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Sour Cherry Lemonade Concentrate Recipe

There are some foods that you can only really enjoy in season, like sour cherries. This recipe for sour cherry lemonade concentrate can take that summertime flavor and preserve it for the year. After you make this recipe, you just need to duck into the pantry and grab a jar to make a refreshingly sweet and sour lemonade like no other! Sour Cherry Lemonade Concentrate from Preservation Society

This recipe comes to us from the book, Preservation Society Home Preserves: 100 Modern Recipes by Camilla Wynne. Camilla joins us today to share how to make the concentrate and the many ways you can use it!

Sour Cherry Lemonade Concentrate

This syrup is a boon to have on hand in the pantry on a hot summer’s day. If you’re on your own, add a few tablespoons to a glass of ice water, then refrigerate the rest for the next time you get thirsty. If you’re serving a crowd, pour the whole jar into a big pitcher and dilute to taste. For a grownups-only party, add gin or vodka for a very easy, very drinkable cocktail.


  • 1 lb pitted sour cherries 450 g
  • 3 cups granulated sugar 600 g
  • Pinch salt
  • Grated zest of 5 lemons, divided
  • 2 cups water 500 mL
  • 11⁄2 cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice 375 mL

Make it!

  1. Prepare the jars and lids.
  2. In a large pot, combine the cherries, sugar, salt, zest of 3 lemons, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes to coerce the cherries into letting all their juice flow.
  4. Pour the cherry mixture into a fine-mesh sieve set over a deep container. Push down against the cherries to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir the remaining lemon zest and the lemon juice into the syrup.
  5. Pour syrup into the hot jars to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of the rim. Wipe rims. Place the lids on the jars and screw the bands on until fingertip-tight.
  6. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.

Makes about 3 jars (1 pint/500 mL each)

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you’ll need 3 cups (750 mL) pitted sour cherries for this recipe.
For 11⁄2 cups (375 mL) lemon juice, you’ll need 8 or 9 lemons.

Preservation Society's Home Preserves: 100 Modern Recipes

Pick up a copy of Preservation Society Home Preserves: 100 Modern Recipes for more delectable preservation ideas.

Preservation Society is a very personal, very particular preserves company. Its founder, Camilla Wynne, creates recipes filled with imagination and heart. Besides the sumptuous jam, jelly and marmalade recipes, there are recipes for syrups, marinades, chutneys, and conserves, as well as a dozen recipes that use the original preserve recipe.

Courtesy of Preservation Society Home Preserves by Camilla Wynne, 2015 © Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.


  1. WOW this sounds awesome! Perfect summer time sipper. Thanks for the recipe, keep up the great work.

  2. I have a tree full of sour cherries this year – we have dried and frozen many of them – now I am going to make some juice concentrate to store… I have to add sugar or can I just add some water and can the juice that way (I will give them a 15 minute water bath for sterilizing etc.)?
    And add whatever sugar or sweeter later when I use it for making lemonade, smoothies etc…..

  3. If this is a concentrate, do you add water when you are ready to drink it? If so how much? Thanks!
    Sounds delicious!


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