Cherry Limeade

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Cherry Limeade=summertime. Cherries have such a short season and shelf life, you really need to use them as often as you are able. This drink is a perfect way to use them. It is great for a hot summer day.

What makes this drink different than the others out there? This one actually uses fresh cherries instead of maraschino cherries (I hate those. No offense if you love them, I just can’t even…). So, start with fresh limes and cherries.

Basic Ingredients

Although there are extra steps in this recipe than you might be used to in your other drinks recipes, the ingredients are pretty basic. Fresh limes, cherries, sugar, water and 7-up if you are using it. That’s it, 4-5 ingredients.

limes and cherries on counter top

Simple Syrup

I always make my flavored drinks with a simple syrup. I know it takes a little extra time, but it is worth it not to have the gritty sugar in your drink. My simple syrup is 1:1. Which is 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup water. Set this to boil on medium and start prepping the rest. Only cook the simple syrup until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Making simple syrup in a saucepan.

Cherry reduction

Next up is your cherry reduction. I do this to intensify the flavors. A reduction is just like it sounds, a reduction. This is basically reduced cherry juice.

I start by cutting the cherries in half. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but helps to speed up the process. If left uncut, the cherries will burst eventually releasing their liquids, but as these are cut, they are releasing it right away. Now, don’t worry about seeds as this all gets strained at the end anyway.

woman cutting cherries in half on a cutting board.

Once they are cut in half, twist apart. Throw all the cherries in your saucepan. It is important to use a thick bottom pan for this, as the sweetened syrup can burn on the bottom.

woman cutting cherries in half on plastic cutting board.

Bring to a boil and allow to cook this way over the medium heat for about 7-10 minutes. Your syrup should be a nice red color at that point.

cherry syrup boiling in small stainless steel saucepan.

While it is cooking, start juicing your limes. If you are fortunate enough to have a juicer, this will be done in no time. If you only have a hand one, like I did, it will take awhile. Now, you are going to use a lot of limes, so make sure you have plenty on hand. I used 10.

woman juicing limes into small white bowl on plastic cutting board

The syrup should be ready now, so go ahead and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add the lime juice to the slightly cooled simple syrup.

woman straining cherry syrup through fine mesh strainer into a glass 4 cup measuring cup.

Make sure and push all the cherry through you can.

Now, you have made your syrup, on to the reduction. Add the syrup back to the pan and add in your sugar. Be mindful the syrup will sweeten as it thickens, so don’t over sweeten at the beginning. Mix and cook on medium again. You can stir occasionally, but it really should be okay to cook for awhile.

I let mine cook about 7 minutes. It reduced down to about 1 cup. You can cook it down even further if you want, it will thicken as you do.

Assembling the cherry limeade

You are done! Now, time to assemble. This is the easiest part. I will give you my measurements, but you are free to mix it up a bit if you prefer.

For 2 cup mason jar, I used 1/3 cup lime simple syrup, 1 1/4 cup ice water and 4 tablespoons the cherry reduction. For my son’s, who loves soda, I did 1/3 cup syrup, 1 1/4 cup 7-up, and 4 tablespoons cherry reduction. This is really sweet, but he loves it.

woman pouring water into mason jar with limes and cherries on the surface

Start with the water.

woman pouring lime simple syrup into mason jar with limes and cherries on countertop

Next, add in the simple syrup.

woman pouring cherry reduction into mason jar to make cherry limeade
woman pouring cherry reduction into mason jar to make cherry limeade

Last is the cherry reduction.

Cherry limeade in mason jar with fresh cherries on top. Lime and cherries on the surface

Now, on the sparkling cherry limeade, start with the 7-up.

woman pouring 7-up into mason jars. Limes and cherries on the surface

The lime simple syrup is up next.

woman pouring lime simple syrup from glass carafe into mason jar

Then add in your beautiful cherry syrup.

woman pouring cherry reduction from glass carafe into mason jar
woman pouring cherry reduction from glass carafe into mason jar

Aren’t these the prettiest drinks?? Cherry limeade is the most beautiful color!

cherry limeade in mason jars. limes and cherries on countertop.

Top with more fresh cherries and a slice of lime.

cherry limeade in mason jars. limes and cherries on countertop.

Looking for another cold drink idea? How about this rhubarb lemonade?

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Cherry Limeade

This fruity, tart drink is perfect for a hot summer day. There are a few steps in this recipe, but I promise it's worth it.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword cherry limeade, lime recipes, limeade, nonalcoholic drinks, summer drink ideas, summer drinks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Amy- A Red Spatula

Ingredients

Lime simple syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

Cherry reduction

  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Cherry limeade

  • lime simple syrup, listed above
  • cherry reduction, also listed above
  • 6 cups ice water
  • 7-up optional

Instructions

Simple Syrup

  • Add water and sugar to pan, heat over medium. Mix occasionally. You will only want to heat this until the sugar dissolves. I like to cook my cherry reduction the same time I am cooking the simple syrup. If it stresses you out to have multiple things going at once, only do one at a time!
    Remove from heat and cool slightly.
    Stir in lime juice and set aside.
    This can be made up to 4 days in advance. Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cherry reduction

  • Pit cherries or cut in half like I did. You don't have to do this, but it will speed up your cooking time. Don't worry about removing the seeds, they will be strained later.
    Add the cherries and the water to pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil at least 7-10 minutes. You want as much of the cherry flavor in the syrup as you can. The cherries should be good and soft and the water a nice red color.
    Now, strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the cherries though. You want as much of the cherry flavor through as possible. So, strain the pulp through.
    Return the syrup to the pan and add the sugar. Mix and turn on medium heat. Now, we are reducing the syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 7-10 minutes. Your syrup will reduce down. If you continue to cook, it will start to thicken as well. I didn't cook mine to that point, but it is delicious if you do!
    Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
    This can be made up to 3 days in advance if you need to simplify, or just keep it in stock. Simply store covered in the fridge.

Assembling the cherry limeade

  • Now, it's to assemble.
    Remember these are my measurements, you may want more or less of each, but we will start here.
    I like to pour in my ice water first. Per 2 cup mason jar, I use 1 1/4 cup ice water, 1/3 cup lime simple syrup, and 1/4 cup cherry reduction.
    If you are making it with 7-up, I used 1 1/4 cup 7-up, 1/3 cup simple syrup and 1/4 cup cherry reduction.
    Now, again, make adjustments for personal preference as needed.
    Good work on a hot summer day! Sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!

About The Author

Amy