Cherry Brandy

Ingredients    
  4 kg Cherries (weight before pitting)
  1 kg Cherries (keep the stones in)
  5 kg Sugar
  1 ltr Water
    Polish Spirit

Method

Layer in a pot, pitted cherries, cherries with stones in, sugar and so on until the pot is full.  Every 2 or 3 days mix the contents of the pot.  use 4 kg sugar in all.

Strain through a seive or a jelly bag but do not press the pulp through.

Put the pitted cherries in jars.

Boil the water and 1 kilo of sugar.  Allow to cool.  **

Throw away the cherries with pips in.

Mix the cool liquid with 1 ltr of 96% proof Polish Spirit.  Warning this spirit is very very strong and dangerous to drink undiluted.

Fill up the jars with the liquid and store for at least a week, a month or even a year.

Filter through filter papers before drinking.

I came across this recipe in Gdansk in Poland when I stayed with a Polish family.  It made a splendid winter warmer.  Unfortunately Polish Spirit in the UK is very expensive and not usually available in 96% proof.  It cost £1.50 a litre in 1984.  In the UK today a litre would be around £30.  

As an alternative to the Polish Spirit consider using vodka or gin and mixing the 1 kilo of the sugar with 2 litres of 40% proof liquour.  Omit the water in ** above.  Although not the same as using Polish Spirit it still makes a good powerful drink for winter nights.