Recipe: Akasha Richmond’s Cocktail Cherries

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cherriesAkasha Richmond is on Good Food this week, talking about cherries.  They’re all the rage at LA-are farmers markets.  Akasha is making “grown-up” Maraschino cherries, but without all the bad-stuff.  She makes hers with fresh cherries, simple syrup and a variety of spices.  Use them as a garnish for cocktails, or for a homemade Shirley Temple.  (Keep reading for the recipe)

Akasha Richmond’s Cocktail Cherries

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 fresh vanilla bean
2 cardamon pods
1 whole star anise
2 lbs cherries, washed, stem left on
1/2 cup brandy (optional)

In a medium heavy sauce pan, bring sugar, water, agave, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, cardamon pods, and star anise to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cherries, bring back to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Turn off heat. Add brandy, cool to room temperature. Refrigerate-keeps for 1 month.