‘Cherry Fleece’.

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to your shaker
  2. Dry shake or use a hand whisk to get fluffy egg white texture
  3. Fill with ice and continue to shake until chilled
  4. Double strain into chilled coupe glass
  5. Garnish with a small cherry on stick resting on side of glass

To make your own cherry syrup simply simmer equal amounts of water, granulated sugar & pitted cherries for five minutes, set aside to steep for ten minutes then push through a seive and store in sterilised bottles.

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