1.5 pounds sour red or Morello cherries, cut in half with the pit left in one side 1.5 cups granulated sugar 2.5 cups 100 proof vodka optional: 1 cup brandy, 5 cloves, 1 split vanilla bean
Start by layering the fruit and sugar in a large half gallon sized jar. Put a third of the cherries in, then pour a third of the sugar in. Do the next third of the cherries and the next third of the sugar. Then do the last third of both. If you want to use the spices, add them now. Then pour the vodka and/or brandy in. Stir it up, cap it, and then put it in a cool, dry, dark place.
For the first two weeks shake the jar up often (even once every day) to make sure the sugar completely dissolves. After that let it age for 3 months in the same dark spot.
Strain out the cherries, pits and spices and pour the liqueur into bottles. Voila! Perfect, gorgeous liqueur, preferably served in goblets to your most discerning of friends and/or enemies.
Recipe Notes: You can only make this recipe using sour cherries. Leave the pits in, they add a very subtle bitter almond flavor to the drink which makes the flavor more complex.
Use 100 proof vodka (or everclear). If you are using 80 proof, lower the sugar content or it will be more like cough syrup. The next time I make this it will be without the cinnamon.