Attention, cherry lovers — let’s add an extra fruity boost of flavor to your favorite drinks and baked goods with this fresh cherry simple syrup! In just 10 minutes with only three basic ingredients, you can make this rich cherry syrup that instantly adds a special touch to any recipe. Keep this homemade syrup on hand because you’ll want to add it to all your refreshing drinks.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Only uses real ingredients: Fake, manufactured syrups do not taste nearly as good as anything homemade, especially when cherries are involved. You know that fake cherry taste. By only using real ingredients, we get a syrup that’s full of fresh flavor.
Requires very little effort: New to making homemade simple syrups? No problem here. If you can boil water, you can make simple syrup.
Ultra versatile: You can use this syrup in your cocktails, homemade sodas, lemonades and lattes, so you’re making one recipe with so many different uses. Plus, you can easily customize the recipe with additional spices and fruits to put your own creative spin on the fruit syrup.
Doubles as a thoughtful holiday or host gift: A homemade gift is always thoughtful. I like to pour the homemade syrup into a mason jar and decorate it with a pretty ribbon and tag. It’s simple, economical and always appreciated.
Related: For more fruit syrups, you'll also love my raspberry simple syrup.
Cherries: I like to run the cherries through my pitter to open up the fruit, but you can simply cut them in half. I always use fresh cherries when they’re in season, but you can certainly use frozen cherries if they’re not available.
White sugar: This gives the syrup a cleaner flavor. That said, if you’d like to add some molasses notes to your drinks, you can swap out brown sugar. I love this option for the holidays.
Step 1: We begin by adding the cherries, white sugar and water to a small saucepan and bringing the mixture to a simmer and then boil over medium-high heat (photo 1). Every so often, we want to stir the mixture during this process to help dissolve the sugar.
Step 2: After the mixture boils, we turn off the heat, crush the cherries with a potato masher and let them steep for 15 minutes (photo 2). Steeping allows the cherries to further infuse that fruity flavor while the mashing helps release those delicious juices. You can use a fork if you don't have a potato masher, but the masher is more efficient.
Step 3: Now we strain the cherry syrup in a fine-mesh sieve or strainer with a bowl or measuring cup underneath like so (photo 3).
After cooling, we’re ready to use the syrup! How easy was that? Get ready for an explosion of fresh cherry flavor.
How to Use
Of course, it’s also great with other beverages. Add it to club soda with a splash of cream and you have yourself a homemade cherry Italian soda. You can also pour some into your favorite cola for a burst of fresh cherries.
Or maybe you’re a big coffee lover. Pour some in with a hot or iced latte, and you have yourself the perfect summer coffee drink.
Some bakers also like to brush simple syrup onto their cakes. This adds a moisture boost as well as a flavor kick when using an infused syrup. A chocolate cake and this cherry simple syrup work beautifully together.
Yes, you should keep simple syrup in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator for safe storage.
As long as you properly store the cherry simple syrup in the fridge, it should last a few weeks. That’s another reason to love homemade simple syrup. Not only is it tastier than a store-bought syrup but you get some longevity from one batch.
A classic simple syrup is made with a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar. Some sweeter, thicker syrups use a 1:2 ratio of water and sugar, but I find the 1:1 ratio plenty sweet. Typically, I use 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, but you can absolutely scale that.
As long as you follow that ratio, simple syrups are endlessly customizable. Add a cup or two of fruit, a few sprigs of fresh herbs, swap different sugars or honey, or even steep your favorite tea bag after boiling. You have free range to get creative here. For inspiration, see these recipes: spiced cranberry simple syrup, brown sugar-chai simple syrup and gingerbread simple syrup.
Store in a squeeze bottle for easy pouring: The last thing you want when making drinks is a mess. This keeps your work area nice and clean.
Make ahead of serving time: Not only does this make entertaining easier, but it gives the syrup time to fully chill to keep your drinks extra refreshing. Besides, with its long shelf life, there’s no reason not to make it well ahead of time.
Either pit or slice your cherries: This ensures your syrup is exposed to the part of the fruit with all the flavor for proper infusing. I prefer to use this cherry pitter that I picked up on Amazon. I can remove six cherry pits at a time, so it makes the process quick and efficient.
Naturally, your cherry-flavored drink deserves a cherry-centric dish. You will love this chocolate-covered cherry cheesecake. An ultra creamy cheesecake sits on an Oreo crust and is studded with bits of chocolate-covered cherries throughout the filling. Every bite is absolutely divine.
Add the perfect fruity flavor to your favorite beverages with this easy cherry simple syrup. It was made for cherry lovers.
Get More Homemade Simple Syrup Recipes
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Fresh Cherry Simple Syrup
- Small saucepan
- Potato masher or fork
- Fine-mesh sieve or strainer
- 2 cups fresh cherries stemmed and pitted or sliced in half (see note if fresh cherries aren't available)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- Combine the cherries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and then a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. Use a potato masher or fork to break down the cherries. Let the mixture steep for at least 15 minutes.
- Place a bowl or measuring cup under a fine-mesh sieve or strainer. Strain the cherries from the liquid. The liquid is your simple syrup. Allow to cool and then store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
- As long as it's stored correctly, the syrup should last a few weeks.
- If fresh cherries aren't available, you can use thawed frozen cherries.
- For easy pouring, store in a squeeze bottle.
- Make ahead of serving time if possible to allow the syrup to fully chill.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.